From Janis: “Better Times Will Come” was written the day after John Prine died, the only 3-chord song I’ve ever done. It turned into an enormous project featuring artists from 16 countries, singing and signing in 16 different languages. My original version was just sung into my phone, voice only.
When I recorded it for this album, I wanted my part to stay true to that first version, but then grow into something broader. I called Viktor Krauss, my favorite bass player, and asked him to co-produce something that would “show the times we’ve been living through”. We went through our mental Rolodexes, enlisting friends like Diane Schuur and Vince Gill, Jim Hoke and John Cowan. The direction to the players was “Don’t hold back!” and that’s just what we got.
For me, this piece illustrates the arc of fear, isolation, hope, relief, and then return to fear we keep going through as we deal with Covid-19. It’s also a tribute to my fellow artists, as we continue to do our work, offering audiences an escape and a bit of joy, even as we watched our own professions disintegrate under the weight of it all.
“Better Times Will Come” is available now on your preferred digital music service or as a digital download from the official Janis Ian Store. Sheet music is also available in the official Janis Ian Store.
You can find it on my last solo studio album, The Light at the End of the Line, coming January 21. You can also pre-order merch or pre-save the album wherever you get your music these days.
On January 21st, physical and digital copies will be available at the official Janis Ian Store.