Jane Godfrey


Jane Godfrey has been playing the guitar since she was eleven and singing harmonies with her sisters and brothers since further back than memory serves her. Jane was a shy middle child growing up in a household of nine siblings, where music and art were staples, whether at home in St. Louis or at the family cabin in northern Minnesota. Although Jane didn’t realize it at the time, traditions like family sing-alongs and music jams with her siblings were the foundation on which her songwriting imagination was built. 

After a couple of college degrees and raising three children, Jane eventually quit her job as a teacher of the deaf, and she began pursuing creative interests. In an auspicious twist of fate, Jane received a Girl Scout Leaders magazine in the mail, advertising a songwriting contest. Jane’s recording of “Thank You Ms Juliette”, a bluegrass tribute to the founder of the Girl Scouts, won and was included in the GSUSA’s 2000 CD, Sisters Hand in Hand. 

Always the late bloomer, Jane realized she had finally found her calling. Her passion for songwriting grew, prompting road-trips to Nashville where her skills were nurtured by attending songwriting workshops and performing at writers’ showcases, including the iconic Bluebird Café. Jane’s first real solo gig coincided with her 50th birthday. She then hit the studio, bringing in her siblings for instrumental backup, vocal harmonies, and moral support. 

Jane's 2007 release, Choose Beauty, is a collection of songs honoring the ordinary and revealing the beauty and little truths in everyday life. It showcases strong melodies in a mix of folk, rock, and Western swing. As the album lyrics demonstrate, Jane possesses both a poetic sensibility, influenced by literary songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Patty Griffin; and drawing inspiration from John Prine and Steve Goodman, a knack for storytelling with a subtle sense of humor. 

Within four years following the release of her debut CD, Jane experienced the loss of her mother, sister, and a close friend. With heightened awareness of life’s precariousness, Jane worked through her grief with a renewed sense of purpose. Digging in and opening further her soul, Jane wrote songs around topics that matter deeply to her, resulting in an album that bears witness to her love and understanding of the human condition. The depth and heart of Jane’s writing is apparent in her 2019 release Imagine We Have Wings, another album graced with sibling harmonies and instrumental backing. The album has received international airplay, reaching #9 on the International Folk Charts for Sept. 2020. In 2022 Jane’s song, “Breakfast”, was named by Christine Lavin as one of her “three most memorable, meaningful songs” along with Judy Collins’s “Secret Gardens” and Frank Sinatra’s “It Was a Very Good Year” by Ervin Drake. 

In addition to writing and performing, Jane creates videos to accompany her songs. In 2020, her song video “Breakfast” was featured in the Washington Post‘s online chat, “Chatological Humor with Gene Weingarten” 

The sheet music for “Breakfast” is now available for purchase on Jane’s website. Sheet music for more of Jane’s songs will be made available soon. https://janegodfreymusic.com/ 

Proudly embracing the moniker “Bravest of introverted entertainers” Jane writes and performs in her self-titled genre of "Urban Campfire Cabaret". She performs locally and nationally as a solo artist, as half of the duo, “CatBird” with Chicago singer-songwriter, Sue Fink, and occasionally with her siblings in “The Murphy Family Band”.





In a nutshell:

"Unapologetic folk artist. Bravest of introverted entertainers" 

-- Dr. Ellen Ranney