Within moments of sitting down with Heidi Saunders and Joe DeVito, one of them exclaimed, “Mark Perkins is amazing.”

Would you care to elaborate on that, I asked?

“Nope” the other replied. Then Joe interjects, seemingly apropos of nothing, “The V is capitalized!” OK, I’ll make a note of that.

Such is the nature of any conversation with this husband and wife team. It’s zany, random, and a bit disorienting. Joe and Heidi are a quick-quipping, stream-of-consciousness flowing, dynamic duo full of new ideas and comic observations. And they’re also creating some really fun and original music.

Joe is a veteran of the local music scene, starting out with Joey Ernst in a little band called Cup-A-Joe. From there he joined Chris Jesse and Brice Hall playing bass in the band Same Soul and eventually The Wheel.

“That lasted about eight years,” he said, “but honestly, the traveling and weekend bar gigs started to get old after a while.”

Heidi picked up the story. “I was visiting Madison to see Walt and Jan Dubbeld, who I knew from teaching up in Huntington. They took me to Thomas Family Winery and insisted I meet this long-haired guy. It was a total set-up by Walt and Jan, but they were right about us. Instant attraction.

“Unlike Joe, I was never in a band or performed in front of people. I was more of a shower singer,” Heidi said. “But a while back Joe started to push me a little. He started saying I should get out and sing in public.”

“She has an amazing style, and a great voice,” Joe added. “Anyone who hears her is blown away. Plus her songwriting is excellent. She has a talent for expressing what she is seeing and feeling.”

Heidi acknowledged that “singing is a joy” to her.

“It’s so different from my general existence where I have to work to maintain emotional balance. When I’m singing I just be. I don’t have to think. It just comes through me.”

Heidi’s singing style can range from powerful – think Amy Winehouse. Or she can take it down to a sweet and delicate level, almost like a Billie Holiday. She can scat along with virtually any song, and she’s a quick study with new material.

“So a few months ago we just started messing around and playing some stuff. We got Sean Fitzgerald to join us on acoustic guitar, Joe on bass, me doing vocals, and it just sort of happened. The band Glad Janice was born,” Heidi said. Eventually we’d like to play festivals. We are working on a set list of 60 to 90 songs so we can play anywhere and fit any style.

“We never do a cover song exactly like the original. We ‘Janify’ it. We make it uniquely our own. Oh, and there will always be costume changes at a Glad Janice show! That’s a big part of the fun.”

By the way, the capital V refers to the third letter in Joe’s last name. In case you were wondering.



HOT TIP OF THE WEEK:

There is a great free benefit event at Red Bicycle Hall this Saturday called V-Stock. It starts at 1 p.m. and runs all day, with Jordan Wilson, Junkbox, Jimmy Davis Band, The Nulydedz and Tim Carroll. On Sunday you should check out Joel Curtis at Mad Paddle Brewery at 4 p.m. Joel is a spellbinding songwriter and singer. I’ll be sitting at the front table for that one.



Charlie Rohlfing is a stalwart of the RiverRoots Festival committee, a campfire guitar strummer, and a partner in The Red Bicycle Hall music venue. Look for his distinctive fedora bobbing above the crowd, anywhere live local music is happening. Find him out and about or at charlie@madisoncourier.com


THIS WEEK IN MUSIC

Wednesdays:


Lighthouse on the river – Various live music



Thursday, July 11:

Off Broadway Taproom – Arlie Box



Friday, July 12:


Off Broadway Taproom – Erik Brunner

Music in the Park (Fountain) – Rusty Bladen, plus Greg & Kriss (6 p.m.)

VFW – Remember Me Monday



Saturday, July 13:

Farmer’s Market ­— Elijah Pahls

Off Broadway Taproom – Jessie Strassel

Thomas Family Winery – Brian McClure

Little KY River Winery – Allen Lane

Moose – Dirty Laundry

Village Lights – John Schneider (noon)

Lighthouse – Doug Dillman (4 p.m.), Falls City Boys (7 p.m.)

Red Bicycle Hall – Jimmy Davis, Jordan Wilson and many more (all day starting at 1p.m.)



Sunday, July 14:

Mad Paddle Brewery – Joel Curtis

Off Broadway Taproom – Davy or Darryl