12 Songs, 49 Minutes

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About Jura

The Canadian modern rock band Jura formed in 1996 in Calgary, its members coming from a diverse set of musical backgrounds. Founding members Andrea Litzenberger and Mike Zobac grew up in British Columbia, Litzenberger with a background in classical music, and Zobac with drumming experience in hip-hop and funk. Litzenberger honed her vocal chops at Royal Conservatory music training and Selkirk College while learning piano and guitar; after completing her studies in spring 1996, her attention shifted to the modern rock scene. She and Zobac were joined by bassist Wayne Immonen soon afterwards through a classified ad, Immonen adding influences of blues, rockabilly, and power pop to the mix. The quartet was completed with the addition of guitarist Brian McLennan, who became Litzenberger's songwriting collaborator. Drawing influence from the melodic, folky modern rock sounds of artists such as Shawn Colvin, Cowboy Junkies, and Sarah McLachlan, Jura convened to record their first album; the self-titled debut was released independently in Canada in 1999 and distributed through indie support center IndieGroup. Word of mouth spread slowly in Canada and the United States; while preparing to record their follow-up album, their first disc caught the attention of industry veterans like Steve Ripley of the country-rock outfit the Tractors and producer Mike Busch. Busch thereupon remixed and polished the album's tracks throughout the fall of 2001 for reissue, aided by mixing from David Boucher (who had engineered contemporary albums for Colvin, Jonatha Brooke, and the Coors) and mastering from Drew Lavyne (who did such work for Santana and Barenaked Ladies, along with countless Cuban recordings). The revamped album, rechristened Definitely Not Debutante, saw a February 2002 release on Emanon Records. ~ Joseph McCombs

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