Janice Whaley Re-Imagines the Smiths: "Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you'd like to."
So sings Janice Whaley on her ambitious new six-disc box set. Those immortal words were, of course, written by Morrissey for the Smiths' "Ask," one of the 71 songs found on Whaley's a cappella tribute set, The Smiths Project. But they can also be applied to the 35-year-old singer, who out of nowhere has emerged as one of the Bay Area's unique and intriguing artists.
"I've always been timid about letting people hear my voice," Whaley says. "Maybe I just hold it too dear, too personal, and I can't take it if someone doesn't like it. So I always kept my voice to myself."
All that changed on Jan. 1, 2010, when Whaley started recording the entire Smiths discography using only her voice and posting the results on thesmithsproject.blogspot.com.
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