$28 in advance / $35 day of concert
Think of what you are about to read as a documentary film of sorts, replete with close-ups and fade-outs, starring the premiere song-stylist and songwriter of her generation, Rickie Lee Jones
In this film we see: Rickie Lee Jones'
face, her distinctive mouth, and her thick, beyond shoulder length blonde hair as she walks down a road in a bucolic section of Tacoma, Washington, where she currently resides. It is springtime. She does not wear shoes. She carries a guitar. The sky overhead is as shiny as mica. As Jones
searches for a place to sit and play in the sun, we see various aspects of her contemporary life come into frame, engaging Jones'
attention as she smiles, and listens, and reflects. We see her daughter, Charlotte Rose; Jones' mother and siblings; various friends. All of these people come and go, passing in front of, and behind, our primary focus: Rickie Lee Jones
playing her guitar and singing any number of her award winning songs: "Chuck E.'s in Love," or her interpretation of the classic, "Making Whoopee," for which she won a Grammy in 1990.
By the time she was nineteen, Jones
was living in Los Angeles, waiting tables and occasionally playing music in out of the way coffee houses and bars. All the while, she was developing her unique aesthetic: music that was sometimes spoken, often beautifully sung, and while emotionally accessible, she was writing lyrics as taut and complex as any by the great American poet, Elizabeth Bishop. In her voice and songs, we saw smoky stocking seams, love being everything but requited. And it was during these years that Jones'
song, "Easy Money," caught the attention of one musician and then the music industry. The song was recorded by Lowell George, the founder of the band, Little Feat. He used it on his solo album, "Thanks, I'll Eat It Here." Warner Brothers auditioned Jones
and quickly signed her to the label.
Her debut on Warners, Rickie Lee Jones
, released in 1979, won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. She was hailed by one critic as a "highly touted new pop-jazz-singer-songwriter" and another critic as "one of the best--if not the best--artist of her generation." In addition to the album's brilliant songs--including the exceptional "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963," the haunting "Last Chance Texaco," and the popular "Chuck E's in Love"--Jones
was becoming a figure whose life was bearing a great deal of emulation by young women and men who found, in her deep and personal and idiosyncratic life and work, a model for the new generation of hipster: She was heralded as a trendsetter in dress (beret, sundresses, heels) and in lifestyle, given her by then famous relationship with two boys she helped to make famous, too: Chuck E. Weiss, a Los Angeles character, and the singer and songwriter Tom Waits, about whom Rickie
has said: "We walk around the same streets, and I guess it's primarily a jazz-motivated situation for both of us. We're living on the jazz side of life."
Two years after the release of Rickie Lee Jones
(Warners) appeared. It was even darker, and deeper, and richer than the first album, and included the haunting "We Belong Together," and "A Lucky Guy," which Jones
has said grew out of her life with Waits.
The brilliant characterizations she builds in the lyrics for "Woody and Dutch on the Slow Train to Peking," and "Traces of the Western Slope," are amplified by her voice, which, at times, has the lonesome sound of a train whistle on a wind swept prairie and, at other times, sounds like nothing so much as laughter winding down into a whisper, or a sigh. The album confounded expectations. Jones
was fast becoming a poet of the disenfranchised who eschewed any purely commercial considerations when it came to making a song. Ironically, Jones
has always had a strong and solid fan base that has always purchased the album Rickie Lee Jones
means them to have.
--indeed, all her albums--one has to listen to what Jones
has to say, which is not a hallmark of most popular music. She has always been different because she conveys meaning not solely through her well-crafted songs, but through pure sound as well. In this way, she anticipated such innovative contemporary artists as Tricky and his primary vocalist, Martina, who riff on the texture of the singer's voice. Jones'
vocal work also hearkens back to the great singer-song stylists of an earlier generation, ranging from Billie Holiday to Laura Nyro who were intent on making us absorb reality from their lived point of view. Credit: Hilton Als
With fifteen original albums plus a three-disc retrospective collection, Duchess of Coolsville: An Anthology
, to her credit, Rickie Lee Jones
returns - for this Lowell concert - to these two earliest albums that propelled her career.
Find more info at: www.rickieleejones.com Occidental Gypsy opens the show!Occidental Gypsy is pioneering the sound of Gypsy Pop. The melange of the uptempo high-energy rhythms of Gypsy with the catchy melodic hooks of Pop is delivering a thrilling auditory experience. Occidental Gypsy's approach of mixing pop melodies, charm, and energetic rhythms with acoustic instrumentation and a vintage sound is engaging an incredibly wide spectrum of listeners.
Find more info at: www.occidentalgypsy.com