Eilen Jewell brings personal, political new album to The Palms on Sunday, Aug. 11

Eilen Jewell will celebrate the release of her eighth album with a show at The Palms in Winters on Sunday, Aug. 11. Tickets for the 7 p.m. concert are $22 general/$12 students. Joanna Chattman/Courtesy photo

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American Songwriter describes Eilen Jewell as “one of America’s most intriguing, creative and idiosyncratic voices.” That singular voice springs from a woman of more than one mind, and she taps into many of them on her eighth album, due out on Signature Sounds in mid August. Jewell and her band will bring that new music to The Palms Playhouse on Sunday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22 ($12 with student ID). Since bursting onto the roots music scene in 2005, Eilen (“rhymes with stealin’,” she’s quipped) Jewell has released a string of acclaimed albums under her own name and two CDs with the gospel music-inspired group, the Sacred Shakers.  Jewell’s vocals are a hallmark of her music. There is silk and denim in her voice, gentleness and swagger, assurance and a hint of playful sass. The Boise native bends and slides some notes, hooking the listener without irony or artifice.  By turns personal and political, fed up and blissed out, Jewell’s first album of original material since 2015 expands brief moments of joy into lifetimes, and distills epic sentiments and persistent doubts into succinct songs. Jewell seamlessly blends heavy electric guitars and dirty fiddles on “Crawl,” a rollicking country rocker that revels in indecision, pitting the terrifying urgency of now against nostalgic longing. “I’ve been writing bits of that one for close to eight years now. I’ve felt that polarity in my life a lot, ever since I can remember, and I wanted to capture that discomfort and angst. Putting it into words and music felt cathartic.” Agitated by the state of the world, Jewell gave herself permission to tiptoe into protest music. “79 Cents (The Meow Song)” skewers sexism and discrimination with pointed humor, while “Beat the Drum” is a rallying cry to fellow travelers struggling to maintain hope in the face of adversity.  Startled by backlash from both sides when she casually spoke some common sense about the Chief Executive in a recent interview, she decided to speak out rather than shut up. “I don’t see politics as separate from the rest of life. They’re intertwined. This is personal, especially in the past few years.” Longtime fans who love Jewell’s classic country mode will delight in the pedal steel-driven “These Blues” and the sole cover, “You Cared Enough To Lie,” written by fellow Idahoan and country legend Pinto Bennett. Conversely, the tender “Witness” has a sweet and understated horn section. Long hailed for her ability to interpolate different genres into her own sound, Jewell manages to make the distinct songs play well together, without compromising their individuality. She’s rarely seemed more willing to let different facets of her personality and talent shine through.  “I always try to be honest when I make an album. ‘Is this really what I want to say? Is that how I want to say it?'” “I often resent that feeling of being pulled in different directions, but without that pull, life is like a guitar string that’s not taut,” she concludes. “A loose string makes a terrible sound.” Jewell leads a tight quartet––spouse Jason Beek on drums, Jerry Miller on electric guitar and Shawn Supra on bass––that blends influences of surf-noir, early blues, classic country, folk and 1960s-era rock ‘n’ roll.  They’ve shared stages with Lucinda Williams, Loretta Lynn, Mavis Staples, Wanda Jackson, George Jones, Emmylou Harris and Blind Boys of Alabama Tickets are available at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland, online via The Palms’ website and Eventbrite, and at the door if not sold out.  For more information, visit palmsplayhouse.com and eilenjewell.com. ]]>

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