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Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

Jewell ON COMEBACK TRAIL

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Folk singer takes a country turn, returns to northwest Iowa

A contemporary folkie renowned for her expressive, crystalline voice, Grammy nominee Jewel will be making her first appearance in six years in the region, appearing at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City October 12. Tickets are on sale now at $45.50 and $50.50.

After signing to Atlantic Records in early 1995, Jewel issued her debut LP, Pieces of You; the record was a slow starter, not even breaking into the Billboard pop charts until some 14 months after its release, but eventually the single "Who Will Save Your Soul" became a major hit, and soon the album was a best-seller as well. Two other hits, "You Were Meant for Me" and "Foolish Games," followed.

Fans were shocked in 2003 when the slick dance-pop album 0304 appeared featuring the hit single, "Intuition."

Goodbye Alice in Wonderland, released in May 2006, was a return to the warm sound of her earlier music.

It comes as no surprise that Jewel, an acclaimed American singer, songwriter, actress, poet, painter, philanthropist and daughter to an Alaskan cowboy singer-songwriter, finds herself in the embrace of country music for the release of her seventh career album, Perfectly Clear.

From the remote ranch of her Alaskan youth to the triumph of international stardom, the three-time Grammy nominee, hailed by the New York Times as a "songwriter bursting with talents" has enjoyed career longevity rare among her generation of female pop artists. Whether alone with her guitar or fronting a band of ace musicians, Jewel has always been a charismatic live performer, earning the respect of other singer-songwriters such as Merle Haggard, who, not only invited her to open their shows, but mentored her in the early phases of her career. Her singular style and beauty continuously land her on the covers of such diverse magazines as Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, InStyle, Glamour and Seventeen. Stuff listed her among its '102 Sexiest Women in the World' while Blender went further, crowning her 'rock's sexiest poet. '

Perfectly Clear is produced by Jewel and John Rich of Big and Rich fame. "Jewel is probably one of the greatest American singer-songwriters we have. It is such an honor to work with anyone of that caliber of talent," Rich says.

"If I were discovered today, there is no doubt that I would be signed as a country artist. Songs like "You Were Meant For Me" would have been a country hit today, and not a pop hit as it was in the 90s. The genres have changed more than I feel I have," says Jewel.

Jewel currently lives on a working ranch in Stephenville, Texas with World Champion bull-riding superstar, Ty Murray.

Her grandfather, Yule, drafted the Alaskan constitution and served as the state's first senators. She grew up in a home with an outhouse and coal stove in an area so remote that she and her brothers performed music only to Eskimos and Aleuts in remote villages, traveling by dogsled.

"We canned berries and made our own butter- ate only what we raised and stored."

When her parents divorced, she spent more than a half-dozen years with her father touring as a duet act, starting at the age of eight. "We sang in biker bars and lumberjack joints. If the cops were ever called, I'd hide in the bathroom till they were gone," she says. She spent her late teens performing in California coffeeshops, living in her car for a time before being descovered and signed at 19.

During spring break one year she took a train and hitchhiked in Mexico, earning money as a street-corner minstrel. "I made up lyrics everywhere I went and eventually it turned into a very long song about what I saw around me," she recalls. "I made it back to school two weeks later with an unformed song called 'Who Will Save Your Soul'." She was 16 at the time and had no idea that song would, a mere three years later, make her a star.

A folk singer at the height of grunge, she was encouraged by two acts she opened for: Bob Dylan, who actively listened to her songs and discussed lyrics with her, and Neil Young, who gave the nervous solo artist a piece of advice at Madison Square Garden: "Its just another hash-house on the road to success. Show 'em no respect!"