Jewel: Telling It Like It Is – Again

Came across this really incisive, insightful blog about Jewel by Maddie Crum, books and culture writer, Huffington Post. As those who attended her concert this past August at Telluride’s Sheridan Opera House know, our homegirl has a new album out, “Picking Up the Pieces,”and a new biography, “Never Broken.”

Jewel

Jewel

Here’s a preview of the album:

“This was a gradual steel frost / That started with cold feet / And ended with numb hearts,” the artist known as Jewel sings in a sad whisper.

The lyrics were recorded for a song on her newest album, “Picking Up the Pieces,” out last month. In this particular song, “His Pleasure Is My Pain,” she tells the story of a souring relationship — a man indifferent to his partner’s sensitive disposition.

On paper, without the smooth edges of the singer’s soft crooning, the words seem a little maudlin, or maybe just fitting for a singer-songwriter who’s just endured a divorce — which Jewel did, last year. But the song wasn’t written about her reportedly amicable split from her husband of six years, Ty Murray — it was written when she was 17, homeless and scouring for food. 

“I wasn’t in a relationship when I wrote a lot of those songs, when I was young. I was just imagining,” Jewel said in an interview with The Huffington Post. Revisiting them decades later, she added, was “kind of eerie.”

Jewel’s been doing a lot of revisiting lately. With “Picking Up the Pieces” she returns to her humble beginnings as a down-and-out folk artist, finally producing some of the songs that didn’t make it onto her debut album, recorded in 1995 after she was spotted in a coffee shop by a talent scout. Before that, she performed a yodeling act with her family at hotels and bars in Alaska, and moved out at 15, putting herself through high school.

If “Pieces of You” was an unfiltered look into the imaginative, wounded mind of a teen who’d willfully taken to the streets, “Picking Up the Pieces” is Jewel’s reflection on those years, from the vantage point of a woman who has now experienced some of the heartbreak she once dreamt up as metaphor…

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