JewelNo upcoming concerts for Jewel
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Under the Streetlamp
Jewel has never had a case of writer’s block; if need be, she can write on command. “I’m lucky for that,” the singer-songwriter says with a laugh, playing down the fact that over the past few decades she’s penned hundreds of poignant songs, many of which she’s been performing in concert for over two decades but has chosen not to record. Jewel knows that at this point in her life – after selling millions of albums and establishing herself as one of the most successful musicians of her generation – she could take many routes: she could wait on releasing a new album for years at a time, strictly choosing to perform live instead; or perhaps she’d focus on her memoir, the forthcoming Never Broken; or be satisfied she wrote two children’s books and a pair of successful children’s albums. That’s not Jewel though. Jewel remains a storyteller. The itches are ever-present to document her thoughts and perceptions in musical form.
“It was the time in my life to do this,” the Alaskan-born music icon says bluntly, reflecting on her decision to record, produce and now release Picking Up the Pieces, her first “proper” album of new studio material in five years and a self-described return to the territory explored on her landmark 1995 debut, Pieces of You. “It’s something I needed for myself.”
If returning to several songs she’d written at a much younger age – not to mention participating in countless moments of introspection – for Picking Up the Pieces, has taught Jewel anything, it’s that no matter her place in life, at her core she’s a singer-songwriter. “It isn’t just thinking about you,” she explains of her natural-born craft. “It’s thinking about the world and wanting to rise with people. You have a social obligation. You’re aware that there’s more than just you.
Picking Up the Pieces, she concludes, is born out of a simple purpose: it’s about “getting very comfortable with saying “This is just me. These are my thoughts. These are my feelings. This is my poetry.”