Eilen Jewell is an American singer-songwriter from Boise, Idaho.
“I always felt like I wanted to leave,” Jewell says. “And I remember when I learned the word ‘wanderlust,’ I felt like I finally had a word to describe myself.”
Jewell attended college in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she began busking on the streets of Sante Fe while attending college. She then moved to Los Angeles and performed on the streets of Venice Beach. Jewell next moved to Massachusetts and began performing at local music clubs.
Jewell’s voice can range from Billie Holiday to Loretta Lynn. However, her recordings display a searching creativity and subtle sense of originality. Her songs have an Edward Hopper-esque narrative quality and stylistically can wander from retro country, to rockabilly and even to surf twang.
After recording several self-produced independent recordings in 2010 Jewell released the album Butcher Holler, an album of Loretta Lynn covers and in 2011, her fourth album of original music, Queen of the Minor Key.
In 2015 she returned to Boise after having lived in the Boston area for several years. Her 2015 album, Sundown Over Ghost Town, was largely inspired by her return to Idaho.
Although the sly, dry humor and jittery jazz/rockabilly that made previous tunes such as “Bang Bang Bang” so enticing aren’t entirely absent, they are considerably tamped down. Instead lovely, softer but no less tantalizing jazz/country dominates the playlist. Jewell is in wonderful voice using her Billie Holiday phrasing to infuse soul and emotion to the slow, sticky swamp of “Down the Road,” the sweet Neil Young styled country folk of “Some Things Weren’t Meant to Be” and “Here With Me”’s languid, sultry club noir.
“The way we approached recording this album was pretty consistent with our previous albums,” explains the singer, “in that my core band and I recorded together in a live style. We were our own producers, and we brought in a few guests to lend some extra layers. The main difference is that everything was done in Idaho, and our guests were all local to this area. We tried not to let the long break influence anything. I wanted this album to stand on its own.”
All of Eilen Jewell’s recordings can be purchased from her website store.
Boundary County (2005)
Letters From Sinners & Strangers (2007)
Heartache Boulevard (2007) EP
The Sacred Shakers (The Sacred Shakers) (2008)
Sea of Tears (2009)
Butcher Holler: A Tribute To Loretta Lynn (2010)
Queen of the Minor Key (2011)
Live (The Sacred Shakers) (2014)
Live at The Narrows (2015) 2CD
Sundown Over Ghost Town (2015)