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Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee Jones is an American musician, storyteller and two-time Grammy winner who has been inspiring pop culture for decades, beginning with her star-making self-titled debut, followed by the seminal Pirates.  Named the “premiere song-stylist and songwriter of her generation” by The New Yorker, and “The Duchess of Coolsville” by Time magazine, Jones released her Grammy-nominated album Pieces of Treasure in 2023, a reunion with Russ Titelman, who produced her first two records.  Jones’ celebrated memoir Last Chance Texaco was named Book of the Year by MOJO and a Best Book of the Year at Pitchfork and NPR.  The Independent writes, “There has always been something defiant about Rickie Lee Jones . . . a voice from a dream, elusive yet familiar, transcendent, a messenger from another place.”

 

There are few careers that come close to mirroring Rickie Lee Jones’ emancipated and starry flight across our musical skies.  The two-time Grammy winner first appeared on the scene in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, and in her wake came such a wide scope of women, from country, pop and punk.   It’s hard to believe she collected and released so many wild icons, but she did.

For she was the first of her kind, crooning “My Funny Valentine” in lounge singer heels.  She rocked like Mick Jagger and ground her hips like Tina Turner. She was the beginning of the nebulous, ethereal personality-driven voices of women who dominate music today.

Her acclaimed memoir Last Chance Texaco, released in the spring of 2021, is “as rich and colorful as Jones’s best lyrics,” writes The New York Times.  “It’s a classically American picaresque tale, a recounting of a life in which she “lived volumes…””  Jones sets the record straight and illuminates her journey far beyond any music memoir.   Her story is an American story.   As The New Yorker describes, “she reads as a modern Huck Finn.”

At 66 years of age, Rickie Lee Jones has staked her claim as an American songwriter who helped shape the language of music we all call our own.

Two-time Grammy winner Rickie Lee Jones exploded onto the pop scene in 1978 and has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona over 15 critically acclaimed albums.  A cultural phenomenon, Rolling Stone magazine put her on its cover twice in two years, and Saturday Night Live gave her an unprecedented three songs for her second appearance.  Rickie is both a character in the songs and the songwriter singing, defying convention with her sometimes brazen sexuality and the mixed bag of jazz, rock and what has come to be known as ‘confessional’ songwriter performances. 

 

“She can sound like a nun who has closed the door in the chapel to sing quietly to herself. She can sound dissolute, louche, exalted, elegant, or like a figure howling against a menacing sadness…She sings like a shy person somehow released of inhibition by singing. Every word she writes and sings seems earned. Her songs are cunning and serious or playful and exuberant but always carefully made…[Jones expresses] a human truth: over time, we cannot be other than ourselves.”   – Alec Wilkinson, The New Yorker

Two-time Grammy winner Rickie Lee Jones exploded onto the pop scene in 1978 and has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona over 15 critically acclaimed albums.  A cultural phenomenon, Rolling Stone magazine put her on its cover twice in two years, and Saturday Night Live gave her an unprecedented three songs for her second appearance.  Rickie is both a character in the songs and the songwriter singing, defying convention with her sometimes brazen sexuality and the mixed bag of jazz, rock and what has come to be known as ‘confessional’ songwriter performances.

 

Her latest album The Other Side of Desire was written, recorded and rooted in the city of New Orleans, where Jones lives on the opposite side of the street made famous by Tennesse Williams.  Produced by John Porter (of Roxy Music) and Mark Howard, this is the first new music Jones has written in over a decade.

 

“This work is inspired by many years of sitting with all the events of my life until I had something to paint with,” says Rickie.  “I came to New Orleans to write and to live a different way than what I have known in on the west coast…. Here is another record then, made of my imagination, and whatever else that has no words, using the clay of this place and the shapes of my eyes to form some kind of picture of my life, or my heart, that I alone can understand, and hopefully that others can enjoy.”