Monday, March 26, 2012

Queen of the Minor Key - Eilen Jewell Rocks!

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Eilen Jewell live at The Corner Hotel – 22 March 2012

A fabulous night was had by all on Thursday night at the Corner Hotel, where Eilen Jewell  performed her first show in Australia on her current tour.

There were two support acts, Sweet Jean, who are Melbourne singer -songwriters,  Sime Nugent and Alice Keath, who play soulful folk music, and Cold Heart, who were a sort of honky tonk band – chalk and cheese in fact.

It was shortly after 10.00pm that the curtains swept back to reveal Eilen’s band, sans Eilen, playing an introduction that sounded like the opening notes of her song Warning Signs. Then the leading lady swept onto the stage, and picking up her guitar, launched into the first track on the Queen of the Minor Key CD, I Remember You, a smoky, sultry song with delicious dark lyrics that go like this:

“I remember you
You were full of broken bones
I tried to bring you cigarettes
You said just leave me alone
I remember you
You were locked in a padded room
I tried to teach you solitaire
You just hollered at the moon”

She upped the tempo with Warning Signs which, with Jerry Miller’s guitar licks, sounds like an old 50s rock number.   

Eilen then paused to introduce the next song, Bang, Bang, Bang, a tongue in cheek ditty about Cupid, stating that rather than being a force for good, he is actually a sociopath, who cares not who his arrows sting. In Eilen’s song he fires a gun. The sociopath motif was played out over the evening, when somehow the logic involving sociopaths, become synonymous for women, as in some women are sociopaths, ergo all women are sociopaths. Eilen was tickled by this idea as were the audience and it was applied again to the Loretta Lynn song Deep As Your Pocket which followed Bang, Bang, Bang.

Like her name, Eilen Jewell was in sparkling form, and her fabulous band comprising Jerry Miller on guitar, Johnny Sciascia on upright bass, and Jason Beek on drums and vocal harmonies, matched her bright performance with great accompaniments.

I think this show was even better than the one I saw at the East Brunswick Club two years ago.

We were treated to 18 dazzling songs, drawn from across her four records, plus one – Twelve Gates To The City - from the gospel group Sacred Shakers, a side project in which she plays with another group of musicians that include some of her current band members.

She ended her set with a great rendition of her version of the old Johnny Kidd song, Shakin’ All Over, where the band performed an extended jam that went on for quite a while.

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Eilen Jewell live at the Basement Discs – Friday 23 March 2012

And of course I went to see her again at the Basement Discs on Friday. It was a full-house, a rare occurrence for the shop. Fortunately I arrived early, so was able to peg out my regular spot, before the hordes descended into the basement.

It was of course another delightful show, albeit much shorter in length, but with a few different songs. And I did get my CDs and a poster I purchased at the Corner show, signed.

Set List at Corner Hotel

  1. I Remember You
  2. Warning Signs
  3. Bang Bang Bang
  4. Big As Your Pocket (Loretta Lynn)
  5. Heartache Boulevard
  6. High Shelf Booze
  7. Too Hot To Sleep
  8. Reckless
  9. Restless (Carl Perkins)
  10. Gotta Get Right
  11. Twelve Gates To The City (Trad)
  12. Santa Fe
  13. Where They Never Say Your Name
  14. Sea Of Tears
  15. Rain Roll In
  16. Fist City (Loretta Lynn)
  17. Shakin’ All Over (Johnny Kidd)


  1. Queen Of The Minor Key

Set List at Basement Discs

  1. Bang, Bang, Bang
  2. Reckless
  3. Santa Fe
  4. Dusty Boxcar Wall (Eric Andersen)
  5. Queen Of The Minor Key
  6. If You Catch Me Stealing

1 comment:

Tim Chuma said...

The funniest part of the show I saw at the Caravan Music Club was when she mentioned the "shaking her tiny fist" comment she got about Fist City in her NZ show. I lined up twice to talk to her, it was great.