Two-time Grammy winner Rickie Lee Jones brings her soulful, heartfelt sound to the stage of Kahilu Theatre 7 p.m. Aug. 5. Jones took the pop music scene by storm in 1979 with her mega hit, “Chuck E’s in Love,” and since has continued to bravely venture off the traditional songwriting path with over a dozen acclaimed albums.
Her latest album, “The Other Side of Desire” is the first new music she has written in over 10 years. It was inspired by Jones’ current hometown of New Orleans. Ann Powers, of NPR, states that Jones, “consciously honors the musical styles birthed within America’s most sonically spectacular city.”
Since her iconic hit, she’s ventured into daring, unconventional musical territory while maintaining her reputation as a progressive and innovative performer.
“This work is inspired by many years of sitting with all the events of my life until I had something to paint with,” says Jones. “I came to New Orleans to write and to live a different way than what I have known 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.”
Jones graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine twice in two years. She was also given three song performances for her second appearance on Saturday Nigh Live, which is unprecedented. Her overt sexuality and tell-it-like-it-is style of songwriting earned her the description “confessional songwriter.”
If nothing else, Jones is a survivor which is reflected in her many songs. Tales of women struggling on the edge of darkness, yet still maintaining a vibrancy, she manages to spin songs that turn adversities into adventures and troubled words into inspirations.
“So now, no beret, no boyfriends, no badass bravado,” says Jones. “I am badass. But who cares. No one is taking my lifestyle to market. I am who I am, the age I am. I am happy with the loss of prestige. We are just who we are here. I see folks with 25 million in their bank account, acting like they are poor singers and wonder, how does that work when you are alone? Who are you? Really. Give it away. You will still be you.”