Monday, October 31, 2011
Rickie Lee Jones
When I was in high school, I did a lot of babysitting. It was more than just a way to make money, it's also one of the main ways I was introduced to music that otherwise I never would've been exposed to. I was one of those babysitters who would go through the kitchen cupboards looking for chocolate, and then I'd go through the LP collection looking for something interesting. That's how I found the B52s, and that's also how I discovered Rickie Lee Jones.
One night I was watching the young child of a woman who was, coincidentally, a future JPR colleague known to most of you as The Nurse, who co-hosts the Retro Lounge on Saturday nights at 9pm (on your radio in Shasta County at 89.7 or streaming live at ijpr.org). When she left the house, the record player was already on, and I was immediately enraptured by the dreamy, kind of lazy voice of Rickie Lee Jones, a chanteuse unknown to me until that moment. She was jazzy, quirky, and I loved what I heard. Loved it enough to listen to that album over and over again for about 4 hours until The Nurse returned home.
That album was Rickie Lee Jones' self-titled debut, featuring Chuck E's In Love and Danny's All Star Joint. That album also featured a host of other musical heavy hitters that I'd never heard of at the time, like Dr. John, Randy Newman, Michael McDonald, Tom Scott & Steve Gadd. But mainly it served as my introduction to the amazing songwriting skills of RLJ. I've been a fan ever since, and although the first songs I ever heard continue to be favorites, I can name about ten songs that she's done throughout her career that rank as brilliant in my book.
Sometimes I get lucky when JPR decides to book a performer that I just adore. And this year I've been very, very lucky. First there was Chris Isaak, then k.d. Lang. I didn't think it could get any better than that, and then the next thing you know, we got the B52s! And now, glory be and whattaya know, Rickie Lee Jones will be gracing the Cascade Theatre stage this Saturday night, November 5th at 7:30pm. I've got it on good authority that the show will feature most of her greatest hits from the past 3 decades.
And readers, sometimes you get lucky as well. I've got a special pair of front row tickets to share with one lucky reader of Mistress Of The Mix today. All you have to do is leave a comment on this column, and you'll be entered to win. We'll announce the winner on Friday.
Of course, you may want to make sure you've got the opportunity to experience the great talent of RLJ by purchasing a pair of tickets to the show. You can do that online 24-7 at the Cascade Theatre website or call the Cascade Box Office at (530) 243-8877.
In the meantime, please enjoy this Grooveshark playlist of all my favorite RLJ hits, starting with the very first one I heard.