Sound Advice: Rickie Lee Jones

Saturday • Live! at the Ludlow Garage

click to enlarge Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones

Congratulations to those of you who rushed out to buy tickets for Saturday’s “An Intimate Evening with Rickie Lee Jones” concert at Live! at Ludlow Garage, because the show is officially sold out. It’s been a long time since Jones has played in Cincinnati, and she could have chosen a much larger venue rather than the relatively new 250-seat Clifton club with a sit-down, theater-like setup that emphasizes the listening experience.

But there is more reason for those going to feel lucky than just seeing Jones, an old favorite, in an optimum environment. (She found success at age 24 with the 1979 hit “Chuck E.’s in Love” from her self-titled debut album.)

In Cincinnati, she’ll be playing songs from a new album, last year’s The Other Side of Desire , which has been hailed as one of her career’s highlights. It follows a move from Los Angeles to New Orleans, a city whose legacy of music, romance and mystery clearly stimulated her to write and record the fine new songs on the release.

The album encompasses various musical styles and moods. There is the relaxed, rhythmic roll (as in Rock & Roll) of “J’ai Connais Pas,” the hauntingly soulful groove of “Blinded by the Hunt,” the quiet, arty otherworldliness of “Finale; (A Spider in the Circus of the Falling Star)” and much more.

Jones’ vocals, too, are outstanding. With a voice that mixes that distinctively wavering, lilting buoyancy of her youth with all the skills she has developed since, she consistently finds inventive, convincing ways to accentuate a song’s emotional impact.

This is a career fully renewed, and Saturday’s concert should be a great show for those able to attend. Hopefully, Jones will be back soon.


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