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Rickie Lee Jones 

Wednesday, Dec 16 2009

Now touring with a backing trio, seasoned songwriter Rickie Lee Jones assembled recent album Balm in Gilead from material written throughout the past two decades. That includes opener "Wild Girl," which showcases her gift for economic storytelling just as much as the standout "Bonfires" ("I'm burning everything I find"). Ben Harper sings on the honeyed soul number "Old Enough," amidst other Balm cameos from Vic Chesnutt, Victoria Williams, Alison Krauss, and Jon Brion. Given the starkness of her lyrics as well as the melancholy often pervading them, however, her best songs rely on nothing more than her acoustic guitar and weathered, seen-it-all voice.

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Doug Wallen


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