Our last few Club EDA downloads have showcased songs of a rather serious nature, but with today being April Fool's Day, I thought it fitting to explore a song intended for pure fun this time around. We also return to the present for this month's free download and feature Jewel's debut (and only) live performance of "Snooze Button Blues," a song from her new children's album "The Merry Goes 'Round."Despite not pursuing the form on her own albums prior to this, Jewel has always been attracted to the blues. During her teens while studying music at Interlochen, she often sang blues songs with school bands and consciously began developing a scat singing style of her own. After graduating and relocating to Southern California, it was not uncommon to find Jewel singing with local blues musicians who were also on the San Diego coffeehouse circuit. Those of you who caught her earliest tours supporting the "Pieces Of You" album, may recall her hilariously competitive "I Got The Blues More Than You Do Blues, " which was a fixture of her early live repertoire. In 1997, Jewel also contributed her vocals to a blues recording, "V-12 Cadillac," which was issued on a fundraising CD for the Surfrider Foundation.
When Jewel and her co-writer Patrick Davis began writing songs for her new children's album last year, one of her goal's was to present children with a wide ranging diversity of musical styles. Needless to say, "Snooze Button Blues" became the blues contender of the album, while addressing an issue every new parent can relate to - the comfort of beds and the desire for more sleep! Jewel and Patrick wrote the song on February 4, 2011 during a week-long writing marathon at the ranch in Stephenville. It began as an unspecified jam, with Jewel and Patrick spontaneously pursuing ideas, but then progressed into a blues. Like both of the above mentioned songs, "Snooze Button Blues" is also based on a basic 12 bar blues progression, one of the simplest and most popular blues forms.
Jewel has only had the opportunity to perform the song on one special occasion so far. That occurred on November 17, 2011, when she and a cool one-off band performed several songs from "The Merry Goes 'Round" before a small audience of parents and children at the outdoor Grove in Los Angeles. The five musicians accompanying Jewel on this live performance are Matt Waldrum and Thom Bethke on acoustic guitars, Jonathan Ahrens on bass and Jon LaCroix on drums. Also on board is the talented multi-instrumentalist, Jason Freese, who helped put this band together and who played keyboards in Jewel's band when she toured with Rob Thomas back in 2006. Jason is also known for his work as the keyboard player for Green Day and he also played on the sessions for "The Merry Goes 'Round" album, although he was not involved in the studio recording of "Snooze Button Blues." On this live performance, Jason plays both piano and tenor sax.
Despite having no rehearsals and a monitor setup that made it difficult for Jewel to hear the other musicians, its a remarkably fun listen. Jewel's vocal is strong and this also features her first ever attempt at a guitar solo within a band context! Admittedly, her guitar solo is shaky at best, but it only adds to the fun of this performance. This live "Snooze Button Blues" is also notably different from the album recording, taken at a faster tempo and following Jewel's solo attempt, Jason cuts loose with an extremely gritty tenor sax solo. I personally find Jason's solo great and funny simultaneously. In fact it's so over the top, its as if he's wailing to Muddy Waters himself, rather than Jewel! I've listened to this at least a dozen times and I still get a kick out of it. Hope you will, too! In addition to this never-before-heard live take of Snooze Button Blues," a pdf file of Jewel’s handwritten lyrics (and a little drawing) is also included for you.
If you are already a registered member of jeweljk.com, simply log in to the community area and help yourself to the files here. If you are not yet registered, please register first here. Its free and easy. If you experience any technical difficulty, don't hesitate to ask for help at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve missed any of our previous Club EDA downloads, all of them are still available, so you can help yourself to those files as well. For details on the previous downloads, you can access my previous blogs about them by clicking “Alan." In regards to our free downloads, we respectfully request that rather than share the free files elsewhere, that you do Jewel the favor of instead sharing the link to join her free Club EDA community, so that others can download the free files themselves. Please spread the word rather than the files and help Jewel build her online community. You can read her thoughts on this here.
Recorded live at The Grove in Los Angeles on November 17, 2011, enjoy this month's free Club EDA download of "Snooze Button Blues." Alan