Hi again all,
For this month's free Club EDA download, we journey back six years for a listen to Jewel's initial attempt at performing a live band arrangement of her dulcimer song, "Where You Are." Jewel acquired her dulcimer in 1997 as a gift from her friend Danny Ferrington, the renowned luthier also responsible for her now iconic blue guitar. Here are a few snapshots of Jewel playing that dulcimer shortly after she got it. These were taken on her tour bus, parked behind the Rimac Arena in La Jolla (San Diego), prior to her concert on April 4, 1997. She was playing "A Case Of You" by Joni Mitchell at the time.
Jewel would privately play around with the dulcimer periodically, occasionally practicing songs from Joni Mitchell's Blue album, but it would be another seven years before she would make a conscious effort to write with it. The ballad "Where You Are" would be the first result of those efforts.
This song was initially written during the last week of March 2004, during a rather lonely transitional time in Jewel's life, when she was re-evaluating her career path, as well as her personal relationships. Jewel's writing would become more overtly autobiographical during this time as she reflected on her life, including the pitfalls of fame, with the song "Goodbye Alice In Wonderland" being the most obvious example. In addition to being a heartstrung love song, the lyrics to "Where You Are" also convey the loneliness and isolation that often comes with fame ("I'm a princess and I'm locked inside this stone tower of song / I'm trying to write messages on the wind / god, how I just want to belong"). The song's dreamy melodic arrangement gave Jewel the opportunity to experiment vocally, singing many long vowels and opening up her voice in different ways than she had before.
"Where You Are" would get its public debut on April 6, 2004 at a concert in Charlotte, North Carolina, when Jewel had returned to touring solo acoustic. At the time it was tentatively titled "Choose Me" and she would perform it eight additional times over the course of the next several months. Although it wouldn't see official release for another two years (until her sixth album Goodbye Alice In Wonderland was released), the basic framework was in place by May of 2004, which is when her initial demo was recorded.
When she began working on her next album that summer with producer Ben Keith (longtime Neil Young cohort and producer on Pieces Of You), Jewel would bring "Where You Are" to the sessions. She first recorded a fully arranged studio version of it during those sessions (often referred to as the "Hollywood Hills Sessions"). Despite those sessions eventually being abandoned, Jewel would again pursue the song the following summer when coproducer Rob Cavallo came on board and the Goodbye Alice In Wonderland album sessions took place. The image of Jewel's hands at the top of this page as well as the never-before seen images below were all shot during those studio sessions.
"Where You Are" would finally be issued on May 2, 2006, when the album was released.
Following the release, Jewel only performed "Where You Are" before a live audience four additional times. All of these performances took place between May and September of 2006 and she hasn't performed it since. These later performances would all feature variations on the more elaborate studio arrangement and Jewel would be accompanied by her touring band. Her August 31st performance in Dallas would be captured by PBS for a SoundStage broadcast and was subsequently included on the DVD release Jewel: The Essential Live Songbook. Here we'll be featuring a recording of the debut band performance of the song, recorded three months prior, shortly after the Goodbye Alice In Wonderland album release. Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia on May 28, 2006, this rare live performance of "Where You Are" features Jewel on dulcimer and vocals, accompanied by Greg Suran and Peter Thorn on guitars, Jason Freese on keyboards (who has been recruited for numerous Jewel sessions since) and the rhythm section of Solomon Snyder on bass and drummer Dorian Crozier adding the percussion elements. In addition to this live recording, a pdf file of Jewel's handwritten lyrics are 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 free 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 [email protected] 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 Chastain Amphitheatre in Atlanta Georgia on May 28, 2006, enjoy the debut full band performance of "Where You Are" as this month's free Club EDA download. Alan