Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds 2017
Review by David Bowling
Eilen Jewel is as much historian as she is a blues musician. Her new album, Deep Hearted Blues, reaches back in time for songs by the famous; Willie Dixon and Memphis Minnie, and some who have been swallowed by the mists of time; Fiddlin John Carson.
She has taken a somewhat convoluted journey to releasing her first blues album. She has issued two albums of original material, recorded two gospel albums with the Gospel Shakers, and even recorded an album of Loretta Lynn covers.
Despite her search for the perfect blues material, she adds her own personal touches ranging from rockabilly to the twang of old-time surf music.
She has a wonderful soulful voice that traverses a number of keys. Every once in a while she comes close to jazz territory.
Three Willie Dixon songs form the heart of the album. “You’ll Be Mine,” “Crazy Mixed Up World,” and “You Know My Love” take on new textures curtesy of a modern day female blues approach. Minnie Lawler’s “Nothing In Rambling” is a unique take on a classic blues tune. Also of note is her resurrection of the old blues ditty “The Poor Girl’s Story” by the aforementioned Fiddlin John Carson.
Eilen Jewel continues her journey through American music with her blues laden Down Hearted Blues. It is a journey of surprises worth taking with her.