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The Devil You Know

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Editors’ Notes

Rickie Lee Jones is no stranger to covering other people's songs. Girl at Her Volcano, Pop Pop, and It's Like This found the singer/songwriter backing off the writing desk and letting her expert phrasing and interpretive abilities run the table. The Devil You Know features Jones bending a number of classic rock songs to her will. Ben Harper produced the sessions, and Jones returns the favor by covering his "Masterpiece," alongside The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Play with Fire," Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," and The Band's "The Weight." These are slow, measured takes with an autumnal pull. The classic blues "St. James Infirmary" sounds like it's leaked from a nightclub, with upright bass and a tinkling piano providing the background and Jones letting loose with no interest in polishing the results. Songs were chosen with obvious care. Van Morrison's "Comfort You," Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe," and Donovan's "Catch the Wind" weep more than the younger Jones could have understood.

Customer Reviews

Listening is like riding a wild horse!

I've been a huge fan of RLJ since the very beginning when I was still in high school. And I have to admit that being a singer, I used to be disappointed that some of the music that RLJ produces, I couldn't sing along to. Then as I matured :-) I realized, there are more important things than singing along to your favorite artist. That's when I finally started to realize and appreciate her as an artist, a poet … even a sculptor of sorts! She can create the most detailed, colorful, textural scenes in her music by combining sounds, phrases, even individual words into the most saturated scenes you can imagine. Even if you're not sure of the meaning of the words or phrases she's singing, you still are left with a very clear image of what she is trying to say. Or the question she is asking. Then she turns around and amazes you even more by taking some long-established standards and sculpting them into her own. When I first listen to one of RLJ's new releases, it's like getting on a horse you've never been on, wrapping your arms around the neck and burying your head in the mane and letting it go. You're never sure where it's going to take you, but you are always better for have taken the journey!

One of a kind!

In the known universe, there is only one Rickie Lee Jones. A voice like an angel, a devilish attitude, while listening you'll travel to places yet unknown...

Wake Up!

I've been an RLJ fan since her first album, and I usually enjoy her covers. But, jeez, will someone please give Rickie Lee a cup of coffee before she records again? These versions are like aural chloroform. I love her voice, but man, there's such a thing as being TOO laid back - which RJL proves on this recording.

Biography

Born: November 8, 1954 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Once touted as the natural successor to Joni Mitchell, singer/songwriter Rickie Lee Jones proved no less idiosyncratic or mercurial; like Mitchell, Jones experienced significant commercial success at the outset of her career, but a restless creative spirit — combined with a stubborn refusal to fit comfortably into...
Full Bio