Rickie Lee Jones: 'One Devil With One Guitar' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Rickie Lee Jones: 'One Devil With One Guitar'

It takes chutzpah to redo the kind of songs that get labeled as iconic, like The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," or "The Weight' by The Band, or Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." But Rickie Lee Jones has made a career out of surprising people. She takes on these iconic tracks fearlessly and never disappoints.

With Ben Harper as producer, Jones reinterpreted 10 tunes for her new album, The Devil You Know, that appear on many people's "Best Of" lists. She recently sat down with NPR's Scott Simon to discuss her newest project and life on the road. She also performs two songs from the new album.


Interview Highlights

On reinterpreting other artists' songs

"When I started out, there was this kind of glamour associated with singer-songwriterdom that wasn't being given to just singers. So I think [I recorded the album] partially to remind people that a singer is the one who interprets the song. And once you do that, it's yours. To me, it doesn't make it more mine because I wrote it; it comes alive in the heart and voice of some other interpreter."

Covering 'Sympathy' by The Rolling Stones

"I was invited to do a Rolling Stones tribute at Carnegie Hall. I had to think of a song, and I just started playing that on the acoustic guitar. It was clear that that part and that aspect of that song had never been explored — just raw, one devil with one guitar.

"It's kind of an evocation, and I do it by myself. It's a powerful, frightening, fun romp through the upper echelon of hell. Every time I do it so far, it's like acting — some other thing you can embody and wear the skin of another thing, and tell another kind of story than your own. I like it."

On her favorite part of the music business

"[It] must be when I'm on stage and I'm in the river of it. There's a little bit of fear, but it's not so much that it's fear — it's excitement. Sometimes I press that down. When I don't press that down and go ahead and be there in the surreal of it all and get taken up in [the audience], there's nothing like this. Maybe a reverend in a church, maybe it happens. I don't know, but it's pretty wondrous."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Remembering The Maryland Roots Of An American Gospel Legend

Rev. Charles Albert Tindley is considered one of the founding fathers of American Gospel Music, and at least one historian in Berlin, Maryland, would like to hear more about his Maryland roots.

NPR

Sweet Deal? Chocolatier Lindt Buys Russell Stover

The purchase would make the combined company the No. 3 chocolate maker in North America. The deal's value is estimated at around $1.5 billion.
WAMU 88.5

Maryland's Andy Harris Defends Move To Block D.C. Marijuana Bill

The Maryland Republican Congressman who moved to block a bill that would decriminalize marijuana in D.C. defended his actions and criticized the move to boycott businesses in his district, which includes popular tourist destination Ocean City.

NPR

Looking For Free Sperm, Women May Turn To Online Forums

Bypassing commercial sperm banks, thousands are logging on to websites where women can connect with men at no cost. Anecdotes abound, but the scope of the unregulated activity is unclear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.