March 7, 2013

Jewel brings her 'Greatest Hits' to Portland

The singer, who grew up in Alaska and now lives in Texas, likes to experiment with different musical styles.

By Ray Routhier
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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For her “Greatest Hits” album, which was released Tuesday, Jewel re-recorded some of her best-known songs.

Courtesy photos

Jewel, InStyle, June 1, 2003
click image to enlarge



WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland

HOW MUCH: $41 to $108

INFO: 842-0800;

WHAT ELSE: Holly Williams opens

"It was because my label didn't have a relationship with country stations and they just wouldn't do it," said Jewel. "And the industry is still that way. They want to put you in very specific boxes, but I don't think fans experience music that way.

"Record labels are so far behind in how fans want to enjoy music. That's why the Internet snuck up on them. My advice to bands today is to do it the old-fashioned way: Build up a fanbase, make a cheap record. Then when you do have a chance to get signed, you'll have some leverage. Or you can get to the point where you can record independently."

Although she doesn't think her music fits neatly into a box -- pop, folk or country -- Jewel has made an effort in recent years to reach out to country radio stations and embrace country fans.

She recently did a new version of "You Were Meant for Me" with country star Miranda Lambert and The Pistol Annies that was slower and more "angsty" than the original.

"The country community is loud and proud, and they don't want someone coming to them under false pretenses," she said. "I didn't mind going out and introducing myself to the country stations. I don't feel like I'm entitled."

Born Jewel Kilcher, Jewel grew up in Homer, Alaska, in a house without indoor plumbing. She and her father earned some of their income by singing in local bars. As a teen, she studied music at an arts academy in Michigan, and soon began writing songs and touring the country.

She was discovered in California around 1994, and her debut album on Altantic Records, "Pieces of You," came out a year later, when she was 21. The CD became a smash hit, going platinum 12 times over and spawning three Top 20 hits: "Who Will Save Your Soul," "You Were Meant for Me" and "Foolish Games."

Although immediately bunched in with the sensitive female singer-songwriter genre of the mid-'90s, Jewel has preferred to experiment with different musical styles over her career, finding success each time. When she released her first country album in 2008, "Perfectly Clear," for example, it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country charts.

For her "Greatest Hits" album, just released on Tuesday, she re-recorded some of her best-known songs, including the aforementioned "You Were Meant for Me" and "Foolish Games" with Kelly Clarkson.

One thing that has not changed for Jewel during her career is the strength of her voice, which she says she does nothing special to take care of. She doesn't even limit the number of consecutive shows to give it a rest, as some performers might.

"I don't like to spread a tour out too long, so I'll do 18 shows in 18 days," said Jewel. "I never really do vocal warm-ups. Maybe it's because I sang in bars and did five-hour sets. I've just always been able to sing a lot."

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:


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