- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 16, 2002

Folk singer Jewel enjoys performing for her fans, but she also likes to steal a quiet moment whenever possible. "I like to be still. I write better when I'm still," says the 28-year-old singer-songwriter, who performs at DAR Constitution Hall tomorrow as part of her "New Wild West Solo Acoustic Tour."
One of her favorite things about performing is being in touch with the audience.
"The road is constant motion, constant movement, constant stimulation. But the joy is the show. The two hours you are on stage makes it all seem really worthwhile," says Jewel, adding that she is accountable to people in a unique way when she appears on stage.
Touring, on the other hand, allows her to sample the cultural climate throughout the world. Jewel began her 2002 world tour with a series of Asian dates in late March and early April, followed by a swing across Europe, including two nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. She then kicked off her eagerly awaited North American tour, "This Way," in mid-June finishing at the end of July.
Throughout her travels, Jewel says, she has learned that most of the solutions to life's problems come through finding middle ground. She illustrates this through the song "Jesus Loves You" on her newest album, "This Way," which cautions against extremes.
"When it starts to be extreme on either side, you're part of the same coin, just a different side of it," Jewel says. "If you're extremely liberal or extremely conservative, it starts looking the same. You start meeting in sort of a circle."
However, Jewel has strong opinions on many topics, such as the importance of artistic development. In order to support up-and-coming talent, she founded Soul City Cafe, (www.soulcitycafe.com) a multifaceted program designed to encourage new artists in a variety of media.
"An artist has to be allowed to develop at their own rate and their own learning curve and that can't be forced," she says. "That's why on my first record I did a folk record, and I didn't let a huge producer come in and lend me all his expertise and pop sensibility."
While recording "This Way," Jewel took on the role of producing for the first time in her musical career. She says this was difficult for her because she was raised on stage, not inside a studio. To tackle the project, she enlisted the assistance of producer Dan Huff, with the understanding that she planned on making at least half of the decisions.
"The trend with producers is that they are the artists, and the singer or the entertainer is the canvas they work on," she says. "I had to find a producer that wasn't part of that modern trend I had to make it clear to Dan that I didn't just want the credit. I meant I'm going to co-produce the record."
In addition to recording and performing, Jewel says she plans to continue to write poetry and look for acting opportunities. Her poetry books include "A Night Without Armor" and "Chasing Down the Dawn." In 1999, Jewel made her acting debut in Ang Lee's Civil War drama, "Ride With The Devil."
"I don't see why I should settle anywhere," she says. "A farmer has to rotate his crop because the soil gets depleted, and I find art [to be] the same way. If I was just songwriting the whole time, where do I draw from? I find if I mix it up, I have more to draw from. The soil is more fertile so to speak."

WHO: Jewel
WHAT: "New Wild West, Solo Acoustic Tour"
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. tomorrow
WHERE: DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. Northwest

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide