Singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones has been shouldering the burden of her massive hit-single, “Chuck E’s in Love,” for more than 30 years. But like so many popular music stars of the past, her career didn’t begin or end with one big hit. Jones moved on, releasing more than a dozen more albums with stronger material, even if it wasn’t Top 40-pop fodder. Those songs are every bit as good as her hits and Rickie’s loyal fans know that. That’s why in city after city on any yearly tour they show up to hear her songs and more.
That was the case in front of a nearly full house at the Swyer Theater at The Egg last Friday night. Jones still possesses that sweet girlish voice that everybody loves, but you know what? She is a mature singer-songwriter in her fifties with a full body of work. She performed without a set list and just introduced what song she had in her mind to play at that very moment with applause following nearly every choice.
Although advertised as a solo show, Jones was accompanied by Jeff Pevar, picking an electric hollow-body guitar, seamlessly blending in with Jones’ sparse and impressionistic guitar chords. Sometimes he strummed chords along with her voice, and at other times he wove intricate lead patterns around her vocal lines and rhythm guitar progressions.
For those not in the know, Rickie Lee Jones has been writing, playing and recording great songs all along – through all the years since Chuck E was in love and probably married and/or divorced since that song topped the charts in 1979. And for those who heard her perform last week at The Egg, it was a treat.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Michael Eck’s review at The Times Union
Excerpt from Brian McElhiney’s review at The Daily Gazette: “For close to two hours, Jones played some fine guitar and keyboard, but her set was unpredictable. Vocally, she was unfortunately a bit all over the place, at times straining for the right note and even mumbling to herself when seemingly forgetting words. She took a while starting up, meandering through ‘Satellites’ before hitting a strong groove on ‘Weasel and the White Boy’s Cool.’ Things stayed strong for a while – ‘It Must Be Love’ was one of the most affecting moments of the entire evening.”