October 23rd, 2009 by A.G.J.
Two nights ago I went and heard Rickie Lee Jones in concert. Some of you who read this will not be familiar with her. Others will remember Chuck E.’s in Love. A few of you, though, may really understand when I write that she blew me away. Far, far away.
I’d gone by myself, even though I had another ticket. Something in me just knew that this experience would be deeply personal and being alone would be ideal. I sat in Row J seat 2 on the center aisle. When she started singing, something rose up inside me and I began to weep. I’m not exaggerating. Her music called me back to my college days in Vermont. I was pretty screwed up a bunch of the time, back then. I remember sitting in my room listening to her sing my soul. Literally. That’s what it feels like. Tears streaming down my face as I sing along with her. I am lost, confused, lonely and scared, but somehow less so because she’s giving voice to those feelings. And what a voice. She’s got this way that’s part singing, part speaking, where she gets so quiet. Just the thread of a whisper, but so clear. It unhinges me.
I said, Bird, we just gotta tell them, but they turn and ignore us. And the only heroes we got left are written right before us. And the only angel who sees us now watches through each other’s eyes…
I wasn’t raised with any real religion, but I hear the divine – I hear god – in her voice and lyrics. Her stuff is haunting, powerful, and truly remarkable. Rickie Lee Jones’ music meets me where I am, but it never leaves me there. She always moves me. Always.