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Ricki Lee Jones - Balm In Gilead

Balm In Gilead

Rickie Lee Jones

Available from Great Big Island.

A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mike Jurkovic

Has it really been thirty years since Chuck E.'s In Love? Can she still be as seismic as the beret-bearing belligerent behind On Saturday Afternoons In 1963, Easy Money, The Last Chance Texaco and Danny's All-Star Joint"? Even if we were to base our glorious affirmation solely on the combined strengths of Bonfires and the opening kicker Wild Girl yes, yes she can.

According to the PR, Balm In Gilead has been twenty years in the making. "this record is unique because it has threads from many, many years." Truthfully, it goes back further than that, as the jazzy and irrepressible The Moon Is Made of Gold written decades ago by Mr. Jones, Sr. moves effortlessly into the more recently written hymn His Jeweled Floor, wherein lush textures of layered RLJ vocals and instruments affirm that "…no one falls on His jeweled floor." The aforementioned Wild Girl originates from the benchmark '89 period of Flying Cowboys. Contemporary composition or not, House On Bayless St. evokes classic Rickie Lee.

As her voice remains as vulnerable, smart, and immediate as ever, Jones explores many emotional states, concluding that the past always follows us as we walk forward, thus giving Balm In Gilead a notable position in her storied musical timeline.

Track List:

  • Wild Girl
  • Old Enough
  • Remember Me
  • The Moon Is Made of Gold
  • His Jeweled Floor
  • Eucalyptus Trail
  • Blue Ghazel
  • The Gospel of Carlos, Norman and Smith
  • Bonfires
  • A House On Bayless St.
Produced by Rickie Lee Jones & David Tibet

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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