Rickie Lee Jones The Other Side Of Desire

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Submitted by Don Graham

Hearing the name Rickie Lee Jones just makes me smile and my internal jukebox immediately starts playing the infectious intro to “ Chuck E.’s In Love.” And when I mention the name Rickie Lee Jones to most people of a certain age, the reaction is usually  always  “Wow, she was great, what is she up to?”

"She should make another record.' Well good news, she is still very active and she HAS made another record.

Her first recording in 10 years, The Other Side of Desire was released at the end of June and her first single from the album “ Jimmy Choos” is currently at radio. The whole album is a work of art from an iconic artist who is not resting on her laurels, not resting at all actually, but is creating new music derived from where she is now. The tracks are pocket oriented grooves with lyrics that speak to Jones’ current situation. She is living in New Orleans on Desire, across the street from the spot that Tennessee Williams made famous in his play, A Streetcar Named Desire. Hence the title of the album.

The inspiration of New Orleans is predominant on the record with songs like "Valse de Mon Pere (Lover's Oath)," featuring  her friend Louis Michot of the Lost Bayou Ramblers and the seasonal homage "Christmas in New Orleans" and the soulful  throwdown "J'ai Connais Pas."

Rickie Lee Jones and Director Gail HarveyRickie Lee Jones and Director Gail HarveyNew Orleans is also the city she lived in while writing 1981's Pirates. Next to Nashville, New Orleans is a town sonically identified in the fabric of Americana, The New Orleans sound, and Rickie Lee has carried that banner high on this album. Producer John Porter has allowed enough air and space to let this record breathe with the life that Jones created from a blank piece of paper and besides the masterful songs that freshness in the production is one of the highlights of the album.

The Crescent City is a perfect match for The Duchess of Coolsville.  Where she lives now is what used to be called the Upper 9th Ward which is where Fats Domino lived and by all reports still lives. The influence of Fats can be heard on the barrel house rolling piano on “J'ai Connais Pas.”

And it gets even better for the talented Rickie Lee Jones. Award winning Canadian filmmaker and director Gail Harvey has made a movie of the same name, The Other Side of Desire, which she filmed over the last year in New Orleans. “The whole process was really strange the way it unfolded,”  Harvey explained. “I heard Rickie Lee was coming to a local venue and remembered her back in the day and asked my daughter if she had ever heard of her. She hadn’t and I thought well, she has to see her. Then I realized I knew her manager Peter Wark and I contacted him. He hooked me up with some third row seats and I was blown away by the show, her energy and charisma. When Peter called me to see how I enjoyed the show I told how impressed I was and that I saw a film there. I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of film, there was just something magical about this woman. She ended up inviting me down to New Orleans and I showed up with my camera and just started filming. Rickie Lee Jones Photo Credit Credit David McClisterRickie Lee Jones Photo Credit Credit David McClisterThere was an instant connection, we both could feel it, and everything just fell into  place. Rickie Lee’s spiritualty and her openness was a key factor in the process and we related on so many levels. We are both about the same age so we grew up with similar values and ideals. She was so candid with me while filming her , so much like her new record, you get to see the real Rickie Lee Jones. Getting to go behind the scenes of her making her record will give the public a rare glimpse of that side of the business.”

The movie, The Other Side of Desire is an intimate portrait of the poet-musician. The film portrays Jones through extensive and intimate interviews, with footage of her at home, in the studio and on stage.It will be a must see when it is released.

Rickie Lee Jones brings her live show to Toronto on July 13th at The Danforth Music Hall. If you’re in the area make sure you get out to see The Duchess of Coolsville doing what she does best. You’ll be glad you did.

For more log on to www.rickieleejones.com

For more on the movie ‘Other Side of Desire’ www.gailharvey.ca