Rickie Lee Jones The Devil You Know

STORY BY Holly Ramos

Published: June 4, 2013

Truly cool music

I was a kid when Rickie Lee Jones made her debut with Chuck E.’s in Love. She was everywhere I looked- all over FM radio, the Grammy’s, the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, I remember the album cover so well, her healthy young beautiful face, long hair, full lips and beret. In April of 1979 she was on Saturday Night Live, which was the bible to me in grammar school.  Rickie was in my face all the time, because I was into rock and roll and we would scrounge it up where ever we could back in the prehistoric era, when Don Kirshner’s Rock concert was considered a legitimate source to check out good new music. Ah the good old days.

They say that junior high is a very interesting time in terms of a young person’s brain. It is a crazy time of crashing hormones and feeling completely misunderstood, but also a wildly open time where a brain is impressionable, curious, vast and beautiful. Ah the good old days. But sadly for me, I suppose, by 198o me and Rickie’s paths had diverged, as I was more single-mindedly into punk and new wave and had little room left for the jazzy blues and folk of her first record.

I am embarrassed to say that while I did run into Rickie at a kid’s birthday party in Los Angeles (and she was lovely), I really had not followed her music or career since her Saturday Night Live appearance.

Then late last year there I was, driving along, wind blowing back my hair, when I heard this amazing voice coming out of my car radio. NPR was interviewing someone and I was furiously trying to place what exactly I was listening to, a habit I have that indicates that something revolutionary is being played. Oh man, some one made a cover record and the bits they were playing during the interview were blowing my mind. “Sympathy for the Devil” sounded fantastic, “Seems Like a Long Time” the Rod Stewart song, made me start to ache, and then, so daring, another Rod Stewart cover, “Reason to Believe,” brought tears to my eyes. Finally they mentioned that is was Rickie Lee Jones that they were playing and I was stunned. I was sold.

I bought the new cd of covers The Devil You Know. Then I went to see her. She was one of the best performers I have ever seen. She made every song interesting, even ones I had never heard before. Her voice is so young and fresh and yet so wise and rough. She held the audience in the palm of her hand for two hours. There I was in the moment and in awe.

Rickie Lee Jones is still touring this fantastic album, it’s what she does. Go check her out when she comes through your beautiful town.


The Devil You Know on Concorde Records


Other Stories by Holly Ramos
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