JEWEL KILCHER AT THE 1997 GRAMMY AWARDS





Jewel Kilcher FAQ

Table of Contents

  1. Biography
    1. The Very Early Years
    2. The Rest
  2. Random Questions
    1. Is Jewel her real name?
    2. Didn't I hear something about Jewel living in Hawaii too?
    3. Jewel plays Dorothy?
    4. Jewel and Sean Penn?
    5. Influences
    6. Who has Jewel toured with?
    7. Are Jewel's songs based on personal experiences?
    8. Is the song Little Sister about Jewel's sister?
    9. Is the song Daddy about Jewel's father?
    10. How about Nikos?
    11. Was/is Jewel really a Mormon?
    12. Does she actually yodel too?
    13. Unofficial recordings?
    14. Jewel on the net
    15. Does Jewel tour much?
    16. News of new albums?
    17. What were the early Inner Change shows like?
    18. How long has Jewel been writing songs? poetry?
  3. Discography
    1. Saint Doug: 91X Alternative Sample
    2. Pieces of You (1994, Atlantic Records)
    3. Save the Linoleum (promo disc)
    4. Shiva Diva Doo Wop ("official" bootleg)
    5. Who Will Save Your Soul (radio promo)
    6. Who Will Save Your Soul w/ Interview
    7. Phylis Barnabee Gets a Bra (promo disc)
    8. You Were Meant For Me (radio promo)
    9. Spew+ Enhanced CD
    10. Spew vs. Spew: the remixes
    11. Spew 8
    12. Who Will Save Your Soul new release
    13. You Were Meant For Me (radio promo) new release
    14. Knock Out 2 (compilation CD from Out magazine)
  4. Other tidbits
  5. Websites

Jewel - A Quick Biography

The Very Early Years

Jewel was born May 23, 1974.

The Rest

She was raised on an 800-acre homestead in Homer, Alaska. Since the age of five she has been performing, starting out with her parents doing numbers for tourists, in Eskimo villages, etc. Her junior and senior years of high school were spent at Interlochen Fine Arts Academy in Michigan. This is an expensive private school, and 70% of Jewel's tuition was paid for by a vocal scholarship. She thought she'd be going to sing the blues, but they had her sing opera instead. The remainder of the expenses were raised at what turned out to be Jewel's first solo concert. The citizens of Homer were supportive enough to cover the rest of the first year tuition, and summer jobs filled the gap the next year.

After high school, Jewel came to San Diego to stay with her mom. After a brief sojourn to Colorado, she returned to San Diego, which she now calls home. She worked a variety of jobs including waitressing, but generally lost them when her interest in chatting with the customers surpassed her desire to do the actual job. Eventually she decided that working unfulfilling dead-end jobs was an unbearable way to live. She moved into her VW van, and with lots of peanut butter, carrot sticks, and a guitar, settled down to write songs. She soon started performing to sparse crowds at a coffeehouse in Pacific Beach called the Inner Change. (This was probably early 1993 by now.) Word started to spread, and soon she had a regular Thursday night spot and an ever growing audience. Her name began to show up in the local press and she nabbed a few choice opening spots. She took an extended trip back to Homer at the end of the year, and things really took off when she returned in early 1994.

At the start of the year, the coffeehouse was roughly 60% full, and a mere $3 got you a 3-4 hour set of original material, with the only exception being an occasional cover of Tracy Chapman's "Behind the Wall". Always a prolific, versatile songwriter, Jewel regularly debuted a handful of new songs at each show. These shows were a hotbed of local acoustic talent, and Jewel was regularly joined by frequent collaborator Steve Poltz (lead singer of the Rugburns). Fellow Rugburns Rob Driscoll and Gregory Page also joined them, as well as other local musicians including Joy Eden Harrison and Byron Nash. Everyone who saw her must have told five friends, since each week the crowd continued to grow. Soon, people were being turned away, while a few hardy souls could be seen staring through the large windows at the packed house inside.

Around this time, the news of the young (19!) singer had gotten to L.A., and record executives started driving down to sleepy San Diego to catch the shows. They immediately recognized the quality of what they were seeing, and soon the limos were directed towards Jewel's van/home. After a brief courtship, she was signed to Atlantic Records, and started making the trek up to L.A. looking for producers and musicians to record with. The advance on the record enabled Jewel to rent a house with her mother, a new car (a used Volvo) and a new guitar (a steal due to an imperfection in the finish).

All this added exposure continued to draw crowds to the Inner Change, which first added a second show, and then upped the admission price to $5. By this time, Jewel had written over a hundred songs. On July 28 and 29, 1994, a sound crew descended on the Inner Change to record 4 sets of Jewel on her home stomping grounds. All the live recordings on Pieces of You come from those two sessions. (Notably absent is a brilliant bongo accompanied version of Sometimes It Be That Way. Maybe someone can steal that tape from Atlantic's archives?)

By this time, Jewel had outgrown the tiny Inner Change and began looking for larger venues to play in. She ended up doing two shows at the Wikiup Cafe in Hillcrest. A whirlwind of activity followed in preperation for the release of Jewel's first album. This included a series of residency tours where she would play four different coffee shops in four different cities for four weeks, building up a fan base much like she did in San Diego.

Jewel's first album, Pieces of You, was released February 28, 1995. A CD Release Party was held at the Hahn Cosmopolitan Theater in her adopted hometown of San Diego. It consisted of two sold out performances. A review of the performance is available on Jewel's Unofficial Home page at: http://www.cs.mun.ca/~colins/jewel.html

Random Questions:

Is Jewel her real name?

Yes, her full name is Jewel Kilcher. She has no middle name.

Didn't I hear something about Jewel living in Hawaii too?

OK, so we skipped that. When Jewel was 12 she convinced her parents to let her "see more of the world" by spending some time with an aunt in Hawaii. Needless to say, the blond Alaskan was quite an anomaly in Hawaii, but Jewel yodeled her way out of any playground disagreements. She was there for a few months and then returned to stay with her mother in Anchorage, Alaska.

What's this about Jewel playing Dorothy?

Jewel was selected to play the role of Dorothy in a benefit production of The Wizard of Oz, held in New York on November 5th, and first airing on TNT November 22. Other performers included Debra Winger as the Wicked Witch, Jackson Brown as the Scarecrow, Roger Daltry as the Tin Man, Nathan Lane as the Cowardly Lion, Natalie Cole as Glinda the Good Witch, Joel Grey as the Wizard, and Luci Arnaz as Auntie Em. Other guests included Phoebe Snow, Ronnie Spector, David Sanborn, and Ry Cooder. The event benefits the Children's Defense Fund. A video and CD of the event are to be released.

Is Jewel romantically linked with Sean Penn?

Despite rumors to the contrary, Jewel says they're just friends. They met when Sean wanted her to write a song for his movie Crossing Guard. Sean has been quoted as calling her "the next Bob Dylan," and first found out about Jewel when she first appeared on the Conan O'Brian show. Jewel has remarked how she appreciates fans that are not rumor mongers, so we'll leave her personal life at that.

What are Jewel's musical influences:

Jewel's musical tastes are varied and her influences broad. Notable influences include Ella Fitzgerald, John Prine, Tracy Chapman, Yma Sumac and San Diego-based band The Rugburns (whose lead vocalist Steve Poltz co-wrote several songs with Jewel, two of which, Adrian and You Were Meant for Me, appear on Pieces of You). At various times, Jewel has mentioned the poet Pablo Naruda, Dr. Seuss, and classical philosophers.

Who has Jewel toured with?

Jewel has toured for many different artists, including:
  • Many San Diego artists including The Rugburns, Joy Eden Harrison, Byron Nash, Gregory Page, and Steve Harris
  • Iris DeMent
  • The Story
  • Jeff Buckley
  • Liz Phair
  • Bob Dylan
  • Peter Murphy
  • The Beach Boys
  • Deep Blue Something
  • Catherine Wheel
  • Belly
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • John Hiatt
  • Edwin McCain
  • and the list keeps growing...

Are Jewel's songs based on personal experiences?

Some of the songs were inspired by events in her life, and others contain personal tidbits. Many of the songs obviously can't possibly be about her life, and appear to be based on other's lives and her own imagination.

Is the song Little Sister about Jewel's sister?

No, Jewel doesn't have a little sister. She wrote it about a friend's little brother, but didn't want to embarass him.

Is the song Daddy about Jewel's father?

No, Jewel wrote it for a man she knew as a child who wouldn't let his children watch black people on television, and always wondered what kind of effect this had on them.

How about Nikos?

Nikos actually is a true story. Jewel calls it her most autobiographical song to date.

Was/is Jewel really a Mormon?

According to Jewel, she was raised a Mormon until the age of 8.

Does she actually yodel too?

Jewel yodeling is a breathtaking sight. Live she frequently sings a rocked up version of a yodeling song she knew as a child - "Chime Bells". At first it's entertaining to hear yodeling mixed into a song, but as she repeatedly picks up the pace, yodeling at speeds faster than I'd have thought possible, the audience is always left slackjawed or cheering. Maybe this will get officially released some day. On the original release, Jewel avoided novelty or funny songs to avoid being pegged as "the girl who yodels" or "the girl with the cute race car song".

Where are all these songs coming from? I thought she only had one album?

There are many concert tapes floating around. As a rough guess, at least 150 different songs have been captured by fans.

Is Jewel on the net? What's up with this address in the Pieces of You disc?

Pieces of You has the address JewelJK@aol.com listed in it. Jewel does get mail sent to that address, but your chances of getting a response are very slim. Generally, the mail is printed out and sent to Jewel wherever she is on the road. She enjoys getting mail, but is generally a poor correspondent "I don't even write to my father", she claimed. Jewel also told her mom that when it comes to choosing between writing fan mail and writing songs there's no contest!

However, the Jewel list is privileged to have a direct contact with Jewel's management. "Hiranya" is a name chosen by Jewel's manager and mom, Lenedra, and a person who serves as a volunteer but doesn't want to be identified because she doesnt want to become swamped or famous! The name "Hiranya" is Sanskrit and refers to the information about our original purpose, or why we came here. Hiranya is a list member and passes certain information on to Jewel and Lenedra for clarification. She also posts schedule and press information. Whenever the source is Hiranya, the information can be relied on to be as accurate as possible, and is always checked with Lenedra before posting. Hiranya seldom replies to personal mail from list because the volume could become overwhelming.

Does Jewel tour much?

Jewel toured throughout 1995 for Pieces of You and into 1996, doing residency tours the first 3 months of the year, playing at various music festivals, doing her own performances, and touring extensive tours with Peter Murphy, and Catherine Wheel and Belly. Although she's crossed the U.S. and played in Vancouver and Toronto, she's yet to tour Europe.

News of new albums?

Jewel is reported going into the studio in March to begin work on the next album.

What were the early Inner Change shows like?

Jewel's early performances were quite unlike her shows now. The later shows were so packed that she often had to walk across thetables to get up to the stage. Lacking the professional polish she's now acquiring, she often rambled off stories and spent quite a large amount of time tuning her guitar (and flaring her nostrils) between songs. Her set lists were often improvised and filled primarily by requests. She inevitably forgot to bring a pick, and when someone from the audience offered her one, she'd complain that it was either too thick or too thin. When anyone would get up to leave (or go to the bathroom), she'd ask "Are you leaving?" and if so, have everyone in the audience say goodbye. She'd play long sets--often up to 3-4 hours, debuting songs she'd just written and stumbling through the lyrics or making them up as she went along. She also inevitably drank water from a large jug, while making jokes about someday receiving a corporate sponsorship from a water company. (She still found it unreal that people had to pay for good drinking water). She ended every show by saying "Remember to blah blah blah blah and always get perfect moments stuck between your teeth."

As the crowds appreciation grew, so did the length of the applause, and Jewel would often blush and say "Stop it, you're embarassing me!" After the show, Jewel would rush to the door, and shake everyone's hand and thank them for coming.

How long has Jewel been writing songs? poetry?

Jewel didn't start writing songs until she was 17, however she has always used writing as an outlet. She's been writing poetry since she was little. The oldest song on Pieces of You is "Don't", which is the fifth song she ever wrote. "I'm Sensitive" was the last song written for the album.

Discography:

1. Saint Doug: 91X Alternative Sample

Jewel's first officially released recording--acoustic version of Angel Needs a Ride released on a San Diego radio station's sampler with other local bands. This disc has no release date on it, but it came out in conjunction with, and shortly after, the 1994 May Day Festival. Jewel is already credited as being on Atlantic here. Also contains a track from the Rugburns first album. It's very much on the harder edge side, with Jewel, the Rugburns and Gregory Page being the only accoustic entries.

2. Pieces of You (1994, Atlantic Records)

Debut Atlantic recording consisting of studio recordings and live recordings recorded at the Inner Change in San Diego.

Track listing:

  1. Who Will Save Your Soul
  2. Pieces Of You
  3. Little Sister
  4. Foolish Games
  5. Near You Always
  6. Painters
  7. Morning Song
  8. Adrian (written with Steve Poltz)
  9. I'm Sensitive
  10. You Were Meant For Me (with Steve Poltz)
  11. Don't
  12. Daddy
  13. Angel Standing By
  14. Amen

3. Save the Linoleum:

A promotional release from Atlantic featuring:
  1. God's Gift To Women
  2. Intro
  3. I'm Senstive (Live Version)
  4. Who Will Save Your Soul (LP Version)
  5. Race Car Driver
  6. Flower
  7. I'm Sensitive (LP Version)

4. Shiva Diva Doo Wop:

An "official" bootleg recording Jewel distributed herself prior to her album being released. The cover is an excellent sketch by Jewel. Available on cassette only. Only a limited number of these were made, are are most likely no longer available.

Contains:

  1. 1,000 Miles Away
  2. She Cries
  3. Painters
  4. My Own Private God's Gift to Women

5. Who Will Save Your Soul.

A radio promo with two album tracks:
  1. Who Will Save Your Soul
  2. I'm Sensitive

6. Who Will Save Your Soul w/ Interview.

A radio promo with two tracks:
  1. Who Will Save Your Soul
  2. Interview with Mike Halloran of 91X

7. Phyllis Barnaby Finally Gets a Bra (Promo) PRCD 6412-2

A promotional release from Atlantic featuring:
  1. You Were Meant For Me
  2. Cold Song
  3. Rocker Girl
  4. Emily

8. You Were Meant for Me (Promo)

Atlantic PRCD 6496
Another promotional release from Atlantic featuring:
  1. You Were Meant for Me (new version)
It only has the new version of the song and no front or back inlay... There is a sticker that covers the front that says "JEWEL Specially produced by Juan Patino"

9. Spew+ Enhanced CD

Atlantic 82844-2
Spew+ is an enhanced cd (they call it a "digizine"). It'll run on MacOS or Windows or you can just play the music in your cd player. It has videos for each track along with samples of other songs by the artists and various pictures, biographical info and other stuff.

Track Listing:

  1. Can't Wait One Minute More-Civ
  2. Smashing Young Man-Collective Soul
  3. I'm Sensitive - Jewel
  4. Send Away - Dragmules
  5. Groovy Dead - Rusty
  6. Any Sense Of Time - The Inbreds
  7. Rhyme Stealer - Sugar Ray
  8. Good Person Inside - Jill Sobule
  9. 1944 Stomp - James Carter

System Requirements: A 2x CD-ROM drive and...

  • MacOS 7.1 or later/ 68040 processor (or PowerPC) 8MB RAM, 2MB free on HD, 13" color monitor (256 colors).
  • Windows 3.1 or later, 486DX2/66 8MB RAM, 2MB free on HD, 8 Bit Sound Blaster compatible, 640x480x256 colors.

10. Spew vs. Spew: the remixes

Atlantic PRCD 6531-2
Track Listing:
  1. Pizzicato Five "Happy Sad"
  2. Machines of Loving Grace "Richest Junkie Still Alive"
  3. POE "Trigger Happy Jack (Drive By A Go-Go)"
  4. B-Tribe "Nanita (A Spanish Lullaby)"
  5. Everything But The Girl "Missing"
  6. The Bucketheads "The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)"
  7. Waterdog "Can't Let Go"
  8. Jewel "You Were Meant For Me" (New Mix) (3:13)
  9. CIV "Can't Wait One Minute More"
  10. POE "Hello"
  11. Banco De Gaia "Last Train To Lhasa"

11. Spew 8

Atlantic PRCD 6080-2
Track listing:
  1. Collective Soul "Gel"
  2. Juliana Hatfield "Universal Heart-Beat"
  3. Page/Plant "Wonderful One"
  4. Bad Religion "Infected"
  5. Victoria Williams "You R Loved"
  6. Jewel "Who Will Save Your Soul" (4:00)
  7. Samiam "Stepson"
  8. Grant McLennan "Lightning Fever"
  9. Jill Sobule "Karen By Night"
  10. Mary Karlzen "I'd Be Lying"
  11. Tom Jones "Are You Gonna Go My Way?"
  12. Fun^Da^Mental "Dog Tribe (Radio Edit)"
  13. Melvins "Revolve"
  14. Pantera "Cemetery Gates"
  15. The Tragically Hip "Fire In The Hole"
  16. Stone Temple Pilots "Dancing Days"

WWSYS is the usual album version. This was apparently released in early 1995 -- with the warning "Licensed for promotion only - sale is prohibited". The disc comes in a cardboard sleeve with an insert describing all of the artists on the disc.

Here's what the liner notes say about Jewel:

Newcomer Jewel Kilcher's startling debut, "Pieces Of You", is full of shining contradictions. Innocent, yet full of knowing experience. Definitely one to watch.

12. "Who Will Save Your Soul" [PRCD 6585] (album version)

--- this was rereleased to radio stations with the cover sticker:
As Seen On:
"The Conan O'Brien Show" and "CBS This Morning"
Other TV Appearances Include:
TNT's "The Wizard Of Oz" and VH-1's "Duets With Melissa Etheridge"

13. "You Were Meant For Me" [PRCD 6605]

Track listing:
  1. Remix - 3:13 (Juan Patino version)
  2. Album Version - 4:13
  3. Acoustic Version - 3:38
#3 is apparently from a radio show (which one I don't know) --
It's a duet with Steve Poltz (of the Rugburns) -- this is a great version!
--- this was released with a cover sticker:
See Jewel on TV!!
11/22 on TNT as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz"
11/22 with Melissa Etheridge on VH-1's "Duets" show
11/28 performing "You Were Meant For Me" on NBC's "Late Show with Conan O'Brien"
T.B.S. "Entertainment Tonight"

14. Knock Out 2 (compilation CD from Out magazine)

contains JEWEL "Women's Song" non-LP cut from the Atlantic album PIECES OF YOU (82700)
This track is commonly referred to as "Dance Between Two Women"
Also on this compilation are some pretty good tracks from francis dunnery, bruce roberts and kd lang, gypsy kings, and melissa ferrick.
All Atlantic promo material (You Were Meant for Me, Save the Linoleum, and Who WIll Save Your Soul), are unavailable. You can't order them, can't buy them. However, they do tend to turn up in used CD shops on occassion, so keep your eye out.

Other tidbits:

Websites:

Here are a few that will get you started. Naturally, the fans do it best. The record company has a lame, never updated page with a few pictures and an old schedule, while the fans give you lots of pix, reviews, stories, lyrics, audio clips, other links and more.

This FAQ was written by Neal Copperman and Jeff Hanson, converted to HTML by Aaron Walker.




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