MILHEIM - Eilen Jewell, a native of Boise, Idaho, will be performing at 6 p.m. July 22 at Elk Creek Cafe, 100 W. Main St.
Jewell got her start at the early age of seven by taking up piano. At the age of 15, she began playing guitar, and then eventually began performing.
"I moved to New Mexico when I was 18 and started performing at the Santa Fe farmer's market. I've always been writing songs, ever since I can remember, but it wasn't until about 10 years ago that I started playing them in front of an audience," she said.
Eilen Jewell will perform at 6 p.m. July 22 at Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks, 100 W. Main St., Milheim.
Jewell's talents have taken her all over the world. When asked for a favorite venue to play, she has had so many experiences, it's hard for her to choose just one.
"That's a tough question," she said, " There are so many. I really love the Tractor Tavern in Seattle, the Iota in the D.C. area, Club Helsinki in upstate New York, the Egyptian Theater in my hometown of Boise, El Sol in Madrid, Bluesfest in Byron Bay, Australia ... "
Recently, Jewell's song "Everywhere I Go" from her 2009 album "Sea of Tears" has been featured in a T-Mobile commercial.
"It's a trip, quite honestly," she said. "While I'm creating my songs it's such a personal, solitary experience. I have a clear sense of what they mean to me and what I think they sound like. Then to see what those songs end up in the world, what they get paired with, who ends up liking them and how they affect people ... it's always surprising. You just never can tell where they're going to go. They have strange lives of their own."
Citing Loretta Lynn as one of her biggest influences, Jewell released an album of covers by Lynn titled, "Butcher Holler." Jewell listed Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Billie Holiday, Hank Williams and Bessie Smith as some of her other influences.
Jewell said that she describes her music differently depending on the day.
"The way I describe my music changes every day," she said. "Right now I'm thinking it sounds rock-country-noir. Something like that."
Jewell also likes to embrace the dark side with her lyrics.
"It's not necessarily easier for me to write about dark subjects, but I do tend to gravitate towards them. I usually prefer a song with some darkness to it. Happy songs often make the singer sound like they're bragging, in my opinion," Jewell said, "It's an aesthetic thing. Almost all of my songs are a mix of fact and fiction. They're stories from my life that I often blend with ideas and fragments I've picked up from other people."
Jewell's sound also is far from the modern pop artists that tend to dominate the radio today.
"I don't relate to most modern music at all," she said. "The only exceptions are songs by those artists who also have an older sound going on. I love music with deep roots and I just don't hear anything on today's mainstream radio that sounds like it's going to be around tomorrow."
For her performance at Elk Creek Cafe, Jewell will be accompanied by her band, upright bassist John Sciascia, electric guitarist Jerry Miller and drummer Jason Beek. "We tend to play a mix of songs from all of our various albums, including a few that haven't been recorded yet. No two shows of ours are exactly alike."
For more information about Jewell, visit www.eilenjewell.com.