Eilen Jewell w/ Nick Delffs @ Tractor Tavern
October 27, 2023
“They say things have to get worse before they can get better,” Eilen Jewell reflects. “And for a while there, everything got worse.”
Indeed, in the span of just a few months, Jewell watched as her marriage, her band, and what felt like her entire career fell apart in a series of spectacular, heartbreaking implosions. By the time the dust had finally settled, the critically acclaimed singer and songwriter was grieving and shocked, living in a remote cabin in the mountains and unsure if she’d ever get to make music again.
“Up to that point, I’d just been going with the flow and letting outside forces dictate the path of my life,” Jewell explains. “Losing so much so fast forced me to figure out what really mattered. It made me realize that I’ve only got this one life, and I’d better get behind the wheel if I want to make the most of it.”
With Get Behind The Wheel, her ninth studio album, Jewell does precisely that, planting herself firmly in the driver’s seat as she picks up the pieces and finds new purpose and meaning in the process. Co-produced by multi-instrumental wizard Will Kimbrough (Todd Snider, Hayes Carll), the collection pushes Jewell’s trademark blend of vintage roots-noir into more psychedelic territory, with spacious, cinematic arrangements complementing her revelatory explorations of grief, loss, resilience, and redemption. The band’s performances are truly electrifying here, blending elements of early rock and rockabilly with old school country and soul, and Jewell’s delivery is timeless to match, her voice effortlessly moving from unguarded intimacy to icy cool and back, sometimes within the very same song. The result is Jewell’s boldest album yet, a powerful work of artistic alchemy that transforms heartache into genuine creative rebirth.