Singers Rickie Lee Jones And Madeleine Peyroux On The Road Together

Mar 1, 2017

Singers Rickie Lee Jones (@RickieLeeJones) and Madeleine Peyroux (@mpeyrouxmusic) have individually built up devoted followings over the years. Jones has won two Grammy awards, and Peyroux’s voice has drawn comparisons to Billie Holiday.

Here & Now’s Eric Westervelt (@Ericnpr) talks with the two singers, who will head out on tour together this month.

Interview Highlights

On the decision to cover Dave Essex’s “Rock On”

Rickie Lee Jones: “I chose ‘Rock On’ because of the line, ‘Where do we go from here?’ Because I wanted to make a film about women’s rights and the rise of women and the resistance to oppression, and so the song seemed like a chance … to rock a little bit and then make a video that had a message.”

Madeleine Peyroux: “The soundbites and the recording are really great because I think our heads are constantly echoing with the news and with soundbites, and maybe facing that a little bit is quite freeing and soothing. And of course I love hearing Rickie sing those lyrics.”

[Youtube]

On New Orleans as inspiration

Jones: “I’m excited by the things I see and hear. There are parades today — there always parades, there are incredible-looking people everywhere and music is everywhere. It’s in a concentrated area — you don’t have to drive more than 15 minutes. I write all the time, I’m always recording an idea into my phone, but will it end up being developed into a song? I don’t know. But I’m happy. I’m happy here.”

Peyroux on her ‘secular hymns’

“I think of the music that I play, and maybe more so recently, I think of it in those terms. I think of it as being a part of what I live by and what I think about and defines a lot about my life. And in a way maybe that’s why it’s also like a hymn, because if you’re gonna pray — I’ve thought about this not having grown up in any church atmosphere — I’ve wondered about what music means when it’s in the church, there’s so much music in the church. If somebody’s singing, how much do we have to worry about the the prayer aspect of the music, and how much are we just actually living music? And what’s the — to me — what’s the difference? That’s a different discussion, but I don’t really know that there is a way to break between the secular aspect of music and the spiritual aspect of music. Of course, intention, obviously, but then beyond that how do you know?”

Array

On what Peyroux and Jones want to learn from one another on tour

Peyroux: “I’m sure I will be enjoying watching Rickie work. And I think I’ll probably learn more than I ever had a chance to.”

Jones: “I think sharing this holy night, because that’s what it is, playing music for people. It’s very taxing, very emotional, very holy. and sharing that bill with somebody is a really big deal. I’m looking forward to having a really good time. Women can be catty and competitive, and I don’t feel anything like that happening.”

Array

Tour Dates
  • 03/01 – Montreal, Canada – Theatre Maisonneuve
  • 03/02 – Boston, MA – The Wilbur
  • 03/03 – Collingswood, NJ – Scottish Rite Auditorium
  • 03/04 – New York, NY – Town Hall
  • 03/06 – Morristown, NJ – Mayo Center for the Performing Arts
  • 03/07 – Bethesda, MD – Bethesda Blues & Jazz
  • 03/09 – Greenville, SC – Peace Center
  • 03/10 – Charleston, SC – The Charleston Gailard Center
  • 03/11 – Clearwater, FL – Capitol
  • 03/12 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
  • 03/14 – Dallas, TX – Majestic Theatre Dallas
  • 03/16 – Tucson, AZ – Fox Theater
  • 03/17 – Santa Barbara, CA – Arlington Theatre
  • 03/18 – Los Angeles, CA – Luckman Fine Arts Center
  • 03/19 – San Francisco, CA – Kanbar Hall – Jewish Community Center
  • 03/21 – Victoria, Canada – Royal Theatre
  • 03/22 – Seattle, WA – Neptune
  • 03/24 – Lincoln, NE – Rococo Theatre
  • 03/25 – Aurora, IL – Paramount Theatre
  • 03/28 – Burnsville, MN – Ames Center
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.