"It's a simple, surprising record," says Rickie Lee Jones of The Devil You Know, her sophomore recording for Concord Records, slated for release September 18th, 2012. Produced by songwriter (and longtime fan) Ben Harper, The Devil You Know turns Jones' focus to the rock & roll masterworks that shaped a generation, including the Rolling Stones’ "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Play With Fire", Neil Young’s "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", and The Band’s "The Weight".
“Sympathy for the Devil” Premiering Today on Rolling Stone
"This record takes me to a new place in my work, my art," says Jones. “I’ve found another voice; it’s a quieter one, older, perhaps, but more likely younger than I’ve ever been. These songs were recorded with care and impulse. They deserve that.”
Jones brings an exploratory bravery to the desolation of the New Orleans lament “St. James Infirmary,” the solace of Van Morrison’s “Comfort You” and the longing of Donavan Leitch’s “Catch The Wind” to name just a few. Though these songs are burned deeply into our brains, Jones - who plays piano, guitar and percussion and is accompanied by Harper on nearly every track - peels them back with spare, intimate arrangements, uncovering layers of emotions that feel both familiar and new. Album producer Ben Harper, who first collaborated with Rickie on her 2009 album Balm in Gilead, contributes his new song “Masterpiece”, a ballad he could only picture Rickie singing.
Some singers might be intimidated by the enormity of this material but Rickie Lee Jones has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona; and though one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of our time, interpretive singing has long been part of Jones’s arsenal. Such previous collections as Girl at Her Volcano (1983), Pop Pop (1991), and It’s Like This (2000) have illustrated the fresh and inimitable feel that she has for classic American compositions. She won a Grammy for both her sly duet with Dr. John on the naughty-but-nice standard “Makin’ Whoopee” and was nominated for her version of “Autumn Leaves” with Rob Wasserman.
"The songs on this album are the picture, the voice is the story,” says Jones. “For those who will be marked by their lives, they are the ones music is for.”