Eilen Jewell Shares Her Journey To Purpose And Meaning On Expansive New Album Get Behind The Wheel

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Sunday, March 5, 2023

“They say things have to get worse before they can get better,” Idaho-born songwriter Eilen Jewell reflects on the last few years of her life. “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 recording artist was grieving and shocked, living in a remote cabin in the mountains and unsure if she’d ever get to make music again. Fortunately for all involved, especially fans of Jewell’s music, she took her time to regroup, recenter, and set off to live a renewed life—including making a new album—by dictating her own path forward.

With Get Behind The Wheel, her ninth studio album—out on May 5th via Signature Sounds—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, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell), 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. Today, Jewell shared the first song from Get Behind The Wheel, the twisting and turning “Crooked River.”

“When the pandemic hit and my life fell apart, I spent a lot of time in the mountains of Idaho trying not to spin out too much,” says Jewell. She took to a guidebook of local hiking trails, exploring them one by one just for something to do. “On my way to most of the trailheads, I would pass a sign for Crooked River,” she recalls. “Something about that name kept calling to me, so I stopped and got out, and it became one of my favorite spots.” The song “Crooked River” was born from the long and arduous path that the river’s name evokes, becoming a symbol of Jewell’s personal trials and, ultimately, the salvation found in the company of her outdoor getaway. Her ode culminates in the song’s pleading refrain: “Wash my hands, wash my sins / Let me shiver in your ruthless wind / Take me down, take me in / Oh, you Crooked River”

Fans can stream or purchase “Crooked River” today at this link and pre-order or pre-save Get Behind The Wheel ahead of its May 5th release right here. The single has already been garnering attention from the likes of The Bluegrass Situation and NPR, who wrote, “Eilen Jewell strikes a balance between heartache and triumph.” Jewell hits the road next week in Australia before heading back stateside for a string of east coast dates in May. A full list of tour dates can be found below or at eilenjewell.com/tour.

Get Behind The Wheel Tracklist:


Crooked River

Lethal Love

Come Home Soon


Could You Would You


You Were A Friend Of Mine


Silver Wheels And Wings

The Bitter End

Catch Eilen Jewell On Tour:

Mar 3 - Archies Creek, AU - The Archies Creek Hotel

Mar 4 - Castlemaine, AU - Theatre Royal

Mar 5 - Yackandandah, AU - Star Hotel Yackandandah

Mar 7 - Sydney, AU - Factory Theatre

Mar 9 - Thornbury, AU - Thornbury Theatre-Ballroom

Mar 10-11 - Port Fairy, AU - Port Fairy Folk Festival 2023

Mar 12 - Brunswick, AU - Brunswick Ballroom

Mar 14 - St Kilda West, AU - The Gershwin

Mar 15 - Eltham, AU - Eltham Hotel

Mar 16 - Fortitude Valley - Qld, AU - The Zoo

Mar 18-19 - Katoomba, AU - Blue Mountains Music Festival of Folk, Roots, and Blues 2023

Apr 14 - Winnemucca, NV - The Martin Hotel

Apr 15 - Fallon, NV - Churchill Arts Council

May 6 - Ybor City, FL - WMNF Tropical Heatwave 2023

May 9 - Decatur, GA - Eddie's Attic

May 10 - Nashville, TN - City Winery

May 11 - Decatur, GA - Eddie's Attic

May 12 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle

May 13 - Greer, SC - Albino Skunk Music Festival 2023

May 14 - Charleston, WV - Mountain Stage

Jun 24 - Greenfield, MA - Green River Festival 2023

Jun 25 - Pawling, NY - Daryl’s House

Jun 27 - New York, NY - City Winery NYC

Jun 28 - Old Saybrook, CT - The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

Jun 29 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair

Jun 30 - Fall River, MA - Narrows Center for the Arts

July 1 - Red Hook, NY - Hardeman Orchards

July 2 - Portland, ME - One Longfellow Square

July 5 - Woodbridge, NJ - Woodbridge Wednesdays

July 6 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live

July 7 - Frenchtown, NJ - ArtYard

July 8 - Homer, NY - Center for the Arts of Homer

July 9 - Buffalo, NY - Sportsmens Tavern

Sep 7 - Berwyn, IL - Fitzgerald’s

For ticket information, please visit eilenjewell.com/tour.