Rickie Lee Jones

Monday, January 26, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Share on Nextdoor
The Stills, with the New Wave Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard, Cleveland Heights 9 p.m. Tuesday, January 27, $8, 216-321-5588
Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones
For a time in the late '90s, when Rickie Lee Jones was touring behind her trip-hop album Ghostyhead, the Chicago-born singer-songwriter refused to play anything from her lengthy back catalog. You almost sympathize with Jones's urge to abandon her legacy, because its remarkable moments have been neglected by a record-buying public (no surprise there; Jones's clenched-jaw phrasing and torchy wail automatically alienate even those who gobble up Sarah McLachlan and Sheryl Crow) and a music press whose job, in part, is to chronicle great artists even through their meandering.

Jones's best albums feel like dog-eared tour maps through her fanciful psyche, composed in equal parts of barroom balladeer and graffiti artist scribbling weird poetry under the overpass at night. The Magazine was a Laura Nyro-style suite about love games and drug lifestyles; the Walter Becker-produced Flying Cowboys was the album-equivalent of a Gus Van Sant movie, dusty and peopled with dreamers riding toward a flat horizon, accompanied by Jones's buoyant or mournful melodies. While not a chatty stage performer, she's that rare musician who's actually better live. Her voice is fuller and richer, her piano and guitar more nimble and expressive . . . and her dismissal by critics all the more baffling.

Scroll to read more Music News articles

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.