Jewel a “Stronger Woman” in country music


With apologies to Ace and

Marcia Brady Maureen McCormick, I’m going to be honest: In general,

I can’t stand popular country music. It comes from growing up

in a farming community, mixed with memories of farm boys driving super-sized

trucks up and down the parking lots for fun. (I do like Bonnie

, who is generally considered a country singer, for her music and politics. But even that was spoiled,

back when she showed up at a Lilith Fair and brought her fans.

When I say two worlds collided, that’s literally; my then girlfriend

and I almost got jumped outside the port-a-janes. Yeah, ugly.)

All of that considered, I really

think I’ll be buying a country CD at some point this year. That’s

because Jewel — yes, that

— has made a

country album

called Perfectly Clear, due out in June.

She’s already charting the country

markets. Her nicely titled new single called “Stronger Woman”

scored the Hot Shot Debut at No. 50 on Hot Country Songs this week.

You can hear it on her MySpace page.

I wasn’t a Jewel fan the first

time I heard “Who Will Save Your Soul”; I’ll admit to that

as well. But then I heard her live. (Probably also at a

Lilith Fair. That’s where I spent the 1990s.) Jewel is

one of those artists who emote live in a way that is impossible to translate

to recordings. Plus, she can yodel. Seriously.

It was pretty amazing to hear.

In case it’s been as long for

you as it has for me, here’s the video for “Hands,” which was always

one of my favorites by her.

Hmm. A little depressing,

a little spiritual, and just next door to rootsy. Yeah, I can

see the jump to country music. I think I’ll have to give the new

album a shot.

Zergnet Code