Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eilen Jewell Returns to the Gem State.

Former Boise High grad, Eilen Jewell, is returning home to play the Egyptian theater this Saturday (8/27, 8pm, $19).  The Boston-based Jewell, a.k.a. "The Queen of the Minor Key," was kind enough to take some time from her busy tour and do a little interview just before making her way back to the City of Trees.
The C.O.T.: What do you miss most about living in Boise?  
E.J.:  Aside from my friends and family, I miss the proximity to the mountains and wilderness the most.  I miss those mountains so much, I had to go to Burgdorf to write the material for my new album.  The homesickness gets too distracting.  
The C.O.T.: What is something you don't miss?  
E.J.:  I've got no love for the inversions in the winter.
The C.O.T.: Did you spend much time playing the Boise scene starting out?  
E.J.:  No.  Performing came later for me, when I was in college in New Mexico.
The C.O.T.: How has growing up in a city like Boise, or a state like Idaho influenced your music?  
E.J.:  I think growing up in Boise nourished in me a love of simplicity, a no-frills aesthetic.  I really love to hear the space between notes.  That sense of space is something I attribute to growing up in the wide-open, big sky American West.
The C.O.T.: Aside from the obvious population and size difference, how does the Boston music scene differ from the Boise scene?  
E.J.:  The Boston music scene is about as diverse as a music scene can be.  There are a couple of prestigious music schools there that attract people from all over the world and create a constant influx of new musicians.  I haven't attended any of them, but I hear they're pretty great and are the reason that Boston has an even stronger music scene than most cities of its size.
The C.O.T.: Do people ever ask you, "What the hell is a Kalimotxo*?"  
E.J.:  People ask me that all the time, except in Boise and the Basque Country.  When I explain to the uninitiated what a kalimotxo is they make a grossed-out face, or just look puzzled.  Hey, more for me.
The C.O.T.: Favorite place to eat in Boise?  
E.J.:  The Red Feather!
The C.O.T.: Favorite place to get a drink in Boise?  
E.J.:  That's a close tie between Bar Gernika, Bardenay, Red Feather and Bittercreek....I often have a hard time deciding where to go.
The C.O.T.: Favorite summer activity in Boise?  
E.J.:  When I was a kid I used to love to float the river on an inner tube.  Now, to be honest, just taking a walk at night is more my speed.  After the city has cooled off a bit and the stars are out, the trees and lawns are smelling so good...there's a sense of peace and well-being that's hard to find elsewhere.
The C.O.T.: Do you ever see yourself settling down back in Idaho?  
E.J.:  Absolutely!  I'm very eager to move back.  I'm just waiting for the right time.  Hopefully that time will be soon.
The C.O.T.: Is there anything else you want to add about your show at the Egyptian?  
E.J.:  This opportunity to perform at the Egyptian is a great honor for me.  I can remember going there as a kid, the paint was peeling off the walls.  It seemed like the theater was just hanging on by a thread.  I'm so proud of Boise for restoring it and supporting live music there.  I think it speaks volumes about the community.
*Kalimotxo = Red wine and Coke, a popular drink in the Basque Country

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