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Eilen Jewell escalates songwriting talent



Eilen Jewell took the stage at MeadowGrass in May with her 4-year-old daughter in tow and a handful of new songs, which get their official debut on her new album Gypsy (Signature Sounds).

The Boise-based rockabilly and country queen had delved into blues catalogs in recent months, but the immediate appeal of live original songs like “Crawl” indicated she was expanding her portfolio.
The dozen tracks fulfill that promise and more.

Jewell uses a deceptive country honky-tonk singalong style in a diatribe on women’s earning power in “79 Cents,” with its repeated self-referential catchphrase “left-wing swine.” She also offers up some of the finest tear-jerkers of her career, as evidenced in “Who Else But You.” At a time when Taylor Swift’s pop-feminista manifesto is bound to get exponentially more attention, it’s useful to remember there are shit-kicker country women like Jewell who have maintained a strident voice much longer.

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