Eilen Jewell Shares Her Journey To Purpose And Meaning On Expansive New Album “Get Behind The Wheel”
Co-produced by Will Kimbrough, LP out May 5th via Signature Sounds; hear “Crooked River”
“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”
Watch the official live video for “Crooked River” below. Recorded live at the Fallout Shelter.
Get Behind The Wheel Tracklist:
Come Home Soon
Could You Would You
You Were A Friend Of Mine
Silver Wheels And Wings
The Bitter End