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My Interviews with...

BETTY BUCKLEY (VanityFair.com)

LINDA RONSTADT (VanityFair.com)

DEBBIE HARRY (VanityFair.com)

RICKIE LEE JONES (VanityFair.com)

EDIE BRICKELL (VanityFair.com)

NELLIE MCKAY (VanityFair.com)

SHERYL CROW (StarPolish.com)

 

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Rickie and Me 

The iconclastic singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones recently released a memoir, Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour—borrowing her own evocative song title. It’s been almost 10 years since I interviewed Rickie for VanityFair.com. I haven’t read the memoir yet, but one reviewer called it lyrical and I’m not surprised; during our time together she spoke poetically, colorfully, candidly. We met at Café Henri (since closed) on Bedford Street in the West Village, near where I live. Rickie was…

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My Cousin Sang Harmony 

Gail Harkins, my cousin on my mother’s side, died last weekend. Her passion was music: With her friend Beth Gosnell, she founded Rock by the Sea, which organizes music events to raise money—almost $800,000 so far—for various charities. And since its inception, she was an avid supporter of Sister Hazel’s The Rock Boat, an annual floating music festival; Gail had made all 20 cruises. In a quiet but unmistakable way (tributes speak of her “glow” when watching bands), Gail cheered on musicians and had the…

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Introducing... 

…Joan Chew and Graig Janssen—the two musicians I’ve been working with for a few years now, though for many of you they don’t need an introduction. Let’s see, we’ve played: Caffe Vivaldi (sadly, now closed), Bowery Electric, Sidewalk Café (closed), Cornelia Street Café (closed), and Pianos, mostly with repeat visits. I met them both through my wonderful longtime producer, Nick Miller, who brought in Joan to play violin on my song “Alexander/Isabella” and Graig to play piano on “Tiny Stars.” Although I…

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Valentine’s Lane 

Inevitably on Valentine’s Day, either my husband, Robert Rosen, or I bring up our trip to Paris in 1997, when we landed at Charles de Gaulle airport on February 14. I’d chosen our hotel there based on its being called “most romantic for those on a budget” by a travel book. Our tiny room turned out to have strange angles, so that the bed more or less faced a corner, and shriekingly hot-pink walls—not to mention being on a street, rue du Dragon, with a lot of noisy construction. However, that night, when we…

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Birthday Blues and Reds 

Birthdays can be strange. I've always liked mine, just the idea of having a special day, even as I got older and the years went faster. But at times it's brought a stronger sense of mortality and the gravity of being human. 

Last week I came across a poem I wrote a year ago, just as January 23 was turning into the 24th, my birthday. The next day I was having a combination birthday and record-release party. I thought I might read the poem during the concert portion of the evening, but then in the hullabaloo…

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Super(moon) Lyric Video 

Yes, you’re a supermoon to me if you’re reading this! And thanks for the listening, streaming, downloading, sharing, or any other way you’ve been lighting up my music life. 

April’s supermoon, along with the quarantine, inspired me to write “I Can’t Touch You (Supermoon),” a song that has already taken the form of a performance video and a digital single, which I wrote about here. And now it’s a lyric video—my first—released on my birthday (January 24)! 

The video was designed by Christine Haire, with…

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Welcome to My Dream  

My EP Dream: Live Recordings from the Map Room is out Dec. 22! All six songs were performed in a small room at the very cool Bowery Electric in NYC. For a few years now Joan Chew and Graig Janssen have been accompanying me at shows. We figure out the arrangements during our rehearsals, and these fantastic musicians are quite adept at coming up with parts that not only fit but enhance the songs. Plus they sing background! I’m so lucky to have them working with me.

Here's the cover art, which I designed using…

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One Dreamy Song 

All I have to do is dream.

What a beautiful line. It could be the thought of an artist, a child looking to the future, a person starting an exciting career, a political visionary.

Or someone in love. Did you hear the close harmonies of the Everly Brothers when you read those words? Their recording of “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” by the songwriting couple Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, came out in 1958 and has certainly endured, landing at No. 141 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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A Quarantine Production 

I wrote “I Can’t Touch You (Supermoon)” early on in the pandemic, inspired by missing people intensely and by April’s supermoon. I did a video of it for NPR's Tiny Desk Contest, and some time later, with going to a studio out of the question, I got the idea to extract the audio, consisting of vocals and my rhythm guitar, from the video to create a digital single. (Luckily, my iPhone 11 records in stereo.)

But I wanted to enhance it, so I asked Graig Janssen, the guitarist I normally do live shows with, to…

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Bobby (and I) in St. Louis 

My husband, Robert Rosen, and I were supposed to be in St. Louis this month. We'd gone in October last year so that Bob could do a reading from his memoir, Bobby in Naziland: A Tale of Flatbush, at Subterranean Books, an indie store on a popular strip called the Loop, near Washington University. Bob had a great turnout, including relatives and friends of ours—I grew up in the area, and my two siblings, Cecilia and John, and my nephew Sean live in the city. 

Robert Rosen checking out his book Bobby in

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