The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard.
THE SERMON ON EXPOSITION BOULEVARD Rickie Lee Jones This article or section is written like an .
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Rickie Lee Jones is 52 years old now, the mother of a teenaged daughter, a sober political activist, and spiritual seeker. Her new album is dominated by a raw, aching spiritual hunger--and some equally raw guitar sounds.
For most people, Rickie Lee Jones is frozen in time as the hard-living twentysomething in the beret who had the hit, "Chuck E's in Love," then faded away. Of course, she didn't really fade away Verb 1. fade away - become weaker; "The sound faded out"
dissolve, fade out
change state, turn - undergo a transformation or a change of position or action; "We turned from Socialism to Capitalism"; "The people turned against the President when he stole the . For a while she veered off into jazz--a sure way to lose a mass audience. Then motherhood happened. Like many artists of her generation, Jones was shocked back into action by the Bush administration, and The Evening of My Best Day (V2 Ada, 2003) was a carefully planned and crafted return to form.
But The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard was an accidental album. Jones' close friend Lee Cantelon is a visual artist who published The Words, a topically-arranged translation of the words attributed to Jesus in the gospels. In 2005 Cantelon was compiling an audio version of The Words over a droning drone 1
1. A male bee, especially a honeybee, that is characteristically stingless, performs no work, and produces no honey. Its only function is to mate with the queen bee.
2. acoustic guitar and percussion backing track, and Jones was one of his readers. But then, mid-session, she dropped the book and began singing variations on the gospel texts. Four of the tracks on Exposition Boulevard are from that session. These include the albums opening and closing songs ("Nobody Knows My Name" and "I Was There"); "Where I Like It Best," which paraphrases Jesus' teachings on prayer; and "Donkey Ride The children's game Donkey Ride is a game for three people. The Donkey is made up by one player standing upright and a second player, behind the first player, bending over and holding the first player's waist. The third player rides on the back of the second player. ," which is, of course, a meditation on Palm Sunday Palm Sunday, in the Christian calendar, the Sunday before Easter, sixth and last Sunday in Lent, and the first day of Holy Week. It recalls the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem riding upon an ass, when his followers shouted "Hosanna" and scattered palms in his path. .
Later Jones wrote and recorded eight more songs with related lyrical themes (including the directly gospel-based "Gethsemane Gethsemane (gĕthsĕm`ənē), olive grove or garden, E of Jerusalem, near the foot of the Mount of Olives. In the Gospels, it is the scene of the agony and betrayal of Jesus. " and "Lamp of the Body") and compatible low-tech guitar-based backing tracks. The result is a thrilling indie-rock gospel album for people who think, but may or may not believe.