Eilen Jewell Shares Her Journey To Purpose And Meaning On Expansive New Album “Get Behind The Wheel”

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“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”

Fans can stream or purchase “Crooked River” today at this link and pre-order or pre-save Get Behind The Wheel ahead of its May 5th release right here. The single has already been garnering attention from the likes of The Bluegrass Situation and NPR, who wrote, “Eilen Jewell strikes a balance between heartache and triumph.” Jewell hits the road next week in Australia before heading back stateside for a string of east coast dates in May. A full list of tour dates can be found below or at eilenjewell.com/tour.

Get Behind The Wheel Tracklist:
Alive
Crooked River
Lethal Love
Come Home Soon
Winnemucca
Could You Would You
Breakaway
You Were A Friend Of Mine
Outsiders
Silver Wheels And Wings
The Bitter End

Catch Eilen Jewell On Tour:
Mar 3 – Archies Creek, AU – The Archies Creek Hotel
Mar 4 – Castlemaine, AU – Theatre Royal
Mar 5 – Yackandandah, AU – Star Hotel Yackandandah
Mar 7 – Sydney, AU – Factory Theatre
Mar 9 – Thornbury, AU – Thornbury Theatre-Ballroom
Mar 10-11 – Port Fairy, AU – Port Fairy Folk Festival 2023
Mar 12 – Brunswick, AU – Brunswick Ballroom
Mar 14 – St Kilda West, AU – The Gershwin
Mar 15 – Eltham, AU – Eltham Hotel
Mar 16 – Fortitude Valley – Qld, AU – The Zoo
Mar 18-19 – Katoomba, AU – Blue Mountains Music Festival of Folk, Roots, and Blues 2023
Apr 14 – Winnemucca, NV – The Martin Hotel
Apr 15 – Fallon, NV – Churchill Arts Council
May 6 – Ybor City, FL – WMNF Tropical Heatwave 2023
May 9 – Decatur, GA – Eddie’s Attic
May 10 – Nashville, TN – City Winery
May 11 – Decatur, GA – Eddie’s Attic
May 12 – Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle
May 13 – Greer, SC – Albino Skunk Music Festival 2023
May 14 – Charleston, WV – Mountain Stage
Jun 24 – Greenfield, MA – Green River Festival 2023
Jun 25 – Pawling, NY – Daryl’s House
Jun 27 – New York, NY – City Winery NYC
Jun 28 – Old Saybrook, CT – The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
Jun 29 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
Jun 30 – Fall River, MA – Narrows Center for the Arts
July 1 – Red Hook, NY – Hardeman Orchards
July 2 – Portland, ME – One Longfellow Square
July 5 – Woodbridge, NJ – Woodbridge Wednesdays
July 6 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
July 7 – Frenchtown, NJ – ArtYard
July 8 – Homer, NY – Center for the Arts of Homer
July 9 – Buffalo, NY – Sportsmens Tavern
Sep 7 – Berwyn, IL – Fitzgerald’s

For ticket information, please visit eilenjewell.com/tour.