Pay your respects to the Queen of the Minor Key at City Winery

The day I was born a gypsy looked at me
She told my mama she could easily see
Just how bright my future would be
For I was gonna be royalty

—From “The Queen of the Minor Key” by Eilen Jewell

Her music has been described as everything from honky tonk, blues, country, folk, jazz and rockabilly, but singer/songwriter Eilen Jewell is not just another Americana act. The original Boston-based songstress, whose songs have been featured on HBO’s “True Blood,” deftly writes of reckless cupids and alcoholic queens on her latest record, “Queen of the Minor Key.”

“I describe my sound as Hillbilly-Rock ‘n Roll-Noir,” says Jewell. “I think it’s a blend of the darker side of country, 60’s garage, surf and rockabilly.”

Inspired by the likes of Lucinda Williams, the Kinks, Hank Williams, Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan, Jewell’s pure vocals have been compared to the likes of Billie Holiday and Neko Case. The vintage-clad singer, who also plays guitar and harmonica, is known to tell amusing stories between songs, and opening for Lucinda Williams was one of her favorite live experiences:

“When I opened for Lucinda Williams in April at the State Theater in Sydney, Australia, she unexpectedly called me up on stage during the encore to sing a couple of songs with her… I’ve been listening to her music for years now, and I consider her one of my biggest sources of inspiration. And to be so close to her band too—their amps and drums just a few feet away, the same guys I’ve been listening to for so long… I could see each finger on each string. I was beaming like a fool. It was one of the greatest moments of my life, musical or otherwise.”

On Friday, June 8th, Eilen and her band–Johnny Sciascia on upright bass, guitarist Jerry Miller, Jason Beek on percussion– will take the stage at the City Winery on Varick Street in Manhattan (btw Spring and Vandam). Surf rock instrumentalists, Los Straitjackets, are also on the bill, and it should be a rollicking good time with music from all of Jewell’s albums, especially “The Queen of the Minor Key,” along with some surprise covers.

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lisa heffernan

Lisa Heffernan received a master’s in Communications from Emerson College before moving to New York. She has worked for publications such as: Details, Nylon, Rolling Stone, Time Out, Newport Mercury, American Songwriter and W magazine.