For the second time in less than a week, Jewel has joined the Foo Fighters onstage. Last night, while playing Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, head Foo Dave Grohl introduced the country folkie to the crowd, telling them, “She comes to every Foo Fighters show. She does. Every Foo Fighters show, it’s like, ‘Oh shit, there’s Jewel.” The seated frontman, who broke his leg during a June concert in Sweden and kept right on performing, joked with the singer about the song they’d sing together. “I’m not even gonna tell you what we’re doing. You’ve gotta guess.”
Although she appeared to be glancing at lyrics on a teleprompter at her feet, Jewel proved she did indeed know it, as they kicked off a killer version of the 1981 Stevie Nicks-Tom Petty duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” After a first verse that stuck fairly close to the original, Jewel and the Foos pumped the brakes on the tune, with the sometimes yodeler improvising a bit more on the slowed-down second verse. That prompted Grohl, who was holding a red Solo cup, to wonder aloud, “How the fuck am I supposed to sing the next part after you do that? It’s not fair. I’ve gotta sing like an old guy with Jägermeister in his hand?”
As Grohl told the Atlanta crowd, this wasn’t Jewel’s first Foo Fighters show. In Phoenix last month, she joined the group onstage to tackle the Led Zeppelin classic “Whole Lotta Love.”
The now-single Jewel (she divorced rodeo star Ty Murray in 2014) has been on the road promoting the September release of her latest LP, Picking Up the Pieces, and the companion book, Never Broken, with book signings and intimate performances. One of those performances proved to be a highlight of the Americana Music Fest in Nashville in September. The singer, who debuted at pop radio 20 years ago with her Pieces of You LP, says the Americana genre, which blends country, folk and other roots-based music, is a perfect fit for her, and notes that she’s realistic about her chances with mainstream country airplay.
“I think it’s the best home for me,” Jewel tells Rolling Stone Country. “Country radio has changed. Everything does. That’s what is great about music — it’s not a bad thing. But it is fascinating when you look at the history of what rock & roll used to be and what rock & roll is now. Everything has changed and altered. And I’ve changed and altered. . . I feel like I’m in the right home for myself right now. I’d love to hear these songs on the radio, but I really doubt that I will.”
Foo Fighters, meanwhile, will perform tonight at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. As for special guests, that’s anyone’s guess. During the group’s electrifying show last Halloween at the Ryman Auditorium, they welcomed Zac Brown to the stage for “Congregation,” a song they recorded for their Sonic Highways album in Nashville.