For over 30 years, singer Rickie Lee Jones has drawn critical acclaim for her ability to combine original songs with rousing covers. On her new album, the virtuosic performer has decided to set aside her songwriting hat for a bit. Set for release on September 18th, The Devil You Know will instead feature Jones’ interpretation of songs by Neil Young, Van Morrison, the Rolling Stones and other rock legends.
According to Jones, the artistic decision has helped her rediscover her classic voice – as well as the songs themselves.
“This record takes me to a new place in my work, my art,” the singer told Rolling Stone. “I’ve found another voice; it’s a quieter one, older, perhaps, but more likely younger than I’ve ever been. [The songs] are like new again, and no one has ever heard them.”
Among the most recognizable tracks is a rendition of the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” Jones strips down the original’s clattering percussion, piano and vocal wailing to an intimate acoustic groove, and replaces Mick Jagger’s yowl with a performance that runs from a bluesy moan to a slow, crawling falsetto. The song features instrumental accompaniment by Ben Harper, who also produced the album and contributed one song of his own, “Masterpiece.”
Listen to “Sympathy for the Devil”:
The full track listing for The Devil You Know:
“Sympathy for the Devil” (Rolling Stones)
“Only Love Can Break Your Heart” (Neil Young)
“Masterpiece” (Ben Harper)
“The Weight” (Robbie Robertson)
“St. James Infirmary” (traditional)
“Comfort You” (Van Morrison)
“Reason To Believe” (Tim Hardin)
“Play With Fire” (Rolling Stones)
“Seems Like a Long Time” (Theodore Anderson)
“Catch the Wind” (Donovan Leitch)