www.montereycountyweekly.com January 25-31, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 39 MUSIC It’s been decades since Rickie Lee Jones was crowned the Queen of Coolsville, sporting her signature red beret as she hit the charts with “Chuck E.’s In Love.” Since then, she’s fought off heartbreaks, addiction and career reverses, all eloquently captured in her 2021 memoir, Last Chance Texaco. Nothing if not resilient, she’s returned to form in her latest album, Pieces of Treasure, a collection of standards from the American Songbook. The veteran songstress hits the road Sunday for a star-studded Sweet Relief Musicians Fund tribute to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott in San Francisco, then appears at the Sunset Center. She answered questions via email. Weekly: Is it particularly gratifying to honor Ramblin’ Jack? Jones: It’s especially sweet to recognize the oldest folks. As musicians they helped shape the journey the rest of us will walk. Woody Guthrie, for example. Jack was there among them. What drew you to the American Songbook? Wanting to reunite with Russ. He said, “Do your jazz record, it’s time.” It was a chance to educate kids who might never have heard “My Funny Valentine” or ever want to hear it. Were you bothered by the misogyny in some of the lyrics? Cole Porter’s line, “We may never meet again on this bumpy road of love, but I sure liked the way you held your fork,” annoyed me. I thought, “Seriously, are you really going to send her packing so glibly?” And maybe he was the one who got dumped. Gay or straight, whatever Porter did in private, the song reeked of a kind of privilege. Maybe it was the cool cat talk of those days… How has New Orleans’ musical legacy nurtured you? I don’t tap into the local players or legends so much as I do with the local schoolkids. They march by my house in their big brass bands, working out the precision, the coordination they must have to join the Mardi Gras parades. That is what I am getting in New Orleans, the fact somewhere in this country there is no politics other than music. That is tradition. It’s hard to embrace tradition in this young country. We’re all about the individual, ain’t we? But this tradition unites us if we live here in New Orleans. Rickie Lee Jones 7:30pm Tuesday, Jan. 30. Sunset Center, San Carlos at 8th Street, Carmel. $45-85. 6202040, sunsetcenter.org. VIVIAN WANG On The Road Rickie Lee Jones returns to her roots in a stunning new album of forgotten treasures. By Paul Wilner Rickie Lee Jones’ latest album, the Grammy Award-nominated Pieces of Treasure, is produced by Russ Titelman, who also produced 1981’s Pirates. CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA SAN CARLOS & 7TH ESTATE WINERY & TASTING ROOM 1972 HOBSON AVE. GREENFIELD Delicious Poured daily BEST TASTING ROOMS 2018– 2023