Friday, March 28, 2014

Jill Sobule returns after long absence

Jill Sobule will release Dottie's Charms on Record Store Day (April 19). Her first album in over five years, it will be available physically on Record Store Day as a limited edition LP with the digital version of the album to follow on May 6.

The 11-song set is her first concept album and features lyrical contributions from authors like David Hajdu (Positively 4th Street), Jonathan Lethem (The Fortress of Solitude), Sam Lipsyte (Home Land), James Marcus (Amazonia), Sara Marcus (Girls To The Front), Rick Moody (The Ice Storm), Mary Jo Salter (A Kiss In Space), Luc Sante (Low Life), Vendela Vida (The Lovers).

Dottie's Charms was conceived by Jill Sobule and David Hajdu after the pair talked casually about the idea of her collaborating with some of their favorite authors. When she told David about an old vintage charm bracelet she had, they thought it would be the perfect vehicle. The bracelet was given to her as a gift with various pewter charms including, among others, the Statue of Liberty, a map of Kentucky, a wedding ring, a jet plane, and a charm with the name Dorothy inscribed (Jill had always lovingly referred to its once owner as Dottie).

She then turned to a dozen of her favorite writers of fiction and literary nonfiction, some of who had never before written song lyrics. She stated, "I sent each willing writer a picture of a different charm, and I would say, within a week, they sent me back the words. What's interesting is that each writer, not knowing what the others wrote, had a somewhat similar feel for Dottie, our original unknown charm bracelet wearer. It doesn't sound like 11 different songs by 10 different writers, but rather a story of a girl trying to find love and her way in the world."

Hajdu offered, "If you're a writer and you were born after Bob Dylan and the Beatles, what you really want to be when you grow up is a songwriter. All we had to do was make a list of our favorite writers and ask them if they wanted to write a song with Jill Sobule, and they joined up. I mean, giving somebody who usually writes fiction or literary nonfiction a chance to write a song is like giving a mall cop a squad car with a siren and everything. 'Oh, boy! This is what I always wanted!'"

Musically, Jill collaborated with Dan Wilson (Dixie Chicks, Adele), Mike Viola, Fred Hersch, and Adam Levy (Norah Jones) among others.

In celebration of the record release, Jill will be performing at the City Winery in NYC on April 24. She will also be in discussion with some of the Dottie's Charms participating authors at the Housing Works Bookstore in NYC on April 28 with more events TBA.

Track Listing:

My Chair (Office Chair Charm) Lyrics by: James Marcus
Flight (Jet Plane Charm) Lyrics by: Vendela Vida
Statue of Liberty (Statue of Liberty Charm) Lyrics by: Jonathan Lethem
I Swear I Saw Christopher Reeve (Mackinac Island Charm) Lyrics by: David Hajdu
Women of Industry (ABWA Logo Charm) Lyrics by: David Hajdu
O Canada (Canadian Penny Charm) Lyrics by: Sara Marcus
Old Kentucky (Kentucky Map Charm) Lyrics by: Luc Sante
Wedding Ring (Wedding Ring Charm) Lyrics by: Mary Jo Salter
The Mezuzah (Mezuzah Charm) Lyrics by: Nina Mehta
I Hate Horses (Stirrup Charm) Lyrics by: Sam Lipsyte
Lonely Eighty-Eight (Piano Charm) Lyrics by: Rick Moody

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