Jewel was doing a balancing act March 4.
The singer/songwriter was at her Texas home, preparing for her new tour, which kicked off March 7. In the midst of packing and finishing a new Christmas record, she took a few minutes for a phone interview.
This tour, Jewel said, will bring many new experiences, since her 1-year-old son, Kase, will be in tow. She said she sings all the time, so it's likely he picked up the music routine while in the womb.
"I was playing guitar and practicing songs, and he was pretending to play drums," she said of one of Kase's latest tricks. She added that since she comes from a musical lineage, she's interested to see if he follows that path.
Jewel - born Jewel Kilcher - grew up in Alaska, where she learned to sing and yodel as a girl. In her teens, she started to write her own songs and performed to make ends meet as she traveled around the U.S. and Mexico.
She signed with Atlantic Records and, at 20, released her first album "Pieces of You" in 1995. It spawned several hits and sold more than 12 million copies in the U.S. Grammy nominations, tours and other hit albums followed, including her 2010 country debut "Sweet and Wild." Now, motherhood has offered Jewel another boost of inspiration.
"It's affected a lot of what I do," she explained.
She released a new children's CD "The Merry Goes 'Round" in 2011 and is working on a new children's book, "Sweet Dreams of You," which is slated for fall publication.
Amid the new adventures, Jewel's also taking some time to reflect on her career, which is about to mark its 20th year. Last month, she released a "Greatest Hits" collection. But even that contains new material, including an arrangement of "Foolish Games" featuring Kelly Clarkson and a new single, "Two Hearts Breaking."
"It was fun to put together," Jewel said. "'Save Your Soul' is a sentimental favorite. It changed my life."
She will bring her catalog of 500 songs - so she can study lyrics if needed - with her on her "Greatest Hits" tour, which stops at Lancaster's American Music Theatre tonight.
"I tend to ... sort of wing it," she said of her stage style. "I like to do a different show every night."
Concert recordings are available after each show, she added.
Speaking of her hits, Jewel pointed out that her 1999 album "Joy: A Holiday Collection" is usually a fan favorite. She said she's wanted to do another holiday album since and this winter afforded her some time to record.
"The fun thing about it is that I get to do all the genres," she said. Her arsenal includes pop, jazz, classical and arias.
Wrapping the new Christmas album, tour prep and mommy duties were all on her agenda March 4.
"It's a new kind of balance," Jewel said. "The nice thing about my job is that I'm able to dictate how it works."
While on tour, she plans to spend her days with Kase - at children's museums and activities. She'll take the stage after she tucks him in around 7 p.m.
"The trick will be sleeping," she said with a laugh. "I am open to any suggestions."
- ERIN McCRACKEN,
If you go
Singer/songwriter Jewel will perform 7:30 tonight at American Music Theatre, 2425 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster. Holly Williams - the granddaughter of Hank Williams Sr. and daughter of Hank Williams Jr. - will open the show. Tickets cost $53. For details and tickets, call 717-397-7700 or visit www.amtshows.com.
If you watch
Jewel is slated to star as June Carter Cash, a musician who married Johnny Cash, in an upcoming Lifetime film. For details, visit www.mylifetime.com.