Norah Jones Hath Charms…

There is a great poem by Wendell Berry entitled The Peace of Wild Things that begins with the lines, “When despair for the world grows in me / and I wake in the night at the least sound / in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, / I go and lie down where the wood drake / rests in his beauty on the water and the great heron feeds.” When there’s too much of a chill in the air to seek much respite in the natural world, though, music can perhaps fill in and offer some balm for the ever-present despair of these times. Norah Jones is one artist who may soothe the tattered spirit. She has a new album coming out at the end of the month and is the subject of the following piece in the New York Times:

Norah Jones, Now in Her Own Words

A LOCAL musician couldn’t ask for a more appreciative audience than the petite, black-haired woman in blue jeans who was one of about two dozen people at Marion’s Marquee Lounge on the Bowery a few Mondays ago. As the guitarist Tony Scherr led a trio through his bluesy, slightly skewed songs, she tapped her foot, giggled at his stage patter and vigorously applauded his solos. Every few tunes, she whispered, “I love this song!�

Between sets she walked over to hug band members and chat about gigs. She’s part of a circle of New York singers and songwriters who play one another’s songs and swap backup musicians. Sometimes she visits Lower East Side karaoke bars and belts out songs by Shakira or Guns N’ Roses. She’s also a member of various bands — the Sloppy Joannes, the Mazelles, the Little Willies — who show up as opening acts at no-cover-charge places like the Rodeo Bar. But she’s far better known by her own name: Norah Jones.

In a few days Ms. Jones, 27, would resume her main career: the one that has sold millions of albums and made her almost too popular for the 3,000-seat theaters she prefers to arenas. Her third solo album, “Not Too Late,� is due for release Jan. 30, and like her first two it offers the intimate sound of a handful of musicians in a small room, the sound of places like this one.

“Not Too Late� is also the first full album of her own songs, and it is darker, thornier and sometimes funnier than the albums that made her a star.

“On the first album I was saying, that’s just one part of me,� she said. “And then I was thinking, well, am I going to hide the rest of me now just because I’m afraid of something? No. I’m just going to be myself.� [full text]

And here she is just being herself with none other than Elmo. Too cute…

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