Norah Jones on touring ... for the fun of touring
For the first time in her career, Norah Jones is touring ... just to tour.
“I’ve only ever toured when I put out an album,” Jones said. “A lot of artists tour when they’re not putting out albums and I thought it would be fun, ya know?”
With the exception of three dates, Jones’ tour is taking her to venues she and her band have never played. This includes an Oct. 30 stop at Stephens Auditorium in Ames.
The tour’s a fairly short run — only 14 shows between late October and early November — and that’s the way Jones said she wanted it.
She said she could see a future where she tours “here and there,” instead of committing herself to years at a time on the road.
“That was part of the appeal ... maybe playing for new people,” she said. “And maybe not all new people. That just seemed like a fun way to do it.”
Jones last released a solo record in 2012, the spiritually strange LP “...Little Broken Hearts,” her fifth solo studio effort. The record featured production from Grammy Award-winning producer Danger Mouse, who’s also worked alongside artists the likes of U2, the Black Keys and Beck. Rolling Stone said the “album’s sound ranges from experimental chamber serenades to stark, electronic-embellished confessions.”
It has been more than three years since her last solo release, but that doesn’t mean Jones hasn’t been busy making music.
In 2013 she teamed up with Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong to release a country-western tribute album, “Foreverly,” which gave nod to famed American group The Everly Brothers.
In early 2015, she performed at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles for Brian Fest, a tribute show to Beach Boys frontman, Brian Wilson. She covered Beach Boys’ tracks “Little Bird” and “God Only Knows.”
As recently as last month she appeared as a guest artist on Keith Richards’ new solo record, “Crosseyed Heart,” his first solo effort in more than two decades. She worked with Richards on the track “Illusion” and called the experience “super fun.”
“I thought the track was really great,” Jones said. “They asked if I had any ideas and I added my part and we got to hang out. It was great to see him.”
Adriel Denae’s slated to open the show at Stephens. She’s a singer from Chicago who had her latest record produced by Jones, with Jones’ band also playing on the record.
“It’s a really beautiful record, she has some amazing songs,” she said of the release she produced, which isn’t out yet. “It made sense to have her open some shows. We get along really well.”
“I don’t know if I’d be able to (produce a record) with just anybody,” she added, with a laugh. “The audience will love her, I know they will.”
Jones appears in Ames the night before Halloween, a holiday she said she loves. Will she be giving any nods on stage to Hallows’ Eve? It’s undecided.
“I’m a huge Halloween person, I had a Halloween wedding,” she said. “I do have a sort-of election-centric Halloween song that I do sometimes.”