Eilen Jewell To Close Belle Bash Summer Concert Series Wednesday

After a summer of providing area residents with live music performed by nationally touring acts, the Belle Bash Summer Concert Series will celebrate the end of its season on Wednesday.

Although the series has primarily been held on Sundays, the finale will be held Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The concert will feature Eilen Jewell, who released her debut album, “Boundary County,” in 2006. Since then, Jewell has become an internationally touring singer-songwriter, who released “Queen of the Minor Key,” in 2011.

“I think (‘Queen of the Minor Key’) represents the distance that we’ve traveled together so far,” Jewell said. “It’s not exactly a culmination, because I’m going to come out with another next year – I’m in the writing process for that now. But, I think (the album) is a great reflection of where we’re at right now, and also showcases a lot of the musical goals that I had while I was working on it. It’s been a couple years since that album, so we’re ready to put out some more music pretty soon.”

During Wednesday’s Belle Bash finale, Jewell will perform several tracks off her most recent album, a number of tunes from her previous releases and possibly some unreleased tracks. According to Jewell, it will be her first time performing in Chautauqua County and her first time on the Chautauqua Belle, but it won’t be her first show on a boat.

“I’ve performed on a little boat in the Boston Harbor a couple times, and it was fun,” Jewell said. “It offers a new level of fun, but a new set of challenges. On the boat that we played on before we had a hard time keeping our instruments dry. We’re hoping that doesn’t happen on this boat, but you never know – so we’re prepared for it all.”

Jewell, who plays acoustic guitar and harmonica in addition to singing, is joined by Jerry Miller, guitarist; Jason Beek, drummer; and Johnny Sciascia, upright bassist – both on her CDs, and live.

“I always perform with a band, and it’s been the same core band since we recorded our first record, ‘Boundary County,’ in 2005,” Jewell said. “There are four including myself, and my drummer Jason Beek is also my husband. They are a big part of the shaping of every song. The way we do it is I write all the words and music and I bring them to the band, and they help me with where to start the song, how to end it and where to put the solos. I never tell them what to play, so I think we’re a really good creative family. We work very well together creatively, and even though I write all the songs, I feel like they really help breathe life into them.”

Several tunes from “Queen of the Minor Key” which Jewell particularly enjoys performing live include: “Santa Fe,” “I Remember You” and “Kalimotxo.” “Santa Fe” is also one of Jewell’s most requested songs, she said.

“I never get tired of performing ‘Santa Fe’ because it’s the most autobiographical song that I’ve written so far – it’s the most true story – and I also really enjoy playing the harmonica on it,” Jewell said. “I also really enjoy playing ‘I Remember You,’ although it’s a song that we don’t play every show. Then there’s a song called ‘Kalimotxo,’ which is the last track on the CD. It’s almost an instrumental except that I say the word ‘Kalimotxo’ a couple times – that one’s really fun. It’s a lighthearted ode to one of our favorite beverages, which is called the Kalimotxo and it comes from Spain.”

Although Jewell is commonly known for producing sad, yet powerful tunes, she describes the type of music she and her band creates as “Hillbilly-Rock ‘n’ Roll-noir.” A selection of Jewell’s influences include: Lucinda Williams, The Kinks, Hank Williams, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Loretta Lynn and others. However, Jewell is much more than just a fan of Loretta Lynn’s, rather she released a tribute to the icon in 2010 called “Butcher Holler.”

For more information, visit eilenjewell.com or search for Eilen Jewell Fan Page.

The Belle Bash is planned by Todd Wagner, founder of Lucky Dog Productions, a Johnstown, Pa.-based music promotion and artist management group which represents Eric Lindell and the Sunliners, who opened the series in July. For more information search for “Lucky Dog Productions” on Facebook.

The concerts are sponsored by the Arthur R. Gren Foundation, Bud Light and Southern Tier Brewing Company. Tickets to the Belle Bash series are $50, and include a three-hour cruise. The boat pushes off at promptly 6:30 p.m., but guests are asked to arrive 30 minutes early.

The Chautauqua Belle, which is located at 78 Water St. in Mayville, will also host a firework cruise on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. For more information call 269-2355, visit 269belle.com.