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Jewel Tones

Study up on Jewel songs now. The singer/songwriter will play nothing but requests from the audience at her July 26 show at Turlock Community Theatre.

With a catalog of more than 500 songs, Jewel said she is constantly amazed at some of the ones audiences choose.

"They know songs that I don't remember I wrote," she said in a phone interview from her Texas ranch. If she forgets the lyrics, audience members tend to provide them for her, she said.

She will perform solo with an acoustic guitar, just as she did when she last came to the Turlock theater in 2003.

"It's really informal," she said. "It's like being in my living room. It's how I started out."

Born Jewel Kilcher on May 23, 1974, the singer broke into the national music scene with her 1995 album, "Pieces of You." The hits included "Who Will Save Your Soul?" and "Foolish Games."

Since then, she has recorded a number of albums, including a holiday collection in 1998 and the pop album "0304" in 2003. She's currently promoting the quiet album "Lullaby," released in May, and her country CD, "Perfectly Clear," release in June 2008.

"Lullaby" includes covers of "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as well as Jewel originals like "Raven," which she wrote when she was 15.

"It's a mood album," Jewel said. "I created it for adults. It's appropriate for kids, but it's for adults. Adults that don't even have kids love the record. They come home at night and listen to it when they're trying to unwind."

Some fans also have told her they listen to it when they're waiting in traffic.

Jewel's jump into country with "Perfectly Clear" is not as big a change as some may think. Jewel said she long has listened to Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson and has incorporated country elements into her folk work.

"I've had a lot of country fans at my shows over the years," she said. "A lot of my fans are becoming country fans as they become disenfranchised as there aren't singer/songwriters in pop right now."

Her singles off the album include "Stronger Woman, "Till It Feels Like Cheating" and "I Do," with a video featuring husband Ty Murray, a champion bull rider she married in August last year after a decade together.

She said she likes the direction their relationship has taken since she got married.

"It changed a little," she said "I didn't think it would since we've been together so long. But marriage did make me feel settled in a way that was more peaceful."

Jewel was a little disappointed that she couldn't compete on "Dancing with the Stars," this season as originally planned because of a fractured tibia in both legs, but she said she got over it.

"When I saw how much work went into it when I was supporting Ty, I thought I got off pretty easy," she said. She had rescheduled her originally planned March 10 appearance in Turlock to this month so she could compete in the show.

Her husband, who did compete in the show, found the experience to be very demanding.

"He was very challenged," she said. "It was hard. I don't think dancing is for him. It was like trying to teach a blind man how to paint."

Jewel is now considering other albums she wants to record -- she's going to put out another country album and also may cut a selection of American standards by writers like Cole Porter.

She also has enjoyed posting her ideas and projects on her Twitter account (jeweljk) and getting feedback from her fans.

And she never stops writing songs. While parts of the music business -- like marketing -- sometimes can seem like a grind, writing has never felt that way.

"That's always been a real joy and a real pleasure," she said.

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