About The Artist
The Set List
The Soundcheck Crew caught up with the silky-voiced singer/songwriter at Hollywood's Henson Studios, where we were about to witness one of the best Soundcheck performances to date.
With a voice and talent that's as pure as Norah's, it's all about creating a one-of-a-kind experience, not necessarily following anything or anyone, but more leading with her heart. On stage, she plays with passion, and more importantly, plays to her audience - it's almost as if she's sharing her world with us.
On Why It's Never Too Late
It'd be easy to sit back and count your money after selling millions of records and winning a ton of GRAMMYs. Instead, Norah Jones is constantly evolving as a musician and exploring places she hasn't yet traveled. We asked her about the recording process for the new album, Not Too Late, and discovered she's been on an enriching journey since 2004's Feels Like Home. Says Jones: "This new album is all my material. I wrote a few songs with my bass player, Lee Alexander, but for the most part, I really feel like these are my songs. I finally got some time off to work on my song writing, which was nice for a change."
From Jazz Bars to Worldwide Fame
Before Norah struck it big, she worked as a struggling waitress in Manhattan. Living off her tips, Jones frequented New York City's smoky jazz bars, often performing for an enthusiastic crowd. Where exactly did she hang out? We asked Norah about a typical first day (pre-fame) in New York City: "I used to go to 'Small's' a lot to hear music. I never really played there, but it's a great place for live jazz. That's what I did when I first moved to the city. Then, I started going to 'The Living Room' to hear songwriters, which was a total switch for me. I had been into more jazz, and then I started getting into songwriting."
Thinkin' About You
The hit single from Not Too Late almost never happened. 'Thinkin' About You,' currently playing on radio stations across the country, is actually an older song that Norah had almost forgotten about. She explains: "That's the old song on the album. I wrote that back in '99 with Ilhan, who I was in a band with. I never thought about doing it myself because I thought it was too much of a pop song for me to do. I always liked it though, so we ended up putting it on this record."
On Her Idols:
Who inspires Norah Jones? We discovered that the songstress has a diverse taste in music, with eclectic choices that run the gamut, from Joanna Newsom to Willie Nelson. Says Norah: "These days, I have been listening to a lot of younger musicians and songwriters. Like M. Ward or Martha Wainright or Joanna Newsom... people like that. (But) I always listen to old music. I've always been very influenced by great music from the past... like Willie Nelson."
If you've ever had the pleasure to see Norah Jones live, you'll notice how effortlessly and seamlessly she works the stage. Today, the Soundcheck Crew witnessed a musician who performs for the sheer love of music. Nowhere is that love of music more evident than on her latest opus, Not Too Late, which is in stores now. We hope you like it as much as we do. Until next time.
-The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck
- Norah's actual name is Geethali Norah Jones Shankar, and she was born in New York City on March 30, 1979.
- Norah is the daughter of Sue Jones and Indian sitar maestro, Ravi Shankar.
- There are many sides of Norah. Recently, she's moonlighted in different bands, often appearing incognito in a blonde wig for anonymity. One of those bands, The Little Willies, recently released an album of covers.
- Norah Jones, the actress? You better believe it. This year, Norah makes her acting debut in Wong Kar Wai's My Blueberry Nights.
- Norah's debut album, Come Away With Me, has sold 20 million records worldwide and picked up eight GRAMMY awards.
Rich in metaphors about a tempestuous and titanic love, the opening number, 'Sinkin' Soon,' sings of a little boat that's built of sticks and hays. As beautiful as it sounds, this song charts rocky waters: Norah's envisaging a relationship that's about to drown: "Everybody hold your breath," she sings, "'Cuz we're gonna be sinkin' soon."
Until The End
"You've got a famous last name. But you're not to blame." So sings Norah in this beautiful medley about a famous boyfriend. Or is the man in question a metaphorical amour? She's not saying, but we're guessing he'd probably swoon to this late-night love song. We get a taste of Norah's guitar-playing skills on 'Until The End' - a terrific track on Not Too Late.
'Little Room' begins with breathy vocals and ends with a wolf whistle that brings out Norah's foot-tappin', playful side. This upbeat folk ditty talks of late-night romance to the tune of kids playing in the park outside. Sings Norah: "You and me in my little room... If we stick together, then I know we'll be okay."
Be My Somebody
For her last song, Norah takes to the electric piano in a bluesy jam that tells the story of lamenting a longtime love. "I'm too foggy today to know what you're saying," Norah sings, with longing in her voice. "Honey, please stay."