Every star has their secrets. Eilen Jewell is no exception.
The 40-year-old Americana singer songwriter from Boise, Idaho, has gradually built an incredibly loyal, and growing fanbase, over the last 15 years. The magic is in her songs, complex in their simplicity, about life experiences, losing love, finding love, breaking apart and coming together.
In March she lands in Australia for her seventh tour down under, playing eight shows in nine days, bringing a three-piece band that includes her husband, Jason Beek, on drums and top guitar slinger Jerrry Miller on lead electric.
Jewell is no Nashville mirage. Although she had a stint in Boston over a decade ago, and built her confience busking on Venice Beach, Idaho is where she creates her music, and always has been.
"The West has always been my source of creativity," she says. "Even when I was living in Boston, I would come back to Idaho to do my writing. I'm not sure what it is ... it's the place that speaks to me. I can hear the music better out here, maybe because there is less background noise."
About those songs. While her newest album, Gypsy, dips into some potent political messaging, most notably with TheMeow Song, she has a history of bitter, sometimes bittersweet, love songs that paint vivid imagery of difficult moments.
Such as I Remember You ("you were full of broken bones, I tried to bring you cigarettes, you said just leave me alone..."), or Sante Fe ("It was wrong of me to leave, 'cause I couldn't stand a perfect thing, but I was too young to know any better"), or It's Your Voodoo Working ("I fell in love with your body and soul, my hands feel sticky and my head's ice cold, my shiver tastes sour and my salt tastes sweet, I wanna lay down but I just can't sleep").
About that Meow Song, a direct kick in the crotch to President Trump's America and the inequality of women's wages ('love it or leave it', ad nauseum is repeated, with fevered regurgitation, it means 'bend over and take it', if you don't like it fake it for the sake of the male population).
She's graced the stage with Lucinda Williams and could hold her own with Gillian Welch or Emmylou Harris. She's an accomplished musician herself, and her works take in the blues, gospel and rockabilly rhythms as well old-fashioned country and folk.
She's got nine albums, rich with originality and full of music that flows way past the words, a tribute to the musicians behind her.
Behind the intense blue eyes there's mystery. With those lyrics, how could there not be.
"I am a person who tries not to be mysterious," she says. "I try to be known by people close to me. But I have a hard time with that. I've always been accused of being secretive. It's a way I've learned to keep myself safe ... a little mysterious part of me hidden.
"Despite the fact I am a very introverted person, i think that's why I've gravitated to performing. It allows me to connect in a deep and meaningful way. I still control the narrative - which songs I sing, how much or how little of me I reveal to the public.
"It's been really healing for me to become a performer. To push those boundaries of comfort, just try to break out a little more ... break out from those chains ... I'm opening up more."
The good-time music is always a crowd pleaser, but the lure of her lyrics cannot be underestimated.
"There are elements of fiction, elements of memoir in every song I've ever written," she says. "I haven't wirtten a purely fiction song, or purely autobiographical one.. I don't see my story separate from anyone else's. I weave them together ... People's stories might pop up alongside someone else's story.
"That's fair to do, as long as the stories are true in a different way. It's weird Frankenstein. As long as they are true on a deeper level... that's all that matters."
She sells out venues like the Tractor Tavern in Seattle (capacity 400), and has found success in Scandinavia and Europe.
"I've been trying to figure out what it is that is music-loving countries have in common," she says. "It's a fun kind of mystery. What the Netherlands, pockets of US, Australia, Sweden have in common. It's concentrations of people who not only understand music, but really seem to enjoy music that has a story behind it ... I wish i could figure it out, I think it has to do with values. They value live music over sitting home watching television. They value a real story versus bubble-gum brain candy about a hot chick."