Jenny Lewis and the live magic of Village Studios

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Jenny Lewis at Village Studios Photo by Elli Lauren

Jenny Lewis looked around Room D of the storied Village Recording Studios taking it all in, as she and Jason Bentley reminisced on its rock & roll lore. Tusk by Fleetwood Mac was recorded right in that same room, as was “Angie” by the Rolling Stones… and on and on.

For Jenny Lewis to record a live session behind her fourth solo album On the Line here made great sense. Her status in LA music history has certainly solidified, as she’s crafted an adored catalogue of music (both solo and work with her former band Rilo Kiley), while carrying the banner of Laurel Canyon artists before her. Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, CSN and others would be proud.

Further cementing her place within the hierarchy of the LA music scene, the players on her new album probably only answer the phone for a select few who call. Ringo Starr, Benmont Tench (founding member of the Heartbreakers), Beck, Don Was, and THE session drummer of all drummers Jim Keltner all contributed their talents for the recording of On the Line. The new album definitely has a pedigree that shines, and that magic transcended to her performance in the legendary studio.

On the Line was recorded over a couple years, with the beginning stages going down at another LA music landmark: Capitol Studios. Beck helped out, and producer-of-the-moment Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, The War on Drugs, Kacey Musgraves) also put his golden touch to it. The result is a big, warm rock album. Lewis’ signature wit and thoughtful songwriting about love and excess is sharp throughout, and perfectly exemplified in the catchy, confident chill of “Wasted Youth.” A song that carefully balances pop against a backdrop of heavy themes.

Though her illustrious pals didn’t join her at the Village, her band elevated every track, sounding wire tight and ready for the road. Speaking of, they’ll be touring for the next few months, including a sold out stop at the Hollywood Palladium, May 11th. She told Jason that the Palladium is the last original LA room she has yet to play (her excitement is beyond), continuing in a pattern of performing at LA staples, like the Fonda and Echo. Just another well deserved accomplishment for one of our local indie-rock heroes.

Who knows? Maybe in the future, another generational artist will be sitting in Room D remembering the time Jenny Lewis recorded a live session for KCRW there.

Check out the full session recorded for Morning Becomes Eclectic.