Norah Jones debuted her podcast Playing Along with a musical conversation featuring her first guest Jeff Tweedy. The Wilco frontman spent over an hour with the host discussing hardcore fanbases and live performances, during which the pair also transformed a five-song set of songs as duets.
“I love playing music with people, and this seemed like a fun way for me to do it, especially with musicians who I don’t normally cross paths with,” Norah shared. “I’m open to all kinds of music and look forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone as well as reconnecting with past collaborators in a new way.”
Throughout their hour together, Jones and Tweedy reminisced about their past run-ins with each other, including the time she was seated directly in front of his amp at a show, and he internally panicked about potentially being the cause of her losing her hearing. They also performed new renditions of Tweddy’s ‘Jesus, Etc.,” “Muzzle of Bees,” and “Sunken Treasure” and their collaboration “I’m Alive.”
Bonding over their experiences as songwriters, Tweedy shared some nuggets of wisdom from his book “How To Write One Song,” which Jones expressed having learned from, even if only because the process he shared was so different from her own. “You have to put yourself in the way of it,” Tweedy explained. “Writing songs, they don’t happen if you don’t pick up the guitar, and you don’t write something if you don’t pick up the pencil. And something like this doesn’t happen if you don’t convene.”
Jones was inspired to format the show in its current form by Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz program on NPR, which she often listened to in high school on old bootleg tapes. Throughout its first season, Playing Along will welcome Mavis Staples, Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball, Marc Rebillet, and more into her studio.
“This show has a similar spirit, with all the casualness of just getting together to play songs and chat with no parameters or formal expectations,” Jones shared in a statement. “The podcast format is perfect for this kind of connection between musicians and the audience. Collaboration is one of the best ways to stay inspired, it widens the mind to infinite possibilities.”