Honesty, confidence, and respect have always permeated Eilen Jewell’s music, dating back to her self-released Boundary County in 2006. Critics have praised her “tantalizing, wonderful voice [and] restrained, beautifully crafted music … one of American’s most intriguing, creative and idiosyncratic voices” (American Songwriter). Today, after five albums of original songs, the reigning “Queen of the Minor Key” has taken a moment to shake hands with the blues. Her new collection of rare blues and R&B covers adds to the potent mix of country, folk, and early rock ’n roll that’s made the young Idaho singer beloved from coast to coast. The blues has always been a strong influence on Eilen’s music, from the barrelhouse power of 1920s Bessie Smith, to the electrified 1960s sounds of Betty James. Now, on her new release, Down Hearted Blues, Eilen and her long-time road band ― Jerry Miller, Shawn Supra and Jason Beek ― rip through greasy versions of dark blues like Charles Sheffield’s “It’s Your Voodoo Working” and Albert Washington’s “You Gonna Miss Me.” Then, without missing a beat, the band strips down the sound, trading in drums and electric instruments for washboards, mandolins, and banjos to cover songs like Memphis Minnie’s “Nothing in Rambling,” Bessie Smith’s “Down Hearted Blues,” and Moonshine Kate’s “Poor Girl’s Story.” The new album has attracted rave reviews from Paste and NPR Music.