The singer known simply as Jewel used to be on tour two years at a time.
These days, including for her upcoming stop at the Orpheum, she prefers to tour only two weeks at a time so she can have a real life.
"I sing 14 concerts in 14 cities and then go home," Jewel said by phone from her home in Stephenville, a town of about 15,000 in north-central Texas.
"I used to tour two years at a time because I was caught up in the album cycle: record, tour, record, tour. It got to be kind of a status thing. I got to sleep late and never had to take out the trash. But it was kind of an unhealthy lifestyle. I wanted to have a personal life — a love life. More important, I wanted to have a home."
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She achieved her dream by marrying nine-time world champion rodeo bull-rider Ty Murray in 2008 after a 10-year courtship and settling on a 2,200-acre working ranch where she has the luxury of time to read, write songs and poetry and just be herself, which includes time as an activist against teen homelessness and for clean water for the world.
Jewel and Murray were recently scheduled as the first husband-and-wife competitors in TV's "Dancing With the Stars," but she had to withdraw at the last minute because of stress fractures in both legs.
"I wanted to do it because I'm addicted to learning new things," she said. "But I was happy just to sit in the audience and cheer Ty on."
While she had to drop dancing, Jewel hasn't been wasting any time while her legs healed.
"I just wrote 60 songs — that's six-oh — for a new album. I'll pick maybe 12 or 14 but the rest will be around for future albums," said Jewel, known for writing her own material (about 500 songs so far) and putting a poetic spin on country. "I've never had to sit down and write a song for an album. I've always had a catalog I could choose from."
In Wichita, she will eschew a band in favor of a solo turn with just her ethereal voice and acoustic guitar. She doesn't use a set playlist and often takes request from the audience. She revels in the one-on-one intimacy with her fans.
"That makes every night different. It's like being in my living room."
Jewel's last name is Kilcher, but she became a single-name star after inadvertently omitting her last name in her first album, "Pieces of You," in 1995.
"I didn't think anything of it. I just assumed I'd be able to correct it on my next album. But 'Pieces of You' became so successful that I didn't dare."
The album went platinum 12 times to become one of the best-selling debut albums of all time. Now 35, Jewel says that "writing saved my life."
"I had a lonely and difficult childhood," she said about growing up on an Alaska ranch pioneered by her grandfather that was so isolated it had neither electricity nor plumbing.
"I was impressed by people who were willing to be brutally honest about their lives, like (poet) Pablo Neruda or Loretta Lynn or Joni Mitchell. I felt less alone because of them."
She now has eight albums, the latest being "Lullaby," a collection of acoustic tunes for children that she says is just as soothing for adults. She published a best-selling book of poetry, "A Night Without Armor" (1998), and followed it with her autobiography, "Chasing Down the Dawn" (2000).
"I still write poetry, but lately, I've been drawn to the short story form," she said. "I draw, too. I look at both of them as sort of 'creative recycling.' Sometimes, I get sick of music and just want the quiet of writing words."
If you go>
What: The Grammy-nominated singer will perform in concert with special guest Holly Williams
Where: Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
How much: Tickets: $98, $58, $38 at Select-A-Seat outlets, Dillon's Super Stores and employee clubs; also online at www.selectaseat.com and by phone at 316-755-7328.