Friday, January 21, 2011

Shakin' All Over

Song: Shakin' All Over
Artist: Wanda Jackson
Album: The Party Ain't Over

Wanda Jackson is a rockabilly/country singer and guitarist whom gained popularity in the mid 50's and early 60's.  She was at the forefront of the rock & roll movement at the time, and is often referred to as "The First Lady (or Queen) of Rockabilly."  At the age of 73, she's about to release an album of new material, "The Party Ain't Over," at the end of the month.

As he did with Loretta Lynn back in 2004 on her excellent album "Van Lear Rose," Mr. Jack White of the White Stripes has teamed with Jackson to record a hard-rocking album that takes the sound from the past and modernizes it.

The duo teamed up to initially record a cover of Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good" as a single for White's Third Man Records.  Based on the success of the single, they decided to record a full album.  "The Party Ain't Over" is a series of covers that range in release from the early 1900's to 2007.  Including Dylan's "Thunder on the Mountain," and "Shakin' All Over" by The Guess Who.

Jackson is noted as being the first woman to record a rock & roll song, 1958's "Let's Have a Party," which happens to be the only song I knew of hers and one I often play at parties.  She was linked romantically to Elvis Presley for a bit, whom encouraged her to sing rockabilly when she shared a bill with him.  The early 60's found her rockabilly the most popular, but as the genre lost favor she turned to country music around 1965.  After a having a number one record in Japan with "Fujiyama Mama," she recorded a song in German, "Santo Domingo" which also went to number 1.  The success of that record spawned eight more German singles.

In the late 60's Jackson's material took a bit of a violent turn including the hit "My Big Iron Skillet," which promised murder and/or a beat down to a cheating spouse.  In the early 70's, at her children's request, she began attending church, discovered Christianity, and began recording gospel.  Jackson released one album in the 80's and then another in 2003, and now "The Party Ain't Over" eight years later.

Even at 73, Jackson has a healthy amount of fire, and White brings a killer band to assist her, consisting of Jack Lawrence (The Dead Weather/Raconteurs,) Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket,) Patrick Keeler (Raconteurs,) Ashley Monroe, Jackson Smith, & Karen Elson.  The music is crackling, and while Jackson's voice is weathered, there is a raw realness to it that completely works.  As it's an album of covers it fails to pack the punch of "Van Lear Rose," but it's a solid rock & roll record and an amazing achievement for a woman of her stature, and age.

You can find out more about Wanda on her official site.

I'm not sure how many more female legends White plans to re-ignite... but the results are certainly worth the listen.  I've got my fingers crossed for a Dolly Parton collaboration.


Shakin' All Over

You Know I'm No Good

Fujiyama Mama

1 comment: said...

Hi! im devastated that i stopped getting your amazing music selection in my email every day. what happened? it stopped around the holidays and i need it back... i miss it so much! how do i get it back?