At 73 years of age, most folks are well into a sun bronzed retirement, flopped in a plastic chair on some sandy shoreline, waves spit by a vast ocean tide caressing their shins…but Wanda Jackson, apparently, has other plans, opting instead to bask in waves of festival applause rather than fade away into obscurity.
The Queen Of Rockabilly’s latest release, The Party Ain’t Over, an 11-track collection of cover songs, produced by the bohemian bluesman Jack White and released by his own Nashville-based Third Man Records, stands alone as Jackson’s only album to ever chart on the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number 58. Her set was riddled with cuts from this latest work and it was only a matter of time before the topic of her producer was broached.
“The best way to describe Jack [White],” said Jackson, “he’s like a brick, a velvet covered brick. That just simply means he’s going to have his way in that studio, but he’s going to do it so nicely you won’t even notice until it’s all over.”
Jackson used the quote above as an introduction to one of my favorite tracks from her 2011 release, a gritty rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good,” the original “bad girl” of Rock N’ Roll (Jackson) prompting hoots and hollers from the audience when hissing the song’s title…the same certainly cannot be said about her still lush voice and seductive performance.
A college girl to my left held a sign that read “We worship the ground you rock on,” how else are we to treat the Queen?
“You Know I’m No Good” by Wanda Jackson (Live From Bonnaroo ’11)