Queen of Rockabilly
Unfinished Business, the new album from legendary singer and “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” inductee Wanda Jackson, is out now on Sugar Hill Records. This is Jackson’s 31st studio album and marks the producing debut of fellow renowned musician and songwriter Justin Townes Earle. Of the release, The Wall Street Journal asserts, “Her twangy cap-gun voice and feisty confidence haven’t dimmed much…,” while Relix magazine heralds, “Jackson teases, taunts and tells off bad-news guys during the album’s many youthful numbers…for a firecracker, she’s got phenomenal emotional range.” In celebration of the release, Jackson is currently in the midst of a nationwide tour in support of the new album.
In addition to the LP, a special 7” of the album’s first single “Tore Down” (with b-side “California Stars”), which features artwork and packaging by Shooter Jennings, is now available. Moreover, the music video for the single recently premiered at GQ.com. American Songwriter calls the song a “…rollicking roadhouse rocker,” while the Onion AV Club asserts, “…finds Jackson turning on the sass full force, never mind the fact she’s in her 70s.”
Of working with producer Justin Townes Earle, Jackson comments, “From day one I really liked Justin’s idea to take me back to my roots and make a record of country, blues, and rockabilly songs. The band was extra tight and great to work with during the whole process. The record just sounds terrific and I’m hoping that my fans enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.” Recorded in Nashville at House of David Studios in early 2012, the 10-song album features renditions of “California Stars” (Woody Guthrie, Jay Bennett, Jeff Tweedy), “Pushover” (Billy Davis and Tony Clarke), “It’s All Over Now” (Bobby Womack and Shirley Jean Womack) as well as a duet with Earle on “Am I Even A Memory” (Greg Garing). See below for complete track-listing.
The new album follows Jackson’s 2011 Jack White-produced The Party Ain’t Over, which received both widespread critical and commercial acclaim. Of the record, NPR Music raved “At 73, she still exudes a youthful sound and spirit, and decorates her unique voice with an effortlessly deep and gravelly swoop at the most unexpected times,” while The New York Times noted Jackson “still sounds fantastic, and her gnarled, feisty vocals are a good fit with Mr. White’s scrappy production.” Moreover, the album found Jackson enjoying her first ever charting on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at #58. Jack White declared “[Jackson is] influential to every modern female singer, whether they know about her or not. She broke down those walls in the beginning, when it was the hardest to do.”
Widely known and respected as “The Queen of Rockabilly,” Jackson is credited with being the first woman to ever record a rock and roll song—“Let’s Have a Party” in 1958. In 2009, Jackson was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” and, in 2010, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americana Music Awards.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“Here is a one-of-a-kind voice as fresh now as it was in 1958. This album made me smile, chased out a tear or two, and occasionally brought on the goosebumps. A voice this big will never be living in the past. Wanda Jackson really does have a lot of unfinished business.” —Stephen King