January 18, 2011


First Listen: Wanda Jackson, 'The Party Ain't Over' (Sarah Ventre, 1/16/11, NPR: First Listen)

Wanda Jackson is a rare and special icon of rock 'n' roll: Known as the Queen of Rockabilly, she's been a pioneer in carving out a place for women in rock.

The Party Ain't Over, Jackson's first studio album in eight years, features 12 cover songs produced by Jack White. It also showcases a generous smattering of guest artists, including Jackson Smith (Patti Smith's son), Karen Elson (White's wife) and Jack Lawrence (of The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes), among others. Most songs feature between eight and twelve musicians, and the result is a dense but impeccably crafted blanket of sound.

Even with the star-studded assistance, The Party Ain't Over still focuses on Jackson's distinct voice and style, which radiate femininity while maintaining a confident, rough, gritty edge. 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.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at January 18, 2011 6:01 PM
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