|Heart Trouble, Wanda Jackson
Now listen up you rockabilly guys an' gals, have I got a treat for you! Here's the brand new Wanda Jackson release with all new recordings. I know, it hasn't always been a great success when our rockabilly idols get back in the studio after 40 years or so, but this time things are certainly different. First fact of course is that Wanda has never been away and she is still performing live on stage today. Yes, the girl is 66 years of age today (call it coincidence), but what a voice! Many of our favorite rockin' tracks are re-arranged and played by some of the best rock 'n' roll musicians in the world, like Dave Alvin, Rosie Flores, Lee Rocker, The Cramps and Elvis Costello, to name but a few. You can believe me that this stands for a supreme sound quality on these brand new renditions, yes the chemistry worked. Even the CD cover is impressive, with many wonderfull photographs of Wanda from the 50s till now, and extensive liner notes. Do not expect just a copy of Wanda's 50s recordings, this is new, this is hot!
One thing that surely reminds of the 50s and early 60s is Wanda's voice. Incredible that, after 50 years in the music business, this lady still has got one of the finest rockabilly & country voices you can imagine. Now, let's hear why I'm all excited and revved up about this album. The opening title song "Heart Trouble" is a bluesy song, just to get things started and get you in the mood. A strong bass line, and all over excellent musicianship combined with Wanda's fabulous voice makes it an opener never to forget. Second track is the Louvin Brothers' "Cash On The Barrelhead", an uptempo hillbilly song, with all new sounds, like a mild distortion on the lead guitar. And it gets better! The classic "Funnel Of Love" has got the new millenium treatment. With Poison Ivy on a mean lead guitar, it's a completely new song, one that'll send shivers up and down your spine.
The rockabilly country song "Woman Walk Out The Door" also has an all star cast. With Dave Alvin (Blasters) on guitar, Lee Rocker (Stray Cats) on upright bass and Rosie Flores is happily singing along with Wanda. I bet you can imagine what this sounds like. On the sensitive "Crying Time", Wanda sings a duet with Elvis Costello, and the sad steel guitar sounds are cutting through your heart. But Wanda can also still do old time rock 'n' roll, just listen to "Mean Mean Man","Riot In Cell Block #9" and "Hard Headed Woman", varied with country songs "It Happens Every Time" and "Anytime You Wanna Fool Around".
"Lonely For You" is another treat, again with Dave Alvin on guitar, followed by a ballad titled "What Gives You The Right To Do Me Wrong". And for all you hardcore rock 'n' roll fans, here comes "Rockabilly Fever" thundering through the speakers, Blasters style, and Wanda's rendition of Jerry Lee's "It'll Be Me" sounds more beautiful that ever with Neil Larson hitting the keys.
The gospel song "Walk With Me" is the only track that might not be very appealing to the rockabilly fans, because I just happen to know that rock 'n' rollers don't appreciate a church organ very much. But Wanda is making it all up to you with her all time greatest rockabilly hit "Let's Have A Party", with Neil doing an excellent job on the piano again. Too bad this is the last song on the album, I wished it would go on for an hour more, but then again, there's always the repeat button!
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