Wanda Jackson : The Party Ain’t Over
Wanda Jackson, a guitar-wielding trailblazer armed with a sexy sneer and a primal growl, produced some of the best and most authentic rockabilly songs of the 1950s. If you were lucky enough to witness her stellar performance at The Corner Hotel last year you'd know that age has not diminished her prodigious vocal talents or her ability to work a crowd.
Watching her blow the roof off the joint with snarling classics such as Fujiyama Mama and Mean Mean Man it was easy to see why The White Stripes' Jack White would want to work with her. The result of their collaboration is The Party Ain't Over, an album of considerable strength that will appeal to both the hardcore rockabilly fan and to the casual listener new to Wanda's work.
Shakin' All Over , drenched in reverb, bubbling with horns and punctuated by violent garage guitar, is the perfect vehicle for Wanda's raunchy, razor-sharp vocals while the boppin' Rip It Up and Rum And Coca Cola are up-tempo feel-good gems that are guaranteed to get the feet tappin'. Busted has that type of cheeky psych flourish that Lee Hazelwood was so good at injecting into his legendary work with Nancy Sinatra. Thunder On The Mountain is a sizzling slice of jet-fuelled boogie-drenched rock 'n' roll that features some exciting lighting-hot lead guitar and steamy boogie-woogie piano action.
You Know I'm No Good , which exudes a dark and melancholy vibe, is driven by Wanda's sultry growl to suitably crazed heights while Like A Baby and Nervous Breakdown sound deliciously unhinged and ferociously intense. Dust On The Bible features some powerful instrumentation and a country-gospel swing that will get even the most hardcore atheist singing along. The slow-burn Teach Me Tonight has a luscious nocturnal lounge feel that showcases the sweet side of Wanda's vivacious vocals while album closer Blue Yodel #6 is a stripped-back blues enlivened by Wanda's inspired yodeling.
These eleven gold-plated tracks confirm that Wanda Jackson remains the undisputed Queen of Rockabilly.
Best track: Busted
If You Like These, You'll Like This: Queen Of Rockabilly WANDA JACKSON; Cracker Jack JANIS MARTIN; Born Bad Volume One VARIOUS ARTISTS;
In A Word: Class.