Wanda Jackson: Jack White Brings Back A Legend

Wanda Jackson teamed with Jack White for her latest album, The Party Ain't Over. i i

Wanda Jackson teamed with Jack White for her latest album, The Party Ain't Over. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
Wanda Jackson teamed with Jack White for her latest album, The Party Ain't Over.

Wanda Jackson teamed with Jack White for her latest album, The Party Ain't Over.

Courtesy of the artist

Hear The Music

Shakin' All Over

3 min 48 sec
 

Rum And Coca-Cola

4 min 40 sec
 

The Party Ain't Over is credited to Wanda Jackson. But it's just as much a Jack White album, defined not only by his garage-rocking, Led Zeppelin-worshipping guitar work but also by his approach as a producer. White cleverly matches Jackson's infamous vocal growl with huge arrangements, creating an instant party in the first track, "Shakin' All Over."

Before collaborating with Jackson, White drew country legend Loretta Lynn into stripped-down rock 'n' roll with their 2004 Van Lear Rose project, winning two Grammys in the process. But White has even more surprises here, taking Jackson in unexpected directions with R&B horns, B3 organ and mandolin. The steel-guitar-tinged soul of songs like "Dust on the Bible" honors Jackson's country roots and her love of gospel, pushing the music far beyond the somewhat limited scope of rockabilly.

The songs on The Party Ain't Over are well-chosen covers, from Bob Dylan to Jimmie Rodgers. But perhaps the most daring is the naughty Amy Winehouse tune "You Know I'm No Good." Jackson had her doubts about singing that one — after all, she's 73 now, and a grandma, and a born-again Christian. But White insisted, and the results are ours to enjoy.

Part musical partner, part Svengali, White coaxes performances from Jackson that fit her as well today as they did in 1958. She's still the good girl whose voice and demeanor coyly suggest a bad girl lurking within. Jackson still wears Elvis' ring around her neck, and although the king of rock 'n' roll didn't make it to the 21st century, this album makes me glad the queen did.

Related NPR Stories

Purchase Featured Music

The Party Ain't Over

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
The Party Ain't Over
Artist
Wanda Jackson
Label
Third Man
Released
2011

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.