Wanda Jackson isn’t the first icon of American roots music to get the Jack White treatment. That was Lorretta Lynn, of course, whose White-produced 2004 record, Van Lear Rose, helped re-launch the career of one of country music’s all time greats. Now, the Queen of Rockbilly gets her turn, and judging by “Thunder on the Mountain,” the first single from the soon to be released, The Party Ain’t Over, we may soon witness a similar renaissance of Jackson’s career. In one word, this track scorches. Jack White’s guitar solos – Scorchin’. The Third Man House Band, both the rhythm section and the horn section – Scorchin’. And lest we forget Jackson, it is her album, after all — She manages a hoot here and a holler there, while scootin’ through this old Dylan tune with more vigor than any 63 year-old woman I know. Yes, she delivers a scorchin’ performance, too.
- July 20, 2015
Political punk rock comes with a unique risk. What if all the causes you've been championing have been overtaken by more pressing issues by the time your album hits the streets? In our era, dominated by hot takes and social media firestorms, remaining topical is even more difficult. When you consider anarcho-punk forebearers, Crass were left to question their own strategy after Thatcher began and ended the Falkland's War in the early '80s while the band worked for more than a year on the double album, Christ - The Album, a modern band surely faces an even more daunting task, right? Who cares about Occupation Wall Street any more? In the past month gay marriage is the law of the land and the Confederate flag has (finally) become a poisonous symbol. A diplomatic, nuclear arms treaty with Iran has been agreed upon and a Cuban flag is flying outside of an embassy in Washington DC. The United States of 2015 is a far different place than the United States of 2012, when Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and his long, dormant band, Desaparecidos reunited for a second round of incendiary arena-punk. Read More