"It''s an exciting time to be Wanda Jackson," Austin''s American-Statesman declared in October on the eve of Jackson''s 73rd birthday bash at the Continental Club there. The undisputed Queen of Rockabilly - a touring powerhouse for more than 50 years - is releasing her debut disc for Third Man/Nonesuch Records, the aptly titled The Party Ain''t Over.
This collection of vintage and contemporary covers was produced by fan and new-found friend Jack White at his Nashville studio and recorded with a late-night honky-tonk feel by members of My Morning Jacket, the Raconteurs, and Dead Weather, among others. The White-curated lineup of tunes, says Jackson, showcases "all the various types of music that I''ve done through the years-some country, some gospel, some rockabilly, some rock n'' roll. It''s got all of that, and we threw in a Bob Dylan song ''Thunder On the Mountain,'' just to be safe."
The spirited Jackson, revered for such classic singles as "Let''s Have a Party" and "Fujiyama Mama," proves that brash rock and roll attitude need not have an age limit. Her trademark growl remains intact on rockers like "Rip It Up" and "Nervous Breakdown"; she opens the set with an echo-laden sneer on a rollicking version of "Shakin'' All Over" and ends it 10 songs later with a plaintive take on Jimmie Rodgers'' "Yodel #6." Along the way she tackles the Andrew Sisters kitschy "Rum and Coca Cola" and a big-band rendition of the DeCastro Sisters'' "Teach Me Tonight," and she out-sasses-and out-classes-Amy Winehouse on a cover of the British bad girl''s "You Know I''m No Good," which has already been released as a single.
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