Unfinished Business

Unfinished Business

by Wanda Jackson


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On 2011's The Party Ain't Over, Jack White took it upon himself to remind the world of the greatness of Wanda Jackson, the first lady of rockabilly, by creating a great and gaudy musical spectacle in which the headlining artist often got lost in the shuffle of her own album. A year later, Jackson headed back into the studio, this time with Justin Townes Earle behind the controls, and the title Unfinished Business faintly suggests this album was meant as a corrective to the folly of her collaboration with White. It certainly suits Jackson and her gifts better than The Party Ain't Over; Earle has set Jackson up with a solid studio band (usually just guitar, bass, keys, drums, and sometimes pedal steel) and for the most part, they kept out of her way, giving her just enough space to show she still has the goods. Jackson's instrument is weaker than it was in her prime -- no great surprise from a woman nearly 75 years old -- but her phrasing is still on target, and she's got spunk and attitude to spare; when she tells off a two-timing suitor on "Pushover," the scenario not only sounds plausible, but you sure don't want to be in that guy's shoes. Unfinished Business nods to the totality of Jackson's career, so while old-school rock & roll dominates the set, she also shows off her estimable skills singing vintage country (particularly on "What Do You Do When You're Lonesome," written by Earle, and "Am I Even a Memory," in which he delivers a fine duet vocal) and gospel (a fervent take on Townes Van Zandt's "Two Hands"). And Jackson shows her mettle on two surprising selections -- she sounds tough and sassy on Bobby Womack's classic "It's All Over Now," and delivers a warm, graceful interpretation of the Jeff Tweedy/Woody Guthrie collaboration "California Stars." Wanda Jackson's best records were simple at heart -- give the gal a good song and a good band, and she can do the rest. Unfinished Business shows that six decades after her first recordings, that strategy still works, and she can still deliver the goods without a lot of needless fuss.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/09/2012
Label: Sugarhill
UPC: 0015891408729
catalogNumber: 14087
Rank: 165742

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wanda Jackson   Primary Artist,Vocals
Mike Bub   Upright Bass
Kenny Vaughan   Electric Guitar
Bryan Owings   Drums
Paul Niehaus   Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar
Skylar Wilson   Organ,Piano,Electric Piano,Bandleader
Hailey Collier   Background Vocals
Tristen   Background Vocals
Justin Townes Earle   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Larissa Maestro   Background Vocals
Cory Younts   Harmonica,Background Vocals
Amanda Shires   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Woody Guthrie   Composer
Bobby Womack   Composer
Sonny Thompson   Composer
Jay Bennett   Composer
Tony Clarke   Composer
Bob DiPiero   Composer
Gary Nicholson   Composer
Jeff Tweedy   Composer
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
Stephen King   Liner Notes
Greg Garing   Composer
Shirley Jean Womack   Composer
Roquel Davis   Composer
Adam Bednarik   Engineer
Justin Townes Earle   Composer,Producer
Stephen Earle   Composer

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