CD Hard-Headed Woman: A Celebration of Wanda Jackson (CD 1051415),
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Hard-Headed Woman: A Celebration of Wanda Jackson
1. Hot Dog, That Made Him Mad - Carolyn Mark/The Room-Mates
2. Sticks 'N' Stones - Nora O'Connor
3. Funnel of Love - Asylum Street Spankers
4. Box It Came In, The - Anna Fermin
5. Right or Wrong - Kelly Hogan
6. Brown-Eyed Hansome Man - Neko Case
7. Tears at the Grand Ol' Opry - Robbie Fulks
8. Weary Blues From Waiting - Jesse Sykes/The Sweet Hereafter
9. This Gun Don't Care Who It Shoots - The Cornell Hurd Band
10. In the Middle of a Heartache - Rosie Flores
11. Rock Your Baby - Candye Kane
12. Fujiama Mama - Trailer Bride
13. One Day at a Time - Jane Baxter-Miller
14. Let's Have a Party - Wayne Hancock
15. This Should Go on Forever - Kristi Rose
16. Wasted - Laura Cantrell
17. Cool Love - Kim Lenz
18. Let's Stop Kicking Our Hearts Around - The Bottle Rockets/Sheri Hurst
19. If You Don't Somebody Else Will - The Ranch Girls/The Ragtime Wranglers
20. Why I'm Walking - Gina Lee/The Brisket Boys
21. Both Sides of the Line - Jesse Dayton
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 077
Tributee: Wanda Jackson.
Nick Tosches once famously described Wanda Jackson as "the greatest menstruating rock & roll singer whom the world has ever known," and while he doubtless chose those words for comic effect, the nervy crudity is not entirely inappropriate. At her best, Wanda Jackson sounded wild and ravenously sensual in a way that few artists dared in the mid-'50s, especially not female vocalists, and sides like "Let's Have a Party," "Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad," and "Fujiama Mama" run neck in neck with Jerry Lee Lewis or Billy Lee Riley for sheer frenzied rockabilly energy. If Jackson was too hot a number for her time and place, she was also smart enough to know it, and in the early '60s she shifted gears and began performing more traditional (and straight-laced) country material, and if the results were less exciting, there's no denying she had a great way with a honky tonk weeper; not unlike Jerry Lee Lewis, today her country sessions sound tougher and more heartfelt than what many of her peers were up to at the time. Outside of rockabilly fanatics and similar roots rock weirdos, Jackson is not nearly as well remembered as her body of work and historical importance would dictate, and Hard-Headed Woman: A Celebration of Wanda Jackson is a tribute album in which more than 20 different acts pay homage to her songs. Appropriately, most of the artists are women unafraid to get rowdy, and Neko Case, Carolyn Mark, Kim Lenz, and Kristi Rose all do right by Wanda's red-hot example, while Kelly Hogan, Jesse Sykes, and Laura Cantrell approach her honky tonk material with a similarly caring touch. Wayne Hancock and Cornell Hurd are also on board to show that the menfolk learned a few valuable lessons from Jackson as well, and they both do better than the few artists who decided to go weird with Jackson's hits (the greatest offender being Trailer Bride's affected take on "Fujiama Mama"). Hard-Headed Woman won't take the place of a decent Wanda Jackson record (Rhino's Rockin' in the Country: The Best of Wanda Jackson is a great starter, and 2003's Heart Trouble shows her voice is still in fine shape), but it offers concrete proof that folks who know good rock and good country dig Miss Wanda the most, and this is one of those rare tribute albums where the results are as good as the intentions. ~ Mark Deming
Rolling Stone (p.177) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]he pioneering Jackson combined Patsy Cline and Elvis Presley into one rebellious rockabilly fireball."
Uncut (p.126) - 3 stars out of 5 - "This long-overdue tribute tempers the visceral heat of rockabilly's first rebel queen with a softer side that intuitively grasped the heartache of honky tonk, gospel, and country."
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