Courtesy of Big Machine Records/Blackheart Records
PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY/OKLAHOMA/NEW YORK/NASHVILLE (August 20, 2021) – There is nothing Wanda Jackson can’t do. And on the Joan Jett/Kenny Laguna-produced ENCORE, International Gospel and Rockabilly Hall of Fame icon literally does it all. Funky, garage rocking, choogling a boogie, wide-open jaunty and tenderly caressing a Country ballad, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers crank all the gears that made Jackson a tower of femmepower for generations.
LISTEN/STREAM ENCORE: https://WandaJackson.lnk.to/EncorePR
For the 32nd album in a career that’s inspired a breadth of artists from Amy Winehouse to Adele, The Cramps and Jack White, who produced her 2009 critic’s favorite The Party Ain’t Over, Jackson moves through what she does best, savoring every beat, syllable and sentiment. It’s a master class for no shame roots/rockers Elle King and Angaleena Presley as well as emerging young women Candi Carpenter and Jackson’s granddaughter/manager Jordan Breanne Simpson, who also ramp up the unapologetic girl power that’s defined the bodacious vocalist known for “Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad,” Mean, Mean Man,” “Let’s Have A Party” and “Fujiyama Mama.”
With her signature tease and straight up snarl on full display on the taunting rejoinder “Big Baby,” Jackson’s growling sauce on the jaunty “Can’t Keep A Good Girl Down,” featuring Presley and Candi Carpenter, mainlines pure resilience and unstoppable life force. Without blinking, Jackson runs wide open on Jett’s “You Drive Me Wild,” as well offering real tenderness on the classic balladry on ENCORE’s closing “That’s What Love Is.”
More than her powerhouse vocals, Jackson also wrote half of ENCORE’s songs, dialing in her well-honed wisdom. Multiple Grammy Awards winners Lori McKenna and Luke Laird, ACM/CMA/Grammy Awards-nominated Will Hoge and Bluegrass queen Sonia clamored to write with the woman who’s somehow timeless and still forward-tilting.
Fans have already sampled ENCORE’s take on Johnny Tillotson’s 1962 “It Keeps Right On a-Hurtin’,” a No. 3 Top 40, No. 4 Hot Country and No. 6 Hot Rhythm & Blues smash. The sweeping Country stroll embodies the Hargus “Pig” Robbins country that captivated jukeboxes throughout the ‘60s; most notably re-recorded by Elvis Presley on his 1969 From Elvis in Memphis.
Few vocalists can cut through squalling guitars or the kind of slap bass/thundercrack beats like Jackson, who still makes it look easy. It’s what drew some of Rock’s most hardcore female voices and has given generations a role model who’s as freewheeling as she is feminine. The media response, which begins with features in the UK’s acclaimed Mojo and The Guardian has been massive: NPR, The New Yorker, No Depression, American Songwriterand Ultimate Classic Rock with more major features to come.
With the help of Jett, her longtime coproducer/manager Laguna, plus Jimmy Iovine veteran Thom Panunzio with help from Simpson and Alden Witt, the Rockabilly Queen fuses her no mess sass onto tracks of blistering musicianship – often from Jett’s road-honed Blackhearts – with a sonic thrust that brings all her swagger front and center. For anyone who’s ever thrilled to the feminist-before-feminism reality of Jackson’s signature songs, ENCORE delivers a crowning collection of songs that prove at any age a woman’s pluck can’t be denied or defied. The proof is in the rocking.