10 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At 75, Wanda Jackson is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll. She played the mean and greasy stuff long before most rockers were even a notion in their parents' minds. While the Jack White–produced The Party Ain't Over brought Jackson the mainstream attention she's long deserved, the Justin Townes Earle production for Unfinished Business comes closer to what she usually serves up. The band is solid without overwhelming the singer. Her vocal power might not be what it used to be—just like Bob Dylan or Roger Daltrey can't quite reach their marks these days—but her phrasing and smarts are as playful as ever. She tears through The Valentinos' "It's All Over Now" with great joy. The Jeff Tweedy interpretation of Woody Guthrie's "California Stars" is sad and touching. Earle joins Jackson for the worthy country duet "Am I Ever a Memory?," and they touch on honky-tonk with "What Do You Do When You're Lonesome?" She still brings her best to everything she does, and just as Johnny Cash played out his legacy with class, Jackson intends to continue fighting the good fight until she can fight no more.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At 75, Wanda Jackson is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll. She played the mean and greasy stuff long before most rockers were even a notion in their parents' minds. While the Jack White–produced The Party Ain't Over brought Jackson the mainstream attention she's long deserved, the Justin Townes Earle production for Unfinished Business comes closer to what she usually serves up. The band is solid without overwhelming the singer. Her vocal power might not be what it used to be—just like Bob Dylan or Roger Daltrey can't quite reach their marks these days—but her phrasing and smarts are as playful as ever. She tears through The Valentinos' "It's All Over Now" with great joy. The Jeff Tweedy interpretation of Woody Guthrie's "California Stars" is sad and touching. Earle joins Jackson for the worthy country duet "Am I Ever a Memory?," and they touch on honky-tonk with "What Do You Do When You're Lonesome?" She still brings her best to everything she does, and just as Johnny Cash played out his legacy with class, Jackson intends to continue fighting the good fight until she can fight no more.

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