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wanda

Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll Wanda Jackson, once a great beauty, ain’t lookin’ too good these days, but who could blame her? Now well into her 70s, the rockabilly star of the ’50s and ’60s is making records, and that’s what matters anyway. Following her 2009 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jackson dropped The Party Ain’t Over with the help of Jack White last year. But where White’s arrangements overpowered and diminished her still-formidable voice, making her sound feeble and way past her prime, her recent release, Unfinished Business, produced by Justin Townes Earle, does just the opposite. Jackson’s voice isn’t quite what it used to be (did I mention she’s 75?), but she still has great control and expressive power and songwriting smarts, and J.T.E. has found the perfect space for her among slide guitars and slower-tempo tunes. Ol’ Wanda may look a little rough around the edges, but she still sounds good.

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