Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

Wanda Jackson, Girls Guns & Glory at Local 506 4/12/11

When: Tue., April 12, 8 p.m. 

Price: $20

She's the Queen of Rockabilly, the original riot grrrl thanks to her trailblazing feminine spunk. Jackson was but 14 when country legend Hank Thompson invited her to sing with his band, then helped her get a recording contract. She left country for rockabilly after spending a summer touring with a teenage Elvis, who sold her on the sound's vibrancy and youth appeal. If his hips caused that much furor, you can imagine how a woman singing with the same growling rock spirit was received. Her biggest hit came in Japan ("Fujiyama Mama"), but the power and fire of her music is undeniable. She returned to country as the British Invasion absorbed and transcended rockabilly, but she still scored several hits with feisty tracks such as "My Big Iron Skillet." Riding the post-millennial resurgence in roots music, Jackson fashioned a cameo-laden comeback album (2003's Heart Trouble). Jack White declined to participate as a guest on that disc but offered to do a whole album with her, which became the recently released The Party Ain't Over. Playing Rick Rubin to her Johnny Cash, White coaxed Jackson's inner sassy teen to the surface on 11 overly busy tracks that nonetheless bristle, highlighted by a smoldering cover of Amy Winehouse's "You Know That I'm No Good." Girls Guns & Glory open. Chris Parker credit - The Independent