Wanda Jackson: Heart Trouble$13.98
Release Date: 10/14/2003
Heart Trouble, Wanda Jackson’s new album from CMH Records is her first studio recording in 15 years. Produced by John Wooler (Buena Vista Social Club’s Eliades Ochoa, Hadda Brooks, Pops Staples, Willie Nelson) Heart Trouble is an adventurous and eclectic mix of new songs and old favorites, showing that Jackson has lost none of the spirit that made her such a groundbreaking artist. The title track is a thoroughly modern Americana gem by Paul Kennerly featuring Wanda’s tart and sweet delivery, bass by the legendary Larry Taylor (Tom Waits, Canned Heat), drums from Stephen Hodges (Tom Waits, The Fabulous Thunderbirds) and guitar, mandolin and banjo by Smokey Hormel (Beck, Johnny Cash, Smokey & Miho). Other new songs include country-flavored numbers “It Happens Every Time,” “Lonely for You,” “Any Time You Wanna Fool Around,” (by Allan Miller and the Mavericks’ Jaime Hanna) and a soulful Elvis-style gospel song written for Ms. Jackson by James Intveld called “Walk With Me.”
“Crying Time” with legendary British rocker Elvis Costello shows that Wanda Jackson can still wrap her gorgeous voice around a country weeper with the best of them. The duet was recorded live in the studio with original Attractions members Peter Thomas on drums and John McFee on pedal steel.
Rosie Flores and Wanda Jackson meet again on Flores’ “Woman Walk Out The Door,” a country anthem featuring rock-solid bass by former Stray Cat Lee Rocker. Psychobilly superstars The Cramps (Poison Ivy and Lux Interior) turn up with guitar and backing vocals on “Mean Mean Man,” “Riot In Cellblock #9” and “Funnel of Love,” updating the rockabilly chestnuts with just the right amount of anarchic fun. California roots-rock legend Dave Alvin lends his searing lead guitar work to “It’ll Be Me,” “Rockabilly Fever” and more. Wanda's West Coast touring band, The Cadillac Angels, joined in on “Let’s Have a Party” and “Hard Headed Woman.”
Heart Trouble’s bracing mix of fresh and classic songs that swing from traditional and alternative country to rockabilly and gospel makes the album a fitting coda to her iconoclastic body of work, and one hell of a fun ride. Just five decades into her career, 65 year-old Wanda Jackson is still standing on the cutting edge.