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Wanda Jackson to play Sept. 28 Bartlesville show in support of upcoming album "Unfinished Business"

by Brandy McDonnell Published: September 17, 2012

As previously reported, Oklahoma’s own “Queen of Rockabilly” Wanda Jackson debuted last week the music video for “Tore Down,” the Freddy King cover that’s the first single from her forthcoming album “Unfinished Business,” which is set to release on Oct. 9 on Sugar Hill Records.

After performing to sold-out audiences across the country last year, including a 10-city tour supporting Adele, the longtime Oklahoma City resident is currently in the midst of a nationwide tour in support of the record, including a special show at New York’s Highline Ballroom on Oct. 12 and a home state show Sept. 28 at the Bartlesville Community Center, according to a news release.

Critically praised for her recent live shows, The Los Angeles Times claims “…she’s still fired up with power and sass,” while the Minneapolis Star Tribune adds “Holy moly, what a powerhouse. This tiny woman in red fringe and jet black hair can still sing with the same power and pizazz of the girl a quarter her age. Her voice still shifts effortlessly from warbly to scratchy to clear as a bell, and still has that girly then sultry then girly then again sultry quality about it.”

Jackson, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and country music icon, 74, worked with producer/folk musician Justin Townes Earle to bring her back to her roots for “Unfinished Business.” It is the Maud native’s 31st studio album and marks the producing debut of Earle, a renowned musician and songwriter who happens to be the son of Steve Earle.

“From day one I really liked Justin’s idea to take me back to my roots and make a record of country, blues, and rockabilly songs. The band was extra tight and great to work with during the whole process. The record just sounds terrific and I’m hoping that my fans enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it,” Jackson said in the news release.

Recorded in Nashville at House of David Studios in early 2012, the 10-song album features renditions of “California Stars” (Oklahoma native Woody Guthrie, Jay Bennett, Jeff Tweedy), “Pushover” (Billy Davis and Tony Clarke), “It’s All Over Now” (Bobby Womack and Shirley Jean Womack) as well as a duet with Earle on “Am I Even A Memory” (Greg Garing).

The new album follows Jackson’s 2011 Jack White-produced “The Party Ain’t Over,” which received both widespread critical and commercial acclaim and was listed on my all-Oklahoma top 10 albums of 2011 list. Of the record, NPR Music raved “At 73, she still exudes a youthful sound and spirit, and decorates her unique voice with an effortlessly deep and gravelly swoop at the most unexpected times,” while The New York Times noted Jackson “still sounds fantastic, and her gnarled, feisty vocals are a good fit with Mr. White’s scrappy production.” Moreover, the album found Jackson enjoying her first ever charting on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at No. 58. Jack White declared “[Jackson is] influential to every modern female singer, whether they know about her or not. She broke down those walls in the beginning, when it was the hardest to do.”

In advance of the release of “Unfinished Business,” a special 7” of the single “Tore Down” (b-side “California Stars”), which features artwork and packaging by Shooter Jennings, is now available.

Directed by Seth Graves, the “Tore Down” video features appearances by Tristen (singer/songwriter), Heidi Feek, Col. JD Wilkes (The Dirt Daubers, Legendary Shack Shakers), Coco Hames and Poni Silver (The Ettes), Beth Cameron (Forget Cassettes, Eliza the Arrow), Chris Crofton (comedian), Erin Belle (formerly of the Black Belles), Shane Tutmarc (singer/songwriter), Brandon Jazz (of Brandon Jazz and his Armed Forces), Jonas Stein (Turbo Fruits), Nikki Lane and more.

Widely known and respected as “The Queen of Rockabilly,” Jackson is credited with being the first woman to ever record a rock and roll song—“Let’s Have a Party” in 1958. In 2009, Jackson was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” and, in 2010, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americana Music Awards.

For more information on Jackson’s Bartlesville show, go to

See more Wanda Jackson 2012 fall tour dates after the break.


September 20 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall

September 21 Ames, IA Maximum Ames Music Fest

September 22 Columbia, MO Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival

September 23 Omaha, NE Slowdown

September 27 Dallas, TX The Granada Theater

September 28 Bartlesville, OK Bartlesville Community Center

September 29 Lawrence, KS The Granada Theater

October 5 Indianapolis, IN Radio Radio

October 6 Nashville, TN Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree

October 7 Bristol, TN Mountain Stage

October 8 Nashville, TN Country Music Hall of Fame

October 12 New York, NY Highline Ballroom

October 13 Boston, MA Johnny D’s

October 14 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall

October 16 Sellersville, PA 1894 Theatre

October 17 Pittsburgh, PA Altar Bar

October 18 Wilmington, DE The Queen


by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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