Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson, who turns 75 Saturday, released her 31st studio album, “Unfinished Business,” last week on Sugar Hill Records.
The follow-up to her acclaimed 2011 album “The Party Ain’t Over,” produced by rocker Jack White, “Unfinished Business” had Jackson working with alt-country singer/songwriter/producer Justin Townes Earle.
With Earle producing, Oklahoma’s own Queen of Rockabilly revisited her country, rockabilly and classic rock roots on “Unfinished Business.” She also continued her tradition of including a gospel song on her new album.
“It seems like it’s just the known fact — I hope it is — that I’m a Christian and I do want to represent Christ on every album that I do. So I want gospel song,” Jackson told me in a phone interview earlier this week.
“Oddly enough, Jack White and Justin, I did not have to mention that; they already knew it. And that made me very happy ‘cause so many of my fans that will listen to this album may never hear a gospel song other than what’s on my albums. So I want to make sure that they hear about Christ.”
For the “Party Ain’t Over,” Jackson and White got shockingly funky on the old chestnut “Dust on the Bible.”
“Unfinished Business” includes the longtime Oklahoma City resident’s fervently joyous take on Townes Van Zandt’s “Two Hands.” Earle is the son of maverick Texas singer-songwriter Steve Earle, who took his son’s middle name from his mentor, the late, great Van Zandt.
To listen to Jackson’s rendition of “Two Hands,” click here.
“The story of Christ needs to be out there for young people at least to hear through music,” Jackson said.
Read more of interview with Wanda Jackson as well as my “Unfinished Business” review on Friday. And check out these gospel performances from “The Sweet Lady with the Nasty Voice”: