Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wanda Jackson doesn't act her age at The Granada

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2011 at 10:30 AM

2011.05.18_wanda_jackson_01.jpg

Wanda Jackson, with Holly Golightly
The Granada
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A distinctly older crowd made its way through the doors of The Granada last night. Lots of gray hair and khaki were present, and door guys were pointing the more elderly toward security so that they might find some folding chairs. It was certainly a distinct change from the usual push-and-shove aesthetic at most shows at The Granada. However, once Wanda Jackson started with her brand of inimitable rockabilly, every woman down front was bumping and grinding like a hootchie-cootchie girl.

2011.05.18_wanda_jackson_02.jpg

The set opened with Jackson's backing band, Heath Haynes and the Hi-Dollars, knocking out a couple of covers (Chuck Berry's "Carol" and Bo Diddley's "Roadrunner"), before launching into Link Wray's "Rumble," which brought Jackson out on stage. The petite woman came out clad in a fringed jacket and bouffant hairdo, looking like she might be a classy, fashionable, older lady who had wandered onstage. However, the instant she opened her mouth, it was as though there were an 18-year-old hidden in there.

Jackson gave The Granada a capital-s Show. There's a certain temptation to use the word spry, but the fact is that she just never lost a single step. She was chatting with the audience in between songs and telling stories, like she was "sitting in their living room." And, surprisingly, Jackson had a naughty streak: talking shit on college students ("I never needed college" and "I know you've got finals, but whatever's important ..."), asking if anyone was thirsty, and then shaking a bottle of water over most of the front row, and -- most notably -- licking her finger at the end of her version of Amy Winehouse's "I'm No Good." Hipsters were even made nervous with an honest declaration of her Christian faith (followed by an audience sing-along, revival-meeting version of "I Saw the Light).

2011.05.18_wanda_jackson_03.jpg

She did a run-through of all her hits, explaining what happened to make them happen or providing little details that were related, such as "Fujiyama Mama" being her first No.1 hit ... but in Japan. An especially pleasant part of the show was that the album cuts were far superior live than what is heard on The Party Ain't Over. The songs were screamers. I don't think I'm in the minority when I say the show could've gone on all night. I'm sure the stories and patter were well-worn and rehearsed, but every aside, story and joke seemed completely in-the-moment and honest. Spook Lights frontman Scary Manilow wondered aloud why she'd never had a Vegas revue, and it does seem a damned shame that Jackson never had the triumphant success and recognition that someone of her talent was due. It's hoped that this "second act," as Jackson dubbed it, goes a long way toward providing some of that recognition.

Set list

Riot on Cell Block #9

Rock Your Baby

I Gotta Know

Funnel of Love

Betcha My Heart

Good Rockin' Tonight

Heartbreak Hotel

Shakin' All Over

You Know I'm No Good

Rip It Up

Like a Baby

Nervouse Breakdown

Fujiyama Mama

Right or Wrong

Mean Mean Man

I Saw the Light

Let's Have a Party

Encore

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Let's Have a Party

2011.05.18_001_holly_golightly.jpg

Opener Holly Golightly might as well have been the rhythm guitarist for her partner, Lawyer Dave. He sang lead on most tracks, as well as playing a wicked slide guitar, but their harmonies were stellar and made an instant fan of both me and my wife (who bought three of their CDs). It's a swampy, dirty kind of blues that the duo plays, and the playful interplay between the two lightens up the mood surrounding songs of domestic abuse and casual violence. There were quite a few cries of "one more!" at the end of their set, which stood in stark contrast to the folks running their mouths for the majority of their performance.

2011.05.18_002_holly_golightly.jpg

Critical bias: I sent editor Elke an e-mail the day the show was announced, saying not much more than "dibs!"

Overheard: "You just vicariously made out with Wanda Jackson!"

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Popular Stories

Slideshows

All contents ©2014 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation