In a match made in Nashville heaven, country queen Loretta Lynn came barreling into the 21st century with Jack White in the producer’s seat, crafting together an absolutely essential record.
Loretta’s voice is powerful and true as ever, with throaty Kentucky-raised charm and lilting, emotive country soul. Jack’s driving, gritty blues guitar sound dips in and out of the tracks like a jolt of lightening but he is careful not to overwhelm her voice, which rides the wave of gorgeous pedal steel, fiddle, dobro, and a sick rhythm section. Each song is treated as it’s own unique creation – some rock hard behind Loretta’s swagger and belting voice (Portland, Oregon) and others are treated tenderly with just an intimate acoustic guitar (Miss being Mrs.)
If you know Loretta from her classic 60s and 70s tunes, you won’t be disappointed. This album is pure stripped-down Loretta with production that finally matches her moxie: electric, energetic, and real.
Loretta’s writing is the other star of this album – the first she’d ever written fully on her own. Themes of spurned love, loss, one-night stands, and country life, are infused with the joy and wisdom of a life well-lived. She was 72 when they made the album a decade ago (Jack was only 28) and time has only served it well. It sounds fresh and timeless all at once. It’s autobiographical qualities only enhance the allure “I like true life things,” she said in an 2004 interview. “I like real life. ‘Cause that’s what we’re doing today. And I think that’s why people bought my records. They’re living in this world and so am I, and I see what’s going on and I grab it.”