Wanda Jackson – Live & Still Kickin’

Wanda JacksonLive & Still Kickin’ (DCN)

Not surprisingly, this CD suffers from the same wretchedness as the other DCN disc I reviewed, Trent Summar & The New Row Mob – Live At 12th & Porter. This label’s m.o. is to release live performances recorded at small clubs (including Chicago’s Schubas). While this can be cool, it can also be abominable, as evidenced here. To explain, I once had a conversation with a guy in a pretty good rockabilly band that was playing on a Tuesday night in Memphis. While it was clear the band was talented, a lot of the show was awful stuff, approaching a bad comedy act. He told me how much they hated having to do this shtick for the tourist crowd, stuff like playing a rockabilly version of “Stairway to Heaven.” But they were a full-time band that had bills to pay. The point is that these sorts of shows do not deserve to be captured for posterity: No one needs to hear Wanda Jackson belt out Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock & Roll.” She was a true rockabilly great in the 1950s. That time is long gone.

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