Gretchen Wilson

Ready To Get Rowdy-2017 (Redneck Records)

Gretchen Wilson is best known for her 2004 smash hit “Redneck Woman.” She has three No.1 albums to her credit but has been AWOL since 2013’s dual release of the modest selling classic rock covers effort “Under The Covers” and “Right On Time.” Her time away from the spotlight was spent focusing on motherhood and running her own label, Redneck Records; but in her absence, she faced relevancy issues and one hit wonder status. Well, she returns with a vengeance with “Ready To Get Rowdy.” The hard rocking tone of the album kicks off with the bruising guitar and harmonica on the opener, “Stacy” a harsh dress down of a desperate woman.

Right after, Wilson is the desperate one as she picks the wrong man that she can’t quit because of his sexual prowess. She cuts loose at full voice on the hard rocking title track and resurrects her Redneck Woman persona with a virtual clone of her signature hit: a how to party on a Saturday night instruction manual.

“Where the whiskey still brown Hank’s still around”

Kid Rock lends a hand on “Bad Feeling” where Wilson keeps right up with this powerful growl on a legit power ballad. Their voices both compete and compliment at once. Dissonant guitar and a horn section power an unusual arrangement that feels like an Eighties hair metal jam

The engineers take their foot off the gas on the acoustic ballad “Mary Kay and Maybelline” It is a welcome change of pace from

Production quality on all her albums has been very good and this one is no exception. Wilson had a hand in writing all 12 tracks and while. Though the songs may be newt, thematically, they feel like they could easily have been discovered in the lost archives of her 2004 debut, “Her For The Party.”

She moved from a farm to a neighborhood for the sake of her child’s schooling and admits “I miss riding through the woods on four wheelers and having target practice out in the field.”

Proves you can take the girl out of the redneck, but (well, you know the rest)

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