Pin It
Favorite

CD Review 

by Sheri Boggs


I love that instead of a tasteful black and white photo -- something haunted and contemporary like the portraits on Johnny Cash's last few albums -- the cover of Van Lear Rose is 100 percent Grand Ol' Opry. Wearing the kind of voluminous forget-me-not blue gown she and the other gals (Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton, to be sure) wore at the height of their popularity, Lynn leans against an old tree and contemplates how far she's come from Butcher Holler. Her hair is unnaturally black; her guitar has her name spelled out down the length of the neck in mother of pearl. She could, in fact, be the hip mama (or grandma) of the White Stripes' Jack White, who's photographed with her inside the front cover, also with unnaturally black hair and a belt buckle that reads "Jack."


But this is no "Madonna-kisses-Britney," in which an aging star latches on to the next big thing in an attempt to grab one last fleeting bit of limelight. Although Lynn hadn't recorded much in recent years, it was White who'd grown up on her records and sought out his idol with an idea for a great project. White produced this album and appears on one of the songs ("Portland Oregon"), but the rest is all Loretta's deal. In fact, the first album she's ever recorded where she wrote every single song.


In short, it's a lark. Lynn doesn't sound anywhere near her 70 years -- her voice is as supple and melodic as it was in her "Don't Come Home Drinkin' [With Lovin' On Your Mind]" days. White and the rest of the backup band (the Do Whaters) offer a surprisingly aggressive backbone for Lynn's feminine drawl. Steel guitars, dissonant riffs and a lonesome violin give her lyrics -- all about drinkin', cheatin', makin' up and makin' babies -- resilience and weight. In fact, if it's old-style country you miss, Van Lear Rose is a welcome trip back in time. While the spoken word of "Little Red Shoes" is hypnotic, and "Have Mercy on Me" is pure rock 'n' roll, it's "Family Tree" -- with its sassy little chorus, "No I didn't come to fight, if he was a better man I might / But I wouldn't dirty my hands on trash like you," that's the most Loretta Lynn-esque and the most fun.





Publication date: 06/10/04
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • American Fabric
  • American Fabric

    Racism is alive and well in our symbols and society
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • America's Yin and Yang
  • America's Yin and Yang

    Publisher's Note
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • After Charleston
  • After Charleston

    Taking down the Confederate flag is a good start, but overcoming centuries of suppression won't be that easy
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Moscow ArtWalk 2015

Moscow ArtWalk 2015 @ Downtown Moscow

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Sheri Boggs

  • Beer and Branding in PDX

    • Sep 15, 2005
  • Nightlife- Bands to Watch

    Gorilla and Rabbit Aside from the fact that you can't help but watch Gorilla and Rabbit, you really should keep an eye on them. As much of a part of the Spokane scene as the Makers, metal and mullets, these oversized stuffed toys have crank
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Rural Revolution

    All the farms I remember from growing up in North Idaho and Eastern Washington were not what you'd call stylish. In fact, what I do remember are blocky sofas covered in that ubiquitous mauve upholstery, copper Jell-O molds lining the kitche
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation