Christina Claire Ciminella, otherwise known as WYNONNA, is a complete, full on Badass. I remember years ago, watching The Tony Danza Show (some of you are thinking,”Tony Danza had his own talk show? or Who the hell is Tony Danza?”). He had just seen Wynonna in concert in NYC the night before. He raved about her in his monologue for several minutes, clearly completely starstruck, and he called her “The Female Elvis”.
I’ve remembered that distinctly, all of these years. Wynonna was a huge influence on me personally, I’d always dreamed of singing with her. I was so excited to see Tony Danza acting like a lovesick fan, barely maintaining composure on his live television show, because he was so affected by her live performance.
Girl Power. Woman Power. Yep.
The same spirit that is so extraordinary in Etta James lies also in Wynonna. It’s rare and its freaking spectacular.
The Judds, Wyonnna and her mother Naomi, burst on to country radio in the 80s. The uniqueness and strength of Wynonna’s lead vocals alongside her mothers harmonies, coupled with really great material, brought them to fourteen number one hits. They charted many other songs as well, racked up multiple ACM, Grammy and CMA awards and became one of the most successful acts in Country Music history.
Wynonna’s voice was completely pure, strong and hauntingly beautiful, right from the very beginning. But as she grew artistically and embarked on her own solo career in 1991, she became even more of a FORCE. More grit, more balls-to-the-wall energy, as her freedom to be in her full power flew high in every performance and on every new record.
The female Elvis? Or maybe just the one and only Wynonna. Yes indeed.
So earlier this year when I saw she had expanded her artistry once again, this time by releasing Wynonna and The Big Noise on Curb Records (her eighth solo studio album), I was interested to see what direction she was going musically and what her new sound would be.
Let’s hear her tell the story:
This album is soulful, happy, introspective, vulnerable, sweet…. and kickass. Recorded with only the thought of making the music they wanted to make, no “what’s radio play” thought forms, Wynonna and her husband Cactus Moser (producer/drummer) celebrated their love of music and each other with a variety of selected tunes. “Staying in Love” is full of gratitude and happiness. The spiritual collaboration “Things I Lean On” with Jason Isbell is tender and inspirational, as is the poignant song “Jesus and The Jukebox” on using Music to help cope with loss.
Jesus and a jukebox brings comfort to his soul
One says he’ll see her again; one helps him let her go
He carries that old cross right down to the last bar on the block
Praise the Lord and thank God for, Jesus and a jukebox, Jesus and a Jukebox
This album is ridiculously good. There’s even a duet with Indie Blues Goddess Susan Tedeschi, how cool is that? Curb Records needs to get off their ass and promote this album better. It hasn’t gotten the publicity it deserves. Yet, something tells me Wynonna doesn’t care about those things. She just wants to make the music that brings her joy. Lucky us, it brings us joy, too!
Buy this album. Look at her go.
Because I can’t stop….Oh hell yeah…
Have I mentioned that you should buy this album? Lordy, do it. Now. It is a Big Thing.
Go see Wynonna and The Big Noise On Tour This Summer!
HUBER HEIGHTS, OH
RENFRO VALLEY, KY
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, MT
LAKE CHARLES, LA
~ Brigitte London
Brigitte London, otherwise known as The Highwaywoman, is a Singer/Songwriter formerly out of Austin, Texas now living down on the Bayou in southern Louisiana. She’s a poet, dreamer, crusader. Her 8th studio album, Bayou, will be released on August 8, 2016. She is also the host of internationally syndicated radio show, The Highwaywoman Radio Show). Visit www.brigitte-london.com or Brigitte on Facebook.