After a number of false starts, Gretchen Wilson's "I Got Your Country Right Here" is finally seeing the light of day. Having seen a few singles languish outside the Top 40 and parting ways with her record label, this fourth offering is also the first release on Wilson's own Redneck Records. The themes here are classic Wilson: outlaws and blue collars and trucks and brawlin' and drinkin', with name checks doled out to her own favorite artists, from Charlie Daniels to Waylon Jennings to ZZ Top.
And it works. While the album is uneven at times, there are a number of great tunes here, with Wilson showcasing the rasp and swagger that made her famous on most of the tracks. She doesn't pull any punches, speaking her mind on everything from America ("My flag's still flyin'/There ain't no denyin'/I'm American born and bred/Still proud and united/Bring hell and I'll fight it," on Blue Collar Done Turned Red) to the state of country radio ("Well just the other day I was drivin' down the road/And I thought I turned on my country radio/Well I didn't recognize a single song or none of the names/But it didn't really matter because they all seemed to sound the same," from Outlaws and Renegades). Songs like Trucker Man and Work Hard, Play Harder drive home her connection with the real people, and the title track leaves no doubt that Wilson will never be mistaken for a pop princess. But she has a sensitive side, too, which she exposes that on the album's final song, the lovely, stripped down acoustic track, I'd Love to Be Your Last. Let there be no doubt: the Redneck Woman is back.