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Gretchen Wilson got your music right here

Sun Theatre, Anaheim, Cal., March 10, 2010

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Other recent concert reviews
Gretchen Wilson's concert offered the chance to experience some of the new music from her "I Got Your Country Right Here" CD before it releases at the end of this month. She announced, before getting too far along, that hers may be the first honest-to-goodness female Southern rock album. Yes, the duel electric lead guitarists in her band made darn sure all ears were ringing at night's end. But Wilson is a true country girl, so even her most rocking moments still somehow came out country.

Speaking of ears, Wilson's best new song may also be the most country track on her new disc. Titled The Earrings Song, it's a spoiling-for-a-catfight song, which presupposes that girls need to first take there ear jewelry off before coming to fisticuffs. Other new material included Trucker Man, dedicated to truckers, a patriotic number, which included the raising of a flag on stage, as well as the playing of The National Anthem on electric guitar. She also has a new song that salutes country music outlaws, such as Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

Wilson, playing in a benefit for SoCal TJ Martell Foundation benefit, only performed a few older hits, a risky move indeed. She opened with Here For The Party and proved to be quite the party animal by guzzling Jack Daniels after performing All Jacked Up, another blast from the past. She also has another drinking song on the new disc, called Walk on Water, which praises the booze high.

Naturally, Wilson closed her show with Redneck Woman, after engaging this less-than-sold out audience in a session of call-and-response singing.

Wilson's newest music will come out on Redneck Records, the label she recently created for herself. She mentioned from the stage how this new music is more representative of Wilson's true artistic heart, and presumably a corrective reaction to the ballad-heavy "One of the Boys," her last Columbia release. So if you want Wilson to live up to her redneck woman image, that's exactly what you're going to get.

This show was opened by Bomshell, the female duo of fiddler Kristy O., and lead vocalist Buffy Lawson. At this point, they come off like a gimmick; a kinder, gentler 2/3 of The Dixie Chicks. Their cover of The Devil Went Down To Georgia was both predictable and rushed. Do we really need every fiddle-heavy band to play this old war horse? Wilson brags how she knows every Charlie Daniels song; Bomshel could have shown equal respect by leaving this wonderful song with its masterful originator.