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Gretchen Wilson - Here For The Party (Sony Music Nashville)
CD Review by Cheryl Harvey Hill

Musik Mafia (Musically Artistic Friends In Alliance) moll Gretchen Wilson is climbing onto the music charts with support from godfathers John Rich and Big Kenny (of Big & Rich). Rich, who discovered Wilson, had a hand in co-writing six of the ten songs on this album and both men lend their support on background vocals and instrumentals. This fact, in and of itself, indicates that you might have to fasten your seatbelt before taking this CD for a spin. 

The trio collaborated on "Redneck Woman" which, in addition to making Wilson a household name, is quickly becoming the anthem of fiercely independent women everywhere -- redneck or not. She says about "Redneck Woman," "I wanted to give a little high-five to the women from small town America. The women I grew up around are strong and proud of who they are. This is for them." 

Wilson knows all about small town America since she was raised in rural Pocahontas, population 727. As the daughter of a teenage mother, life resembled anything but a dream for her. Wilson began tending bar alongside her mom at the age of fourteen. By the time she was 15 and living on her own, she was managing the roughneck joint with a loaded 12-gauge double-barrel shotgun stashed behind the bar for protection. 

No doubt, the attitude in her lyrics and intensity in her voice were born of this earlier life. She is an accomplished songwriter and showcases her songwriting talents in six songs on this album. On the up-tempo songs there is a certain edginess in her voice that is sometimes reminiscent of Janis Joplin but she displays a softer side, and voice, on the poignant "The Bed," and "When I Think About Cheatin'."

Upon her arrival in Nashville, the only gig she was able to get was as a bartender down in Printers Alley. Years passed without a record deal but all that changed one night when Big & Rich walked into the bar where she was working and heard her sing. Rich invited her to become a member of the Muzik Mafia, a loose-knit group of singers, song writers and musicians who get together to jam in a local Nashville nightspot. The rest, as they say, is history.

She has since signed with Sony Music Nashville and label head, John Grady, is convinced that the industry needs her desperately. Her lyrics are written with honesty and delivered from her gut in the style of Dolly Parton or Loretta Lynn -- both woman were also known for singing their lives, without apology. Wilson has the passion and talent to follow in their footsteps but my guess is that she will take off on her own path, and it is probably going to be a shortcut to the top of the charts.

Rating: BUY IT!

Gretchen Wilson - Here For The Party  track list: 

1. Here For The Party 
2. Redneck Woman 
3. When I Think About Cheatin' 
4. Homewrecker 
5. Holdin' You
6. Chariot 
7. What Happened 
8. When It Rains 
9. The Bed 
10. Pocahontas Proud 


Website Review by Jim Weaver: 
Singing Site Alert! Gretchen Wilson's website is going to come booming out of your speakers so if you're at work... turn it down. If you're not at work, turn it up because this site deserves a musical backdrop. Gretchen has captured the attention of redneck women (and men) everywhere and her site does a really nice job of showing her off. It is a FLASH site but not a "FLASH Monster" so the load time shouldn't be too bad for dial-uppers. It gives us very good background information about her but doesn't have much in the way of photos, and no Links Page. All artists need a Links Page... who the heck wants to link to you if you're not going to link back to them? Nuff said.

Rating:   Good Site!

Check it out for yourself and please rate it below. www.GretchenWilson.com 

Fan Rating:


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