Grammy-winning Country music icon Wynonna has released her new EP Recollections today, a collection of cherished cover songs that she has always loved to sing. Listen to it HERE.
“I feel like I’m right back where I started,” says Wynonna Judd, “like I’m 18 all over again. When I sing these songs, it feels like I’m coming home.”
Indeed, ‘Recollections’ marks both a literal and a figurative homecoming for the GRAMMY-winning icon, who recorded much of the collection while quarantining on her Tennessee farm in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forced off the road for the first time in years, she found herself reconnecting with her roots as she sang once again for the sheer joy of it, performing a series of loose and lively covers with her husband, former Highway 101 drummer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Cactus Moser.
The resulting EP is a testament not only to Wynonna’s status as a jaw dropping vocalist and electrifying frontwoman, but also a consummate interpreter of song and a dedicated student of craft. She offers her singular take on tracks by Nina Simone, Slim Harpo, John Prine, Fats Domino and the Grateful Dead here, delivering spare, entrancing performances driven by deep empathy and gut intuition. Wynonna drills down to the essence of each song, stripping back layer after layer until she’s laid bare the raw, emotional core of the music. There’s no pretense or posturing on ‘Recollections,’ just pure heart and soul.
The EP opens with an infectious, stripped-down performance of “I Hear You Knocking,” most famously recorded by Dave Edmunds in 1970. The performance here is as raw as it gets, complete with playful banter and plenty of improvisation, and while the finished product is subtly fleshed out with some light touches of additional instrumentation, the core of it remains Wynonna and Moser, live, acoustic, and in the moment.
“This EP was a labor of love without the labor,” she laughs. “As a songwriter, you can get bogged down in your own craft sometimes, but there’s something so liberating about letting go of all that and just inhabiting someone else’s writing.”