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Wynonna Judd

Marilyn Jinway

“I’ve learned a lot being at home these last few months,” Wynonna reflects. “When there’s no touring, no concerts, no band, no lights, no action, all that’s left is you and the song. All that’s left is your gift.”

And what a gift it is. Born into poverty in rural Kentucky, Wynonna first rose to fame as one half of legendary country duo The Judds, which she launched with her mother in the early 1980s. Over the ensuing decade, the pair would go on to release six studio albums that would yield an astonishing five GRAMMY Awards, fourteen number one singles, and sales in excess of 30 million records. In 1992, Wynonna embarked on a solo career with her five-times platinum debut, which established her as a critical and commercial powerhouse in her own right. Rolling Stone described her as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline,” and The New York Times raved that she “demonstrates that a country performer can explore vibrant pop, deep gospel and straightforward rock and still make sense even to country traditionalists.”

“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,’ Wynonna’s captivating new EP, 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.

A Nashville Christmas Carol cast