News

Wanda to reign at Bluesfest

GRASSROOTS: Wanda Jackson, who exemplifies the “roots” element of the festival, is performing at Bluesfest this year.
GRASSROOTS: Wanda Jackson, who exemplifies the “roots” element of the festival, is performing at Bluesfest this year. Contributed

SHE was making music - and dating Elvis - long before most of the Bluesfest audience was born.

Now 75, Wanda Jackson is still belting out tunes to an ever-expanding, younger group of fans.

To this day, Wanda credits Elvis with bringing her across from country into "the new music" of the time - a transition which led to her being crowned the Queen of Rockabilly, or First Lady of Rock 'n' Roll.

She also picked up some stage tricks from the King - including flirting with the audience and generally having fun - things to make sure everyone has a good time.

In the past half-dozen years her career has been revived by hip young musicians wanting to acknowledge her legacy, taking her into the studio and recording a couple of classic albums.

First off was Jack White, whose production style left her a little bewildered but brought out fresh aspects in her performances.

In her version of Bob Dylan's Thunder on the Mountain she replaces Bob's lascivious lines about Alicia Keys with her own about Jerry Lee Lewis.

Justin Townes Zandt, who is playing Byron on February 17, came next, and his more laidback approach allowed Wanda to play to her strengths. As a result we get memorable renditions of old favourites such as All Over Now and Woody Guthrie's California Stars.

Wanda is appearing at Bluesfest this year and it is difficult to think of another artist who so exemplifies the "roots" element of the festival.

Folk, blues and country were her birthright and a very raunchy rockabilly her later path.

She's performed with all the giants - not only Elvis but Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.

Her Bluesfest appearance should be a Wandaful show.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Sara Connor trying to protect killed cop, says lawyer

Australian woman Sara Connor being interrogated at Denpasar District Court in Bali, Indonesia.  (AAP Image/Putra Sinulingga)

Byron Bay woman says she is not guilty of killing Wayan Sudarsa

Byron Bay Brewery will reopen next month

ENTERTAINMENT: For years, the Byron Bay Brewery has been an important venue for local artists to showcase their creations.

It has been closed for six weeks of renovations

Yann Martel on novels: "Like building cathedrals in the mind”

Yann Martel is a Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, an international bestseller published in more than 50 territories.

The writer of Life of Pi introduces his new novel in Byron Bay

Latest deals and offers

Priscilla is coming to Brunswick Heads

LOCAL iconing drag queen Maude Boate will host two special screenings

Sara Connor trying to protect killed cop, says lawyer

Australian woman Sara Connor being interrogated at Denpasar District Court in Bali, Indonesia.  (AAP Image/Putra Sinulingga)

Byron Bay woman says she is not guilty of killing Wayan Sudarsa

Byron Bay Brewery will reopen next month

ENTERTAINMENT: For years, the Byron Bay Brewery has been an important venue for local artists to showcase their creations.

It has been closed for six weeks of renovations

Yann Martel on novels: "Like building cathedrals in the mind”

Yann Martel is a Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, an international bestseller published in more than 50 territories.

The writer of Life of Pi introduces his new novel in Byron Bay

Our rail could roll again on Byron line

BACK IN THE DAY: The old motorail express leaving Byron. The picture comes from the book Time and Tide Again courtesey of W. Brian Alexander

Friends of the Byron Line will be founded today.

John Williamson winding up for another Gympie Muster

John Williamson is bringing some new songs and artists to this year's Muster.

John Williamson is back and ready to put on his best show ever

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

Branson "amazed" he's still alive after cycling crash

Branson saw "his life flash before my eyes" during a bike crash

John Krasinski has better sex now he's in good shape

John Krasinski says there's at least one good reason to get jacked

Priscilla is coming to Brunswick Heads

Northern Rivers gender illusionist Maude Boate (Michael Gates) promoting the upcoming screenings of Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Brunswick Picture House.

Maude Boate will host two special screenings

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m