Wynonna Judd & The Big Noise come to Yavapai College on Aug. 26
Wynonna Judd climbed to fame with her mother, Naomi, back in the 1980s as a country music star, and then in the early 1990s branched out on her own with tunes that were a blend of country, blues, rock, and just bold, contemporary music with lyrics that speak to life’s trials and triumphs.
On Aug. 26, the big-voiced, five-time Grammy winning red head known for her emotionally evocative tunes that mix genres from country ballad to a blues-rock, even some gospel, will step onto the stage at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. She will be accompanied by her band, The Big Noise, and together they will perform from her latest, self-titled debut album.
Reviewers have hailed her first album in seven years, the first with her own band, as a return to her musical roots, with songs that speak to redemption and the ability to overcome adversity. The album debuted near Valentine’s Day this year.
Lyrics to one of the original tracks, “Things I Lean On,” have been described as able to make grown men cry, or pick up the phone and call their mother.
The song’s message is all about how people find solace in the midst of life’s everyday struggles, something Wynonna Judd knows from her own journey. Her husband, Cactus Moser, the Big Noise drummer and album producer, was forced to have his left leg amputated below the knee following a life-threatening motorcycle crash soon after the couple’s marriage in 2012.
In a USA Today article about the new album, Moser is quoted as saying the music she performs is something of a change for Wynonna, with some hard edge blues-rock, yet at the same time is reminiscent of the music that led her to become one of the nation’s top country music stars.
Wynonna won a 1993 Best Country Female Vocal Performance for her album, “Wynonna” and a year later won for her song “Only Love” as well as country vocal collaboration award for a duet she did with country star Clint Black for his album, “A Bad Goodbye.” In 1995, Wynonna won another Best Country Female Vocal Performance for her song, “Is It Over Yet.”
In 2007, Wynonna was awarded her own star on the Music City Walk of Fame.
Her selection as the first headliner at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center was part of the musical leadership’s decision to offer a season of musical variety, ranging from well-known stars like Wynonna to up-and-coming artists they expect will garner a following after hearing them play, said Michael Grady, the center’s marketing specialist.
“I think everybody is going to find a little of themselves in this season, and a little something to challenge them as well,” Grady said. “The whole idea here is to have some versatility and have a wide range of things. You might try something in your comfort zone, and you might also try something that is on the edge of your comfort zone … something to like, something to wonder about and something to experiment with.”
Enthusiasm for Wynonna’s performance is already high, with steady ticket sales that Grady said he expects will become more brisk as the date of her arrival draws closer.
From posts he has read, and her own website, Wynonna seems to be touting this tour as a “stripping down,” or a return to some of the roots of what made her so unique when she started in the business with her famous mother.
An artist of Wynonna’s caliber needs to be in a setting “where they can do what they love because that’s when they bring their best,” Grady said.
“And by all accounts, she’s really loving the tour,” he concluded.
Tickets for the show are $60, 70, 80 and $95 based on seating. All can be purchased in advance at www.ycpac.com or by contacting the box office between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 928-776-2000.