A dozen years after topping the charts with “Redneck Woman,” Gretchen Wilson is resurrecting her brand of bad-girl bombast and trailer-park punch with the comeback single “Rowdy.” Co-written with Trent Tomlinson and Shane Minor – both former Top 40 country artists turned hit songwriters – and produced by Blake Chancey, the song marks her return to music after two years of semi-retirement.
“They say lightning won’t strike in the same place, but let me get behind this guitar,” goes the very first line, spelled out in the song’s lyric video, which makes its premiere today on Rolling Stone Country. From there, “Rowdy” preaches a three-and-a-half minute message of defiance and half-lit hell-raising. Wilson even name-checks her career-making hits “Redneck Woman” and “Here for the Party,” drawing a hopeful line between the glory days of 2004 and her new material.
There’s a full album in the works, as well as rumors of a cross-country tour in 2017. Appropriately, “Rowdy” winds to a close with nearly a minute’s worth of vocal ad-libs and thunderous guitar riffage, a move that’s better suited to the live arena than the radio playlist. In a genre now dominated by hard-rock honky-tonkers like Jason Aldean, “Rowdy” offers something new: a female’s perspective on the glories of getting crazy, one whiskey shot at a time.