At the start of 2019, with a new record label deal on the horizon, country-blues vocal powerhouse Wynonna released a spine-chilling rendition of “Feelin’ Good,” the Sixties show tune popularized by Nina Simone. It was the first hint that the singer, now signed to the eclectic Anti- label, was defying creative convention with joyful abandon. Now, the multi-award-winning artist who first grabbed the public’s attention as one-half of the duo the Judds with her mother, Naomi, has teamed with her label mate Cass McCombs to pen “The Child,” a hypnotic blues-rock meditation with introspective, autobiographical lyrics that command multiple listens.
The lyrics of “The Child” pinpoint California and Kentucky, places she lived as a child, and also include enigmatic mentions to a queen, likely a reference to her mother. “Innocent and independent, she fell asleep awhile, she wanted her repentance,” Wynonna sings. “I had a dream of goblins swimming ‘round the queen in a dream/ The queen was tough, she pushed me back, I still had the dream.”
Billed as the Frothy Pit, the two songwriters are set to appear Thursday night at Anti- Records’ AmericanaFest showcase, taking place at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge.
“Getting to work with artists like Cass McCombs has broadened my musical horizons and made me even more grateful that even after 35 years I still love the creative process,” Wynonna says in a statement.
McCombs notes, “Like many people, I grew up listening to the Judds. Needless to say, it’s been a real honor to collaborate with Wynonna, co-writing ‘The Child’ together and stepping into the uncharted terrain of the Frothy Pit.”
There’s no word as yet on the release of a full album, which would follow up the 2016 self-titled Wynonna & The Big Noise debut. The group, however, has tour dates slated through November, with stops in Kentucky and Ohio this weekend.