Loretta Lynn just announced that she will mark her 87th birthday with a massive tribute concert in Nashville in April. The show will feature Garth Brooks, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Alan Jackson, Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and more. Lynn made a rare appearance at a press conference announcing the event — one of her first since suffering a stroke and a broken hip in the last two years. Looking like her classic, badass self, she told reporters that she’s feeling great.
The birthday bash will also feature an appearance by Jack White, who’s done a lot to turn new audiences onto Lynn in the 21st century, including producing her 2004 comeback album Van Lear Rose. The album was raw, reflective and full of Lynn’s trademark wit. Rolling Stone gave it four stars, with Rob Sheffield writing,“She still sings with all the passion of the blue Kentucky girl who busted out of Butcher Hollow, the coal miner’s daughter who got married at thirteen and fought her way to fame. She’s always had the toughest, meanest, fiercest, warmest and sexiest voice in country music.”
Lynn and White performed together a handful of times around the album’s release, including an excellent show at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. They also hit the Late Show With David Letterman to perform “Portland, Oregon,” a boozy country epic with one of the greatest intros of the century. Lynn was backed backed by a band of White’s Third Man studio pros called the Do Whaters, including bassist Jack Lawrence, drummer Patrick Keeler and guitarist Dave Feeny.
According to White, “Portland, Oregon” was never planned as a duet. “She insisted [on it],” White told CMT. “I said, ‘All right, let’s do ‘Portland, Oregon’ together, and we’ll talk to each other at the bar.’” The theme of the song was born. Here’s hoping the two do it in Nashville this spring.