Loretta Lynn Van Lear Rose on LP
For 60 years now, Loretta Lynn has fashioned a body of work as artistically and commercially successful – and as culturally significant – as any female performer you'd care to name. Her music has confronted many of the major social issues of her time, and her life story is a rags-to-riches tale familiar to pop, rock and country fans alike. The Coal Miner's Daughter has journeyed from the poverty of the Kentucky hills to Nashville superstardom to her current status as an honest-to-goodness American icon.
The Jack White-produced Van Lear Rose (2004) features backing from members of The Greenhornes, The Raconteurs, and Blanche and reminded the world yet again of Lynn's power as a vocalist and her skill as a songwriter. With Lynn having writing credit on all 13 of the album's songs, the vibe here is both raw and heartfelt, and it stands as a high-water mark in her ability to crossover beyond "country" audiences and appeal to music fans of all ages and persuasions.
As she puts it on "Story of My Life," the album's closing track: "Not half bad for this ol' KY girl, I guess...Here's the story of my life. Listen close, I'll tell it twice." Van Lear Rose won the 2005 Grammy for Best Country Album and the lead single "Portland, Oregon" won that same year for Best Country Collaboration with vocals.