So Hey…Feel Like Prejudging The Loretta Lynn Tribute Album?

Info about the forthcoming RCA-helmed tribute to Lo-Lynn has been trickling out for a month or something, and now, thanks to our resourceful friends around the mighty internets, we have access to the track list and audio of the first single. Let’s gripe!

Track List, courtesy of Roughstock:

1. “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” — Gretchen Wilson

2. “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl” — Lee Ann Womack

3. “Rated X” — The White Stripes

4. “You’re Lookin’ At Country” — Carrie Underwood

5. “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” — Alan Jackson and Martina McBride

6. “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” — Paramore

7. “Love Is The Foundation” — Faith Hill

8. “After The Fire Is Gone” — Steve Earle and Allison Moorer

9. “If You’re Not Gone Too Long” — Reba McEntire

10. “I Know How” — Kid Rock

11. “Somebody Somewhere (Don’t Know What He’s Missin’ Tonight)” — Lucinda Williams

12. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” — Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert


1. No “The Pill”, no peace! Also wish “Fist City”, “One’s on the Way”, “Your Squaw Is on the Warpath” and my personal favorite “Happy Birthday” could have slots. Is it too late to get Carrie to record one of those instead?

2. However, some cool lesser-known songs did make it in, so credit where it’s due.

3. Really interested to hear the Paramore track. I assume the White Stripes’ “Rated X” will be neat, though they should have gotten Neko Case to record her version. It’s scorching.

4. On that note, disappointed that most of the roster is current mainstream artists. Sugar Hill’s 2003 release Just Because I’m a Woman: Songs of Dolly Parton brought in a much wider and weirder pool, and ended up more interesting (if not always more successful) because of it. Maybe that’s just the difference between a Sugar Hill release and a Sony one.

5. Another thing about the roster – supposedly Loretta picked all of these people herself. You buy it? When did she meet Paramore?

6. I am already dreading Martina doing that “Mississippi maa–aaaan!” part. Just me?

7. Finally, wish Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert had recorded their own full tracks instead of teaming up with Lo on “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, which is the album’s first single. They sound lovely, but it’s a bizarre song to group-sing, since, you know, it’s autobiographical and stuff.

Hear the new “Coal Miner’s Daughter” below, courtesy of American Twang:

What are y’all’s thoughts? Excited for this?


  1. I’m mixed. I have all the same thoughts as you, including the gripe about three people doing “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, the difference between a Sugar Hill and Sony release, and skeptical that Loretta hand picked all of the artists. The only difference from you is that I’m looking forward to the McBride/Jackson duet, because their duet on Jackson’s Good Time was one of the best songs on the album. They had great chemistry there.

  2. Not even a little bit excited about this. I loved the Parton tribute because it paid homage to her songwriting, so there was a cohesiveness to having other female songwriters cover her work.

    The Tammy Wynette tribute was solid too, because the artists tapped into the essence of Wynette from so many different angles.

    This doesn’t seem to have a clear approach. I’m sure that Womack, Hill, Underwood, and McEntire will turn in good performances, but I’m with Dan about the song selections. They didn’t pick the signature tracks OR forgotten gems. They just picked a lot of hits that she didn’t write and didn’t define her career.

    Shorter comment: Lynn’s a much more compelling artist than this collection would lead a newbie to believe, no matter how well the individual tracks are executed.

  3. I’m shamelessly speculating, but I’m wondering how long this project has been in progress/production. Since the end of the year is when people buy the most music (as I read at The9513 today, in their round up), I can’t help but feel like the whole thing was pretty rushed. We only heard that it existed about a month ago or so and the artists and track listing hadn’t been revealed until the last few days. In the last month, I thought the lack of information about the album was kind of odd so close to the anticipated release date. Could it be that they were still trying to get everything lined up??

  4. I’ll definitely check it out, but it comes off as such a missed opportunity.

    Imagine Carrie Underwood singing “Miss Being Mrs.”, or Miranda Lambert tackling “Your Squaw is on the Warpath.” What if Reba had gone for “Who Says God is Dead?” Alan Jackson could’ve nailed “Van Lear Rose.” Faith Hill could knock “I Can’t Hear the Music” out of the park.

    I’m just meh about the whole thing. Lynn’s too good for this tepid an effort. Heck, Barbara Mandrell got a better tribute album, and it was slim pickin’s with that catalog.

  5. I don’t mind that they didn’t pluck from Van Lear Rose, just because that’s still pretty recent. Although it would be cool to hear some of those great songs removed from Jack White’s particular treatment.

    But I agree about the lack of cohesive vision. It does seem kind of slapped together, and we haven’t even heard it yet!

  6. I remember a You Tube video of Paramore doing “You Ain’t Woman Enough.” I think they did a show at the Ryman a few months back. So maybe the performance was brought to her attention.

  7. I agree with Leeann; I get the sense that this was rushed–like may (just maybe) someone noticed that Eilen Jewell cut a Loretta tribute and thought, “Hey! Now that’s a great idea!”

  8. Wait, wait, wait…So Faith Hill is part of this, but no one put her and Tim McGraw together for “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man?” They could even have toyed with it and switched the states to suit their own biographies!

    Anyway, it looks promising. Not sure I’d have picked the song for Carrie Underwood; when I look at her, “country” rarely comes to mind (though it may be offensive to some were I to share what *does* come to mind ;-) ).

    And Miranda Lambert should have gotten “You Ain’t Woman Enough.”

    Definitely interested in hearing Steve Earle and Allison Moorer together on “After the Fire Is Gone,” though.

  9. I saw the post title before I saw who the author was, but I instantly thought “This has Milliken written all over it!”

    The song selection does seem slapped together now that you mention it, and there were a lot of goodies that were left off. Also, it would be nice to hear more artists singing songs that seem well-suited to them. Carrie singing “You’re Lookin’ at Country”? I’m sure she’ll sound good, but I still won’t buy it. They also should have had Miranda sing one of the more sassier songs. At first I thought “Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin'” sounded like a good fit for Gretchen, but it does cast a disapproving eye on a lifestyle that Gretchen has always glorified.

    You are totally right about the oddness of the trio version of “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” I can’t believe that didn’t occur to me until now.

    The Alan Jackson and Martina McBride version of “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” is by far the track I’m most excited to hear. Both are great singers, and they do have great chemistry. I’m sure it will sound awesome.

    I will admit that I am curious to hear how Paramore will treat “You Ain’t Woman Enough.”

  10. I’m definitely not excited about these songs, but I am excited about the performances. It’s just nice, and refreshing, to hear artists out of their element (not that all of them will be).

    Hayley Williams is a much better singer than her radio releases would lead you to believe. I think her track will be great, judging by her live covers of the song.

  11. Yeah…there isn’t a single combination in the track listing that makes me think “I have to hear that”. Glad to check it out when it comes out to see if I’m wrong, though.

  12. The song choices are very poor.

    I agree with Travis McClain on the Faith Hill comment — They should’ve put Tim and Faith in to do “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man”. If not them, then Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley could’ve done it, seeing as they did a fantastic version of it on Underwood’s Christimas special back in 2009.

    I don’t like the pick for Carrie (although it won’t matter too much, seeing as Carrie could sing the alphabet and win a Grammy for it), and I don’t like the Miranda/Sheryl/Loretta collaboration, either. It sounds too bizarre to me.

  13. I’m most interested to hear the Paramore, Steve Earle/Allison Moorer, and Lucinda Williams, but am with Tara in looking forward to all the performances. I just so wish Carrie had a better song, and that Miranda and Sheryl Crow had songs of their own.

    Can’t believe I forgot to mention “Your Squaw is on the Warpath” in the original post, but it’s going in!

  14. If not them, then Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley could’ve done it, seeing as they did a fantastic version of it on Underwood’s Christimas special back in 2009.

    Eh…it wasn’t all that great. It was just really weird to not have him there in person. It made the whole thing feel detached. But she sounded amazing, and I wish, like Dan, she’d gotten a better, more dynamic song for this tribute album.

  15. i LOVED the Dolly Parton tribute album, and I liked quite a few of the songs from the Mandrell one; but I too am disapointed with some of the pickings. (I remember Sara Evans covered “Ones On The Way” for the Desperate Housewives soundtrack).

    I think Underwood would do great with the performance, but I thought that McEntire would probably do that song (since she performed it at Lynn’s Kennedy Center Honors). Otherwise, I am curious to hear the performances… I agree that it seems too rushed, but we’ll see.

    My aunt is very excited since she is a big (and I mean BIG) Loretta Lynn fan; so I’m hoping she likes it. :))

  16. Had to look up the Carrie/Brad “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man”. It’s interesting how she not only totally outsings TV-Brad, but is also funnier beforehand. I think Kevin’s aversion to him has rubbed off on me.


  17. Yeah, it’s probably an honor for Lambert and Crow to have an opportunity to collaborate with her, but I would have preferred that they had their own songs along with, maybe, the collaboration. Crow has certainly proven herself as a capable country singer on the Hank Williams tribute album with “Long Gone Lonesome Blues.” So, it would have been fun to hear her lean into a Loretta Lynn song. And there are any number of songs that I could hear Lambert interpret.

  18. That’s so cool, Danni. Thanks for linking!

    Since the note is a bit hard to make out, here’s my attempt at transcription:

    “Haley Honey,

    This is Loretta Lynn. I want to thank you for singing my song on your show. My daughter Patsy takes care of my business and she showed me the clip.
    Best I ever heard it sung.
    I wanted to ask you to sing it again on my new record RCA is doing for [my?] 50 years in country music. My granddaughter Emmy She’s 11 yrs loves your band. She [loves?] your songs to. It would mean alot to me.

    Love you, Loretta Lynn”

    People don’t write enough sweet notes.

  19. Thoughts

    1. Twelve songs is a pretty sparse sampling of Loretta’s songs

    2. I agree with Kevin – this is a missed opportnity. “Fist City” and “Your Squaw Is On The Warpath” are quintessential Loretta Lynn songs and should have been included as should have been a cover of her best duet number “Sweet Thang”. “Dear Uncle Sam”, “Happy Birthday”, “The Pill” and “Who Says God Is Dead?” are among the many songs available that are stronger songs than “Rated X” or “I Know How”

    3. An alt-country singer named Eilen Jewell recently issued a Loretta tribute titled BUTCHER HOLLER. Ms Jewell really doesn’t have the vocal chops to do justice to Loretta but at least her album is a cohesive effort

    4. This album would be far better if they had selected more powerful and/or better vocalists. Kid Rock, Gretchen Wilson, Lucinda Williams and Paramore ?? How about Rhonda Vincent, Amber Digby, Connie Smith and Norah Jones instead ?

  20. I can see Lucinda doing “Somebody Somewhere”; she could add something with that rustic Louisiana drawl of hers. And the idea of Steve and Allison doing “After The Fire Is Gone” is a heck of a good idea (IMHO).

    But I think this album could do without Kid Rock (WTF?!); and if you’re going to involve Gretchen Wilson, get her to do “Fist City.”

  21. Good point, Paul – Loretta does deserve more than twelve tracks!

    I’m looking forward to hearing Gretchen Wilson, but I don’t particularly care to hear Kid Rock. Since he’s been all over the country awards shows after javing that one country hit, I’m afraid I’ve gotten very sick of him by now.

  22. I’m probably the only one who isn’t looking forward to the Alan and Martina teaming up. The pairing just doesn’t excite me and neither artist are wowing me at the moment.

    Patty Loveless and Travis Tritt did a wonderful version of the song on CMT’s Greatest Duets countdown and that one is hard for me to top. I wish they were singing the song instead.

    My main problem with the CD is the song selection. There are too many songs on here I don’t know and far too many of her signature hits are left out. How come no one is doing “The Pill?” Someone should at least have the guts to tackle that song — it defined an era!

    Joey + Rory just covered “You Ain’t Woman Enough” on iTunes and did a great job. Martina did it five years ago on TIMELESS and Faith Hill covered it at the George Strait tribute show last year. I’m getting tired of all the covers of that song and all the artists who don’t bring anything new to it.

    I’m more than sure Lee Ann Womack is going to hit “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl” out of the park. She is one of the best of the current crop of female artists to sing classic country. Her track is a must hear for me.

    I also agree with the previous comments about the three-way duet of “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” I would’ve much rather heard Miranda Lambert tackle a song on her own. Plus, Sheryl Crow doesn’t add anything to the song and I’m left wondering why she was included on that song. She also should’ve had her own song.

    Also, I read somewhere that all the artists got to pick the musicians and producers of their track. I wonder how country they are all going to sound. Let’s just hope this album does a better service to Loretta than that Patsy Cline tribute album a while back. That one was a huge mistake.

    And I agree about the number of tracks — it’s way too short to do justice to Loretta’s career.

  23. By the time the fall harvest rolls around this album will be ripe for cherry picking.

    Mainly I’m just looking forward to the country artist’s offerings. I don’t really care to hear Kid Rock sing ‘I Know How’ just like I wouldn’t care to hear Loretta sing ‘Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogy said up jump the boogy.’

  24. Also, I read somewhere that all the artists got to pick the musicians and producers of their track.

    I read this too…makes me nervous.

  25. Regarding Gretchen Wilson and “Don’t Come Home” being contrary to the image she’s cultivated: I have two thoughts. One is, it’s not really antithetical at all. A hard-partying woman would actually be very suited to assert what the limits of her tolerance for her lover’s hard partying ways would be.

    And if you don’t go for that, how’s this: Maybe she’s trying to make a break at this point in her career and show a different dimension now that the “Redneck Woman” phase has long since played out with most listeners?

    Regarding the artists picking their own producers and musicians, I think it’s for the best. Let them really have some control over their versions of these recordings. Keith Stegall is perfect for Alan Jackson; should he produce the entire album? I don’t think so.

    At the most cynical level, this takes away any argument that might be made later that the artists in question were virtually just puppets. And the most optimistic way of viewing it is, each track should display some genuine artistry.

    Remember when Garth Brooks insisted Allen Reynolds produce his cover of “Hard Luck Woman” for that KISS tribute album? It was the best-reviewed cut of the entire project. Part of it, I’m sure was that most listeners expected to hate it, but part of it was that Garth was in a comfort zone.

  26. Having their own producers instead of Jack White or some other producer is a good idea for what Travis says in the post above me: A comfort zone. In fact, most tribute records are produced this way and very few are like the Lynyrd Skynyrd release that came out earlier this year (Jay Joyce produced it).

  27. Good points, Travis. I agree that the artists should be allowed to have their tracks produced in way that they are comfortable with – they would seem like puppets if that were not the case.

    As for Gretchen, I guess I’m all for her showing a different dimension! The “Redneck Woman” schtick has worn thin by now.

  28. Agreed – you make great points, Travis. I was speaking from a selfish Underwood fan perspective :) I’m not thrilled about Mark Bright possibly having a hand in one of the few traditional-leaning studio recordings we’ll get from her, at least for now.

  29. I’m with you on that one Tara. When I first heard about this project I was looking forward to Carrie working with another producer.

    Carrie had a radio interview today. She said that Loretta sent her a letter asking her to be part of the album but Carrie was the one who actually chose the song she would sing. This probably explains lack of cohesiveness with the songs on the album if Loretta did the same with most of the other artists.

  30. Despite the lack of cohesiveness, I would say that it does make sense that artists might choose which songs to cover [so it’s as if they are actually paying tribute to the artist from the heart], sort of like a CMT giants concert or Kennedy Center Honors.

  31. I agree, Zack. If I try to put myself in the shoes of an artist participating in the tribute, I think I would want to be able to choose a song that I had a special connection with. In a way, that makes the tribute even more meaningful, even if the resulting album doesn’t quite summarize Loretta’s career adequately. Still, I’m sure the album will at least be an enjoyable listen. I might even buy it.

  32. I think it’s pretty common practice for an artist to choose which song he/she will record for a tribute album. But, Matt, is really quite as common for each artist to have his/her own producer? I know it happens sometimes, but most of the tribute albums that I’m thinking of are mostly produced by one person. I think the best tribute albums are produced by a single producer so that the album flows better.

  33. Comes across as trying to please everyone and in return is just a big mess. From Paramore to Jackson/McBride on top of an eclectic selection of songs. What a mess.
    And on a side note… I’m SO sick of Sheryl Crow wanting to be part of country music while at the same time constantly mocking the fans. Anytime I see her name on a project, it’s an instant pass.

  34. Between the different styles of these artists I think this will be something of a mess. Covering songs in a new style is kinda cool but a tribute album is mostly interesting for those of us who love Loretta herself and replacing her unique style with someone else’s will take something away from the songs, imo.

  35. I think you all have great opinions. As fans of Loretta you all are allowed to those. But at the end of the day Loretta picked these artist and let them choose the song they want to record. I would love to see Miranda have her on song as well as the honor of singing with Loretta Lynn. I would love to have Carrie sing another song. Even have some other artist and songs on there. But in the end Loretta herself had a hand in it being this way so there is no much we can do about it. Don’t buy it buy it whatever.

  36. I do like that Loretta actually does seem to have been pretty involved in the compilation of this album after all, as Kat said. It’d be interesting to hear all the stories/read all the adorable “Haley Honey” notes chronicling how these artists got enlisted. In any case, I’m sure I’ll end up purchasing at least a few tracks.

  37. Regarding Sheryl Crow being part of the Loretta Lynn tribute:

    Sheryl may seem like an odd fit onto this album because she is an “outsider”, but I feel she has shown the same intrinsic knowledge and appreciation of the traditional spirit of country music that her heroes Linda and Emmylou (both outsiders themselves) have shown, one that goes far deeper than just being an “I’m Country” marketing slogan that can so easily be put on a bumper sticker.

  38. Bottomline… Spend your $$ on the real deal. NO ONE can sing Loretta, and Conway for that matter, like the legends themselves. Why settle for cheap imitations when the real thing is out there for the listening.

    Re: Sheryl Crow … I stick by my original post.

  39. I’m cool with you sticking by your original post, but explaining it would be helpful. Maybe you know something that I don’t. Not liking her music or her ocasional involvement in country music is one thing, but to accuse her of making fun of country music fans seems worthy of justification from you.

  40. Usually I’m not so agreeable, but I have to say, I agree with all of your points. Your #6 regarding Martina seemed to nail my thoughts that I couldn’t seem to formulate into words right on the nose and brought on a very real ‘lol.’ A couple of added thoughts and observations: I am looking most forward to Earle and Moorer’s “After the Fire is Gone” . . .just because. And for those of you who have followed Crow’s career knows that she has a noted affection for traditional country music and this is by NO MEANS her first attempt to record this genre.

  41. I’m usually abject to assuming I can speak for someone else, but I wonder if Soul Miner’s Daughter’s characterization of Sheryl Crow doesn’t stem from her outspoken liberal positions on social issues? She’s someone who has taken some very public stances on issues directly contrary to the mainstream country demographic.

    She may think that conservatives are close-minded or that George W. Bush’s administration was either inept or corrupt (or both), and I can see why the average country listener wouldn’t take too kindly to her. But to my knowledge, she has never once said anything derogatory about people who enjoy and support country music as a genre.

  42. Absolutely. I understand why some people don’t like her as a political person or even her music in general, but to say that she mocks country music fans without something to back it up is just the kind of slanderous remark that really irks me. Everything (as far as I can tell) only supports that she respects country music and country music artists, in turn respect her. She’s sung with Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Brooks & Dun, and performed on various country music tribute albums. I’m not, over all, her biggest fan, but I object to certain harsh characterizations, especially when a request for clarification is met with a dismissive “I stick by my original comment.”

  43. Travis,
    I don’t know if your theory is correct, since I can’t speak for SMD, but under that line of thinking, Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Willie Nelson and Rodney Crowell (who are also openly liberal) then also mock country music fans, which is only laughable.

  44. Leeann, I follow Rosanne Cash on Twitter (she’s been kind enough to respond to me semi-regularly this past year) and I’m pretty sure she’s past the point of catering to the anti-liberal mainstream country audience for this exact reason. In fact, just today she tweeted this:


    Please pass this on to the wingnuts who claim my dad, and excoriate me:

  45. Carrie mentioned in a radio interview this week that she got to choose the song herself. She went with “You’re looking and Country” over “Fist City” after narrowing it down to those two.

  46. After previewing the album, I like it a little better.
    I’ve gotta hand it to Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, and Carrie for exceeding my expectations (although I didn’t have very high ones for them judging by the song selections). I’m happy with the way it turned out (speaking by 1 minute sneak peeks, that is).

  47. I’ll just say that I really think Reba should be recording music that sounds like what she sung for the tribute album….And I wasn’t too impressed with Underwood’s version of “You’re Looking At Country.” …Sadly. :(

    I was also impressed with Paramore’s version of “Woman Enough.”

  48. Reba was disappointing, judging from those clips. Faith Hill sounded, surprisingly, the most at home doing a Loretta song. She hasn’t sounded this good in years.

  49. Something sounds a bit…off…in that Underwood performance to me. She has a natural talent for these types of songs, but her vocals sound almost TOO country here. The natural “country” tone seems very overexagerated or something.

  50. K– it sounds like Underwood is trying to impersonate Loretta too much, which I think accounts for the awkward sounding performance, I don’t think she made the song much her own in this case (which she typically does with covers).

  51. I think Paramore’s version of “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” sounds great. I’ve always been a fan of Haley’s voice, but there’s something… more country in the way she phrases on this song, I think, which makes it sound country while still staying very much Paramore.

  52. Most of the tracks will need to be heard in their entirety several times to judge, but I think Underwood sounds great, and is actually paying homage to the original with the extra twang she may have added to her recording. She can’t win: “too country” or “too pop.” I also think Jackson and McBride sound very good, as does Loretta herself on “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Either way, it’s a great idea to honor one of the genre’s most authentic stars ever in this fashion.

  53. I liked all of those previews. I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite (acknowledging the fact that I have yet to hear the full versions) but I especially like Lee Ann Womack’s version of “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” and the Jackson/McBride performance of “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man.”

    That song just suits Alan’s style so well. For one who’s known for singing “Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee…” it’s not a huge stretch to sing “See the alligators a-waitin’ nearby, sooner or later they know I’m gonna try…”

  54. Ya I did, It’s weird but the one thing that struck me the most was, I forgot how good Faith Hills voice was. Remember back when having a good voice was part of the whole music equation as this site pointed out in the ‘Remember the 90’s people who could actually sing’ feature. Maybe its gotten better with age or feels more at more with this style of music, but that voice made me long for the good ole days when vocal talent prevailed.

  55. The only difference from you is that I’m looking forward to the McBride/Jackson duet, because their duet on Jackson’s Good Time was one of the best songs on the album. They had great chemistry there.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Jamey Johnson is Everywhere; Jones, Price Tillis to Fill in for Haggard; Earl Scruggs Hospitalized | American Twang

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.