Jim Malec is on the verge of kicking her out of country music and I can’t say that I blame him. I just wonder–what went wrong? Is she a natural ballad singer stuck in an endless cycle of forever more derivative versions of “Redneck Woman”? Is it because she stopped writing her own material? Is John Rich secretly a bad influence on her? What? And what can she do to right herself?
I still think she could do an interesting cover of “I’m Going to Hire a Wino,” which might still be kind of like “Redneck Woman” but from the other side. But I have to think that the other thing she needs to do is get back to being true to herself. People connected with her, I think, because they thought they were really hearing from her and “Redneck Woman” wasn’t just a “fuck you” party song. There was a sharp, strong edge right along the spine of that song–that whole “Well, if I can’t have your stuff, fuck you, I don’t want it” that rang so true.
And if ever there was a time for a woman who would sing about how people make a hard life work for them, isn’t it now?