Wynonna Judd is releasing her first album of non-covers since 2003's What The World Needs Now Is Love. Wynonna and the Big Noise finds Wynonna working with her husband Cactus Moser and her four-man ensemble. Preceding the album is the new single and video "Jesus and a Jukebox." The song, written by Travis Meadows, Jeremy Spillman and David Tolliver, is a love story of grief and faith.
"When I was 15, I went and saw George Jones in concert - my first concert ever. I sang at his funeral [in 2013]," she tells Rolling Stone Country. "It was literally the end of an era for me. It made me really aware while making this record of how we're losing our legends. This is an honor moment on the record, where I go back to my roots. The pedal steel is a foundational instrument on the record, and in country music; the words are a story, which country music is - stories about real life, real people in the real world.
"This guy has lost the love of his life," she continues. "The fact that the song goes from the Bible to the bar made sense to me. Grief ebbs and flows. The Word reminds him that he'll see her again, but the bar is helping him to let her go. It's just very real and very honest."
Judd told Billboard the music was recorded simply for the love of it. Words like 'demographic' and 'airplay' weren't a consideration during the recording process.
"I don't even know if I was that conscious, to be honest, about bridging the gap between commerce and art," Judd said. "There was no agenda. We just took 10 songs that we really loved and I'll be darned if we're not playing the songs at places like Napa Valley -- where people don't buy records -- and they are coming up and saying, 'Girl, I had no idea that you were that nasty and that fun."
"I'm not holding back. I'm not trying to put anything in a format or compartmentalize," Wynonna says of the album, which she calls a "musical coming-out party" and was recorded in a tiny shed on the couple's property outside Nashville. "It's like the most awesome phoenix rising."
Wynonna and the Big Noise will be released February 12th.