Wynonna Talks New Band, Debut Album

By Erin Duvall

What do you do when you turn in an album and your record label says they want “more”? If you’re Wynonna Judd, you take your husband’s advice and start a band. Wynonna chatted with Rolling Stone Country about the events that led to the formation of Wynonna and the Big Noise and creation of their new album.

Related: Wynonna Judd Invites Jason Isbell, Susan Tedeschi to Join New Album

“Blues and bluegrass are the two greatest influences,” she tells the publication. “It’s being in a darkness that is so dark that your soul cries out to get relief. Because of where I’ve been and the hell I’ve been through and just the primal, guttural cry with which I have shed many a tear over children, death, divorce, being in the music business for 37 years as part of my journey. I think this record is my musical coming-out party where I’m just letting everything come to the surface. Have you ever watched a kid throw a tantrum, where they are not aware of where they are? They’re just in their own moment, just letting it all go. I think that’s what this record is for me. It’s my tantrum record.”

The songstress began working on the album, with her husband Cactus Moser, producing. When she turned it into the label, they asked for more. In turn, Moser — who was operating with only a quarter of the budget normally used — suggested they go a completely new direction.

“I was really in a place of serenity and peace and [points to her husband] this one came in and said, ‘Oh, heck no! We’re going to blow stuff up, we’re going to set this on fire,'” she said. “Next thing I know I’m cutting off all my fingernails and playing guitar, playing drums on stage, I’m in a band situation on the bus. I haven’t shared a bus with a band since the Eighties. Now, I’m bumping into people on stage. It’s like Cirque du Soleil!”

Judd embraced it, but had to adjust to all that came with that.

“For instance, you go to the beautiful studio with the beautiful church windows and you have the intern running to get you a Starbucks,” Judd said. Now, we’re down in a shed behind the house and I’m literally walking down there in my slippers, holding a Ziploc bag with my snacks in it. That’s the catering! … You know what my vocal booth was? Eggshell carton around my head like a helmet! I’m just in a room with all these characters thinking, ‘I’m in a band. This is so weird.’ And yet it’s so exciting because it’s like the best blind date ever.”

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