Fifty years ago, a mother of four from coal country signed her first record deal and released a single that proudly proclaimed I’m a Honky Tonk Girl. On the dozen tracks in Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn (* * * out of four), some modern-day honky-tonk girls — and a few guys — show their affection for Loretta Lynn.
The lineup finds several country queens, including Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill and Martina McBride, paying their respects. Lynn joins rootsy rocker Sheryl Crow and country spitfire Miranda Lambert to reprise Coal Miner’s Daughter.
Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and Allison Moorer bring more of a raw country edge to their covers, and rockers Paramore and the White Stripes turn down the volume with acoustic arrangements.
Others show the Blue Kentucky Girl’s appeal by taking her songs back to their homes. Reba McEntire gives If You’re Not Gone Too Long Oklahoma swing, and Texan Lee Ann Womack adds dance-hall accordion to Honky Tonk Girl. But it’s Kid Rock who takes the music farthest, punching up I Know How until it sounds like something from a Detroit rock ‘n’ soul revue.
Download:You Ain’t Woman Enough (to Take My Man), If You’re Not Gone Too Long