Roughly 70 miles from Nashville on Saturday night proved to be a blast back in time, as the legendary Loretta Lynn captivated a Labor Day weekend crowd at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN. It was definitely a special night for the singer, in more ways than one.
The Country Music Hall of Fame member was honored with the unveiling of a new portrait that was commissioned by the singer's family. Ironically, the artist who drew the print has some country music connections of his own. Corey Frizzell, nephew of Lefty and David Frizzell -- was the artist chosen by the Lynn family to sketch the portrait of the singer. The son of Allen Frizzell, Corey has sketched some of the biggest stars in the business, such as George Jones, Marty Robbins, Alan Jackson, and Vince Gill. Frizzell told Billboard that the drawing took about six hours to complete, and he did the old school way – complete with a No. 2 pencil.
Lynn was visibly moved when first shown Frizzell's work backstage before her concert at the ranch. Taken from one of her earliest publicity photos, the singer talked about one of her biggest hits when asked what she thought about when she saw the woman in the drawing. "I see the 'Blue Kentucky Girl,' she told Billboard, referencing her top ten hit from 1965. "That's what I see. That was my all-time favorite song that I sing of all of them."
In the near future, look for some new music on the way from Lynn -- and perhaps lots of it. When asked about her upcoming recording plans, she quipped "I've got about nineteen things ready. I've got a Christmas album done, a religious album done, a CD of mountain songs with Shawn Camp," she said. She also plans to be dialing a familiar phone number in the near future. "I think I'm going to go after Jack White, and give him another call to do another album." Given the success of their 2004 album "Van Lear Rose," we doubt White will miss that phone call.
Lynn is also excited about the upcoming 2013 Gospel Music Festival that will be held at the ranch Sept. 28-29. With a lineup that includes such mainstays of the format as Gospel Music Hall of Fame members The Hoppers, Mark Lowry, The Isaacs, Rambo McGuire, and Karen Peck & New River, the "Coal Miners' Daughter" said she was eagerly anticipating the event.
"We've got so many gospel groups coming. I plan on going down and watching them all day, because I want to see this," she said.
After meeting with a few members of the press, Lynn then proceeded to a place she knows quite well – the stage. Performing with her longtime band, The Coal Miners, which featured some strong performances from Lee Hilliard and Craig Morris – who might be familiar to 90s country audiences as members of the group 4 Runner. With close to eighty chart records to choose from, she performed the songs that fans came to hear - "Don't Come Home A' Drinkin (With Lovin' On Your Mind)," "You Ain't Woman Enough," "When The Tingle Becomes A Chill," and of course, the song that has become her signature, "Coal Miners' Daughter." Making the night even more memorable was a special surprise performance from Irish favorite Daniel O'Donnell.