On 2004’s Grammy Awardwinning Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn and Jack White, like in all great partnerships, influence each other without giving up their individuality. Lynn delivers characteristically sincere anecdotes about country family life in her distinctive, wide vowels and tremulous voice; White provides an electric-guitar backbone that is equal parts disaffected Detroit attitude and Appalachian hat tip. Still, this is a Loretta Lynn album, showcasing her life story and lyricism, her heritage and sound. And while White serves as producer and plays lead guitar, he’s unable to hide his fandom he’s responsible for a rambling story about childhood illness on “Little Red Shoes” that only a major Lynn-ophile could love. The collaboration is at its best on the album’s only duet, “Portland, Oregon” a hard-charging song about a drunken, lusty night that’s laced with a butterfly-inducing trickle of slide guitar. It’s so otherworldly that you don’t even notice the lyrics couple together a 70-year-old and a 28-year-old.
With Our Powers Combined