Black Music Matters Festival

Wynonna Judd

Her Story: Scenes From A Lifetime – 2005 (Curb)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Wynonna Judd

What a story Wynonna has had growing up poor with her mother Naomi before the mother/daughter duo rose to great success in the '90s until hepatitis kept Naomi off the road and led to Wy going out on her own. This live set, recorded at the Ryman Feb. 1, offers music from throughout Wy's career. As she sings at the end of the opening "Dreamchaser," "Dreamchaser, that's what I am."

Judd maintains an easy-going demeanor throughout sounding tougher on occasion while easily transitioning into more tender moments, something she does easily on "A Girl's Night Out" and "To Be Loved By You."

The soulful strength of Judd's voice comes through time and again, a powerful instrument in its own right. ("Maybe Your Baby's Got the Blues").

The second disc unfortunately starts off with Earth Wind & Fire chestnut "Shining Star," but Wy does little to add to the song and would have better served with one of her own songs. Including Joni Mitchell's "Help Me" also was questionable, but she easily nails Melissa Etheridge's "I'm the Only One."

Low key, explanatory comments from Judd, sometimes uplifting in her positive approach, intersperse with the music.

The music concludes with a new studio song, "Attitude," which does not add to the fine telling of the Judd story.