All Hail Wanda Jackson

Backstage Bar & Billiards, October 31

Wanda Jackson

Wanda Jackson

It was quite a crowd that turned out for Wanda Jackson: Mulder and Scully, Joker and Harley, Hunter S. Thompson and Alice in Wonderland. Even opening act the Delta Bombers got into the Halloween spirit, delivering their old-school rockabilly incongruously costumed as Run-DMC.

But there was no disguise for Ms. Jackson, who was clad in her trademark fringe as she took the stage to uproarious applause. She may have put down the guitar, but her pipes are still in tiptop shape, whether purring and growling through a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “You Know That I’m No Good” or delivering the full blue yodel on a Hank Williams number.

Jackson’s band supplied tight backing as she ran through a catalog of her hits: The crowd whooped and bounced to the driving “Let’s Have a Party” and the quirky “Fujiyama Mama,” as well as a sultry “Shakin’ All Over.” Jackson also shared stories about everything from her early days as a “girl singer” on tour with Elvis Presley to her 2009 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As the last ovation died down, a woman in St. Pauli Girl drag exulted, “I’ve seen Jerry Lee Lewis. I’ve seen Bo Diddley. Now I’ve seen Wanda Jackson.” Exactly.  ★★★★✩