I Got Your Country Right Here by Gretchen Wilson

Often, when artists switch from a major to an independent label, they claim the freedom to work differently, changing styles in the process. Gretchen’s first album on her own Redneck Records proves that she’s been doing things her way from the get-go.

On this disc, she’s still the same redneck woman that fans remember. I’m the first to clock in and the last to pass out, she asserts on the leadoff single “Work Hard, Play Harder.”

But like any hard-living country girl, even Gretchen’s got her limits. She takes on a dishonest suitor on “I’m Only Human” and, on “The Earrings Song,” she warns a female foe, Don’t make me take my earrings out, cause I’ll show you what a catfight’s all about.

Of course, there are the expected patriotic songs (“Trucker Man” and “Blue Collar Done Turn Red”) and the defiant “Outlaws and Renegades.” “As Far as You Know” finds Gretchen’s voice at its soulful best, while the starkly romantic “I’d Love to Be Your Last” ends the album with a hushed, lullaby-like melody.

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