Loretta Lynn’s defiant “honky tonk girl” is still raising a ruckus on “Ruby’s Stool,” the latest digital single off her new album Wouldn’t It Be Great, out Sept. 28 on Legacy/Sony Music.
Lynn plays the same type of stubborn character featured in “Fist City,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” and other classics in this new track inspired by a real-life couple the singer observed in a Texas bar. Musically, Lynn and songwriting partner Shawn Camp turned the clock back to the singer’s honky-tonk roots. A barrelhouse piano intro gives way to fiddle and pedal steel guitar accompaniment that would’ve made for a jukebox favorite 50 years earlier.
This flashback to Lynn’s earliest successes with Decca Records was recorded by her daughter Patsy Lynn Russell and Johnny Cash’s son John Carter Cash, the same team behind prior albums Full Circle and White Christmas Blue. The multi-generational recording project was captured on tape at the historic Cash Cabin in Hendersonville, Tenn.
The album’s 13 songs include six re-recorded classics, including the title track, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind),” and early career cuts “Darkest Day” and “My Angel Mother.”
New songs include additional co-writes with Camp (“The Big Man,” “I’m Dying For Someone to Live For”) and a pair of collaborations with Russell (“Ain’t No Time to Go,” “These Old Blues”). The retro vibe and shameless defiance of “Ruby’s Stool” sets a high standard for these and other new songs from the mind of a Country Music Hall of Fame legend and one of the greatest living songwriters. “It’s my favorite song on the record,” Russell says in a press release. “When I hear that song, I have to smile, because I’m like, ‘She’s still got it. She still has it when she writes those songs.’”