IF YOU GO
What: Dierks Bentley and Gretchen Wilson in concert
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: The grandstand at the Canfield Fairgrounds
Tickets: $27, $30, $35 and $48; available at the box office in the fairgrounds and at canfieldfair.com
By JOHN BENSON
From the moment Gretchen Wilson arrived in our world as the unabashed “Redneck Woman,” the rural-Illinois native has been a country-music hell raiser. Now the Music City singer is back in action with her new CD, “I Got Your Country Right Here,” and new tour. The latter includes a show Sunday opening up for Dierks Bentley at the Canfield Fair.
Here are some things you perhaps didn’t know about the Grammy Award-winning Ms. Wilson:
Raised in a fatherless home, Wilson ended up dropping out of high school to work as a cook/bartender. At 18 she was singing in bars in the St. Louis area, where she was discovered.
Her 2004 debut album, “Here for the Party,” sold more than 200,000 copies its opening week. This made her the fastest-selling new country artist ever. The album would go on to sell more than 5 million copies.
Living up to her country image, Wilson lives outside of Nashville on a 70-acre farm that includes a pond.
After singing the National Anthem at the 2008 Republican National Convention, Wilson joined then presidential hopeful John McCain and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin at a rally in Cincinnati. She ended up singing Heart’s classic rock song “Barracuda.”
Speaking of Heart, she joined the Wilson Sisters (no relation) for the 2007 VHI Rock Honors special, singing “Straight On,” “Crazy on You” and “Barracuda.”
Wilson recently launched her own label, Redneck Records, which is based in Lebanon, Tenn.
Wilson’s new CD, “I Got Your Country Right Here,” included the lead single “Work Hard, Play Harder,” which was a top-20 hit and was co-written with John Rich (Big & Rich) and Vicky McGehee.
Wilson has tailored a special version of “Work Hard, Play Harder” for the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators.
The Black Crowes are suing Wilson regarding “Work Hard, Play Harder.” The rock act feels her tune sounds a little too close to their 1990 hit song “Jealous Again.” The copyright-infringement case is expected to end up in court.