Re-energized Gretchen Wilson to reCord show

For the News-DemocratOctober 14, 2013 

Next May will be the 10th anniversary of the release Gretchen Wilson's debut album, "Here For The Party." She will celebrate with the release of a DVD live concert project where she and her touring band will perform the entire album.

The event will be recorded when the Pocahontas native plays The Pageant Tuesday in St. Louis as part of a homecoming celebration. The event and DVD will be titled "STILL Here For The Party."

"This is a very special night coming up for me," Gretchen said in a telephone interview from Nashville. "Back home where this all began, with all my friends and fans, it's definitely going to be a major highlight in my career."

Wilson is using her own touring band to make the concert DVD, as she has for her past three (yes, three) albums that she has released this year.

"I am excited that we used the touring band on these three projects, and for the DVD, because these are the guys that I work with all of the time," Wilson said. "It's kind of like the old school way of doing things, with everybody sitting around in the studio and creating together, instead of everyone coming in separately and laying down their own tracks. We get to enjoy the entire experience together."

Wilson now owns her own record label, and has built a studio on her farm where her current three projects were recorded.

In April, she released her current country album, "Right On Time," and in May she released a 13-song cover album of rock classics entitled "Under the Covers." On Oct. 8, she released her first-ever Christmas album, "Christmas In My Heart."

"I got the studio built, and then all of a sudden, I had this creative burst of energy," Wilson said. "I mean, really, who puts out three albums in a year? And, this has been in six months, but I'm really loving it all. It's a lot easier when you have your own studio to go into as well."

Wilson said that she feels brand new about her career, and her life in general.

"It's been a reflective thing for me with this DVD project, because I think it's renewed my energy," Wilson said. "It's like I have this drive, much like I did back in the day playing all the clubs like Schatze's in Belleville with my band Millenium. We were so driven back then, whether it was playing with Millenium or Baywolf over on the other side of the river in St. Louis. There wasn't a gig we couldn't wait to book. We were on a mission back then."

Wilson said that she is rejuvenated in just about everything -- musically and personally.

"Things are going great," Wilson said. "I've got new music out, a Christmas album which I'm really proud of, I just got back from Switzerland for a tour, and we are starting rehearsals for the Pageant show."

Wilson said the hits from "Here For The Party," are played all of the time in her shows, but the other songs need polishing.

"We play the hits, yes, but some of the songs have never been played live, so we are beginning ... to learn them all, so that we are in as perfect form as we can be" for the St. Louis show, Wilson said. "It's been a journey, like re-living the whole thing over again, learning the songs, and putting the show together. It's a full circle kind of thing. We were running so fast those first three or four years that we didn't really have the time to sit back and enjoy what we were doing.

"Doing this project has given me the opportunity to look back at old pictures, and relive some of the memories, and spark even more memories. I can't wait to come back and see all of the familiar faces. I can't think of a better place to do this. ... It's the only place really."

Who: Gretchen Wilson

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday; doors open at 7

Where: The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis

What: Recording of "STILL Here For The Party" DVD

Tickets: $27-$36 ay

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