2 Albums Released by Grandparents This Week That You Need to Hear Right Now

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The sweatered kids from Portland may own the top of the Billboard charts this week, but veterans with as many grandchildren as Colin Meloy has Pendletons have the distinction of putting out a couple of the most impressive records of the week.

Ladies first:

Album: The Party Ain't Over

Artist: Wanda Jackson

Release Date: Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011

Age of Artist at Time of Release: 73

Wanda Jackson's aptly titled, Jack White-produced record is nothing less than a rockabilly carnival that constantly feels like it's about to spin off the roller coaster. It explodes from the word go, with Jackson--backed by White's Late Night-caliber Third Man House Band--destroying classics like "Busted," "Rum and Coca-Cola," and a fresh and wildly appropriate cover of Bob Dylan's "Thunder on the Mountain." It's got horns, religion, sex appeal, and White's unmistakable guitar: all the makings of an essential roots-rock record. It's not a testament to the fact that Jackson was a hip chick back in her day, but that this IS her day.

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Album: Low Country Blues

Artist: Gregg Allman

Release Date: Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011

Age of Artist at Time of Release: 63

Hear It: Listen for free at RollingStone.com

Gregg Allman is in desperate need of a cultural renaissance. The Allman Brothers have been ignorantly discarded as another shabby, unwieldy jam band. But while a mountain of high-quality country and blues-inspired rock records are being released every week from players young enough to be Allman's grandkids, the understated Low Country Blues, his first solo effort in 14 years, is a treasure. Allman's voice is haunting, and he leads his band through songs made famous by the likes of B.B. King and Muddy Waters with a ease and effortlessness that only comes from time and experience. Allman's got more of both than most.

 
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