The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are now on sale for a concert starring one of the biggest names in country music from the past several decades: the million-selling chart topper, multiple award winner, and multi-talented creative force known as Wynonna, with her band, The Big Noise.
Scheduled for Saturday, December 8, the 8 p.m. show is a newly announced addition to the 2018-2019 Performing Arts Series at Monmouth’s flagship performance space, the Pollak Theatre. It’s also a late add to a busy nationwide concert itinerary for the Five-Time Grammy winner who made her initial public splash as Wynonna Judd, the younger-generation half of The Judds, the mother/daughter duo who took the American pop music scene by storm in the 1980s — and it brings the veteran vocalist, novelist, and actress to campus for the first time in her hard-touring 34-year career.
The story of The Judds is the stuff of Nashville dreams, with more than 20 million units moved in the act’s first six years alone, a trophy room of major awards, 14 Number One hits, and a lasting legacy that’s inspired some successful reunion projects with mother Naomi Judd here in the new century. But it’s as a solo performer that Wynonna has carried on the family business for the past 25 years — and it’s in her more recent incarnation as a swaggeringly confident, rock-rhythm-and-blues infused bandleader that the coastal New Jersey audience will get acquainted with The Big Noise.
The singer who took such country ballads as “She Is His Only Need” to the top of the Billboards had been seriously flirting with a leaner-meaner sound, as far back as her appropriately titled 1997 album “The Other Side” — and in the early part of the current decade, she teamed with husband and ace drummer Cactus Moser to form Wynonna & The Big Noise, a guitar-driven touring and recording unit that released its first single in 2013 — and its (to date) only full length album in 2016. Bolstered by guest appearances from the Eagles’ Timothy B. Schmit, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, and Jason Isbell, the band’s eponymous LP finds the frontwoman well at home in a set that ranges from gritty blues-rockers (“Ain’t No Thing,” “You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast,” “Cool Ya”) to the trad Americana of “Things That I Lean On” and “Jesus and a Jukebox.”
With its mix of impeccably tight musicianship and Wynonna’s proven star power, the Moser-produced album set the pace for the singer’s live excursions in the seasons since its release, with recent tours revisiting (and re-energizing) material from all points on her career timeline. Performing with a newfound sense of purpose — and finding a new extended “family” in her acclaimed band — Wynonna opens up her big heart, winning new fans and displaying the winning quality that works everywhere from arena-scale auditoriums to intimate song circles among friends.
Tickets for the December 8 appearance by Wynonna & The Big Noise are priced at $65 and $75 (with a Gold Circle seating option available for $85), and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at https://www.monmouth.edu/MCA. Tickets for other upcoming Performing Arts events — including local rocker Matt O’Ree and his band (February 9, 2019) and rockabilly bass ace Stray Cat Lee Rocker (April 13, 2019) — are also on sale now. To schedule interviews, please contact Kelly Barratt at 732-263-5114.