This is followed by a beautiful version of Sippie Wallace's "Women Be Wise," with all of its sassy natural inflections retained even as Judd updates the context, and then a version of Dave Bartholomew's New Orleans R&B stomper "I Hear You Knockin'" that gives the Dave Edmunds cover a run for its money -- and comes damn close to Fats Domino's. Other country classics include Merle Haggard's "Are the Good Times Really Over for Good," Stevie Ray Vaughan's "The House Is Rockin'" (and here it really does), and a completely shocking, utterly bereft deep soul-blues reading of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine. " Here, the simmering, smoldering eros in Judd's voice is tempered with genuine loneliness, accented by the nylon-string guitar and a convincing string arrangement.
Wy doesn’t elevate the American songbook on Sing: Chapter 1, an album of covers, so much as knock it unconscious. The frisky New Orleans jazz of ”That’s How Rhythm Was Born” and ”Women Be Wise” may be A-OK, but once the arrangements can no longer match her vocals — beware those lugubrious strings! — everything collapses. Worse, there’s just nothing new or fresh about the way she’s flogging these favorites.
With Sing, Wynonna covers the songs that have been an influence on her music during her wildly successful 25-year career. Though the album is nothing remarkable, Wynonna should be applauded for her efforts to cure insomnia: the release will make all but the most dedicated Judd-head nod off. There’s very little separating this record from the easy listening played in grocery stores and doctors’ offices.