Martina McBride on Being a “Louisiana Woman”

One of my favorite tracks on Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn is the Martina McBride/Alan Jackson duet, “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man.” It was one of Lynn’s best when she did it with Conway Twitty in 1973. This time around, it’s still just as powerful. McBride and Jackson have the same kind of undeniable chemistry Lynn and Twitty did. When I asked McBride who dreamed up this perfect pairing, she told me she chose the song and the partner. “Alan is one of my favorite country singers, and I have always loved his voice,” she said. “He’s very traditional, and I just thought he’d be perfect for this.” Of the song choice, she said she remembers hearing the song on the radio all the time. “My dad was a huge Conway Twitty fan, so I grew up listening to Conway and Loretta,” she said. Had she been able to cut two duets, she said she might’ve liked to do “After the Fire Is Gone.” (The husband and wife duo of Steve Earle and Allison Moorer perform the song on the tribute album.) My last question was about the first time McBride ever met Lynn. “She was amazing. And I was starstruck,” she admitted. “The first time I met Loretta, I believe it may have been backstage at the Opry House. We shared a dressing room. Ever since, she kinda took to me and always has been so sweet to me. I feel grateful to know her.” The album comes out on Tuesday (Nov. 9) and also features Gretchen Wilson, Carrie Underwood, Lee Ann Womack, Faith Hill and even Kid Rock doing their favorite Lynn songs.