She might keep her Christmas lights on on her front porch all year long, but she also knows how to spin a label split. Gretchen Wilson and Sony Nashville have parted ways after her last two albums came nowhere near approaching the success of her 2004 debut, Redneck Woman, and luckily, as Wilson told the AP, that just makes it easier for her to start a label of her own! She hopes to have a new single and album out this fall, and because she knows you’d be disappointed if she didn’t, she hopes to call the venture Redneck Records.

You’ll excuse my tone of whoop-dee-doo, because I can’t say this news is all that thrilling. Wilson had her heyday — EW even did a cover story on her and her midget-toting Muzik Mafia buddies Big & Rich back in 2005 — but she never managed to capitalize on that early momentum, and last time I saw her perform live, she was throwing covers of Journey and Heart songs into the mix to compensate for a lack of compelling new material. I’d welcome her back any time (god knows the current blond stranglehold on the country charts could use a little dark horse challenge), but I’m not sure the answer is for her to be left even more to her own devices.

What do you think, Mixers? Excited about Wilson’s plans for the future? Or are you with me in thinking it wouldn’t be a bad thing if she (and dear god, please, Big & Rich) maybe just let it go? In looking up the Muzik Mafia roster, I noticed there is one member still producing something of worth: “Just Got Started Loving You” singer James Otto, whose tastes seem to trend away from flashpots and more towards solid, heartfelt songwriting, like the Grammy-nominated “In Color,” which he co-penned with Jamey Johnson — maybe he could step in to help salvage his MM sister’s career? Who in country music do you think actually should start their own label?

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