At first, five-time Grammy winner Wynonna Judd might appear all campy, swaggering bravado.
“If only you knew how dangerous I am,” she mock-growls, discussing her current mood. “I am definitely a force to be reckoned with, and when I wake up, I have to lay in bed and do some deep breathing before I even hit the floor and the devil goes, ‘Oh, my God! She’s up!’”
She is justifiably proud of the projects she’s juggling: Her New York Times best-selling novel “Restless Heart”; a shoe line called Got Soul; the TV special “Wynonna and Cactus — The Road Back,” about her drummer-producer husband Cactus Moser’s recovery from a crippling motorcycle accident; and a reflective new album she is writing, led by the single “Something You Can’t Live Without.”
Her humor masks a deeper truth.
Gradually, over her 30-year career — first with her mother, Naomi, as powerhouse country duo The Judds, and now as a solo artist whose “A Simpler Christmas” tour hits San Jose this week — Judd has carefully gleaned wisdom from so many spiritual and philosophical sources, she could easily become a motivational speaker.
She happily shares this knowledge on her Twitter feed, like her recent Emerson-quotation post, “Always do what you are afraid to do.”
That’s why she subjected herself to the grueling reality show “Dancing With the Stars.” “Because I was terrified,” she admits. For every tragedy Judd has endured — many mentioned in her 2005 memoir “Coming Home to Myself” — she learned a transformative life lesson.
“Even when my husband had his accident and I was forced to go on the road without him, it made me realize how grateful I am to just stop and enjoy today,” she says. “And it’s biblical, too — you should only get the fruit for today. Get more than that? The rest rots.”
For years, Judd says, “because my mom and my sister [actress Ashley Judd] were sort of the intellectuals, and I was more the free-spirit, common-sense, road-gypsy wanderer, people saw that as a weakness and not a strength.”
Then it dawned on her that singing was her gift, her purpose. “And I finally had to make peace with the fact that I’m a visionary more than a day-to-day maintenance person,” she says.
Judd, 49, calls it “the prophet gift,” and it’s a blessing and a curse. For every great concept — like a line of bedazzled sneakers — she has to find the right professional team to execute it.
“But that’s what I tell my fans: ‘If it’s meant to be, it will not be a struggle,’” she says. “It will be so easy, it’ll almost seem like you’re getting away with something!’”
IF YOU GO
Wynonna Judd and The Big Noise
Where: San Jose Civic Auditorium, 135 W. San Carlos St., San Jose
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Tickets: $25 to $68