Tanya Tucker

REVIEW: Tanya Tucker “Sweet Western Sound”


Tanya Tucker – Sweet Western Sound

Tanya Tucker’s new album Sweet Western Sound (Fantasy Records) was produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings, and in addition to being a piece of history, it is quite a delight.

One of the signature elements of the album is that is is bookended by Billy Joe Shaver’s vocals.  On the first song, “Tanya,” it’s Billy Joe Shaver’s voice a cappella mixed from a voice message.  Amazing.

Then the music starts and we are drawn into “Kindness” with Tanya’s instantly recognizable mighty vocals with layers of acoustic guitar and pedal steel, and “I pushed down my anger through my tears, I’ve always felt the love of god so near. I’ve been everything there is to been so come on baby, show some kindness to me.”   Breathtaking words of wisdom asking for mercy.

Then is the delicious “Breakfast in Birmingham (featuring Brandi Carlile)” with the way Brandi’s vocals climb to the highest peaks combined with Tanya’s power and the gritty “Moved into Alabama in a purple Firebird / A lookin’ for the words to write a song / As cheap as gas is here / I will look beyond my longin,’ the extra dollar doesn’t mean a damn” is born. Their vocals together truly achieve a dream of beauty, and that’s no exaggeration.

“Waltz Across A Moment” is tender Tanya with Shooter Jennings on thoughtful piano.  “Ready As I’ll Never Be” then is Brandi at the piano and another storytelling, comforting display showcased by Tanya. “It’s bittersweet but it’s a hell of a silver lining.”

“A Letter to Linda” (Ronstadt) is a soaring tribute to Linda “rest easy Linda, you already stole the show. I remember how they introduced you on the tv, the girl with the warm, beautiful chipmunk eyes.”

Every song is rich and powerful.  “When the Rodeo is Over (Where Does the Cowboy Go?)” closes the album with Tanya singing the first half of this song, and then another recording of Billy Joe Shaver closes the album.


The entire album is pure gold.  Lovely, rich, and significant.  Thank you to Tanya and all involved in bringing this about.

Musicians on the album are Tanya Tucker on vocals; Billy Joe Shaver on vocals;  Brandi Carlile on vocals, background vocals and piano; Ted Russell Kamp on banjo and bass guitar;
Phil Hanseroth on bass, acoustic guitar, and background vocals; Matt Chamberlain on drums and percussion; Chris Masterson on electric guitar, baritone guitar and acoustic guitar; Shooter Jennings on piano, synthesizer, and Mellotron; John Schreffler on steel guitar;
Tim Hanseroth on acoustic guitar and background vocals; Alabama Jennings on celesta, organ, and strings; Paul Franklin on steel guitar; and Jamie Douglass on drums and percussion.

Find more information here: https://www.tanyatucker.com

Brandi Carlile – production
Shooter Jennings – production, engineering
Pete Lyman – mastering
Trina Shoemaker – mixing (1, 3–10)
Brandon Bell – mixing (2), engineering (3, 4, 6–10)
David Spreng – recording
Nate Haessly – engineering assistance

Tanya’s summer – fall tour dates are here:

June 2—Nashville, TN—The Grand Ole Opry
June 3—Nashville, TN—Ryman Auditorium (SOLD OUT)
June 4—Nashville, TN—Ryman Auditorium
June 11—George, WA—The Gorge Amphitheatre*
June 17—Martinsville, IN—Morgan County Fairgrounds+
June 23—Lubbock, TX—The Buddy Holly Hall
June 24—Helotes, TX—John T. Floore’s Country Store
June 27—Houston, TX—The Heights Theater
June 28—Houston, TX—The Heights Theater
June 30—Fort Worth, TX—Billy Bob’s
July 1—Miami, OK—Buffalo Run Casino
July 22—Fort St. John, BC—Energetic County Fair
July 26—Vancouver, BC—Commodore Ballroom
July 28—Calgary, AB—Calgary Folk Music Festival
July 30—White Sulphur Springs, MT—Red Ants Pants Music Festival
September 7—Marietta, OH—The Peoples Bank Theatre
September 9—Orillia, ON—Casino Rama Entertainment Centre
September 14—New York, NY—SummerStage in Central Park
September 15—Shippensburg, PA—H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center
September 22—Florence, KY—Turfway Park Event Center
September 23—Huntsville, AL—Orion Amphitheater#
September 28—Knoxville, TN—Tennessee Theatre
September 29—Atlanta, GA—Atlanta Symphony Hall
October 4—Fayetteville, AR—Walton Arts Center – Baum Walker Hall
October 6-8—Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Music Festival
October 13-15—Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Music Festival
*with The Highwomen
+co-headline with Ashley McBryde and special guests Neal McCoy and Easton Corbin
#with Brandi Carlile

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