Tanya Tucker - Sweet Western Sound
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Sweet Western Sound (Fantasy, 2023)

Tanya Tucker

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Tanya Tucker once again employed Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings to produce this album, and her producers also had a hand in writing some of its 10 songs. The album, the follow-up to 2019's "While I'm Livin'," which won the GRAMMY for Best Country Album, opens with the distinctive voice of Billy Joe Shaver singing about Tucker on "Tanya," and ends with the rodeo song "When The Rodeo Is Over (Where Do the Cowboys Go?)." It's still a little strange to hear Tucker, who started out in the '70s as teen at 13, now in her 60s vocalizing with the voice of experience, but she has nevertheless aged well.

The title is taken from "Waltz Across a Moment," a song Jennings penned. It's a reflective piano ballad, with a tasty sonic that matches its title. Jennings wrote another notable track (along with Tucker) titled "Letter To Linda," a song about and for Linda Ronstadt, which feels personal for Tucker. "The List," one of the most overtly country songs on the album, was written by Carlile and Tucker. It's a response to anyone that's critical of Tucker. It includes the memorable line on the chorus, "That list of things you don't like about me is gonna be shorter than mine." It's about Tucker, but one can well imagine Carlile also relates to its words.

Tucker has found the perfect production team with which to work. They either write or find consistently high-quality songs for Tucker to sing, which are always seasoned-age appropriate. Tucker has had a career resurgence of late and deservedly so. She still sounds great and sings with a sincere heart. It's why "Sweet Western Sound," even when its sentiments are somewhat bittersweet, still leaves a sweet taste in the mouth.

CDs by Tanya Tucker

Sweet Western Sound, 2023 Live from the Troubadour, 2020 While I'm Livin', 2019 My Turn, 2009

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