While I’m Livin’ by Tanya Tucker has been one of my rather first album reviews on Flyctory.com. The US-American female country music legend released the album in August 2019 and i loved it. Some four years later, on 2nd June 2023, her 26th studio album is about to be released. Here is my view of Sweet Western Sound.
Tanya Tucker – About The Artist
Tanya Denise Tucker was born on 10th October 1958 in Seminole, Texas. You find a lot about the female country artist in my While I’m Livin’ review. My review of the album was not too bad at least – it finally became the first album by Tucker, which finally won the 2020 Grammy Award for the Best Country Album. In addition, the US-American also took another Grammy for the Best Country Song in the same year. Bring My Flowers Now, the fourth single release of the album, has also been awarded to be the Best Country Song. These are the first two Grammy Awards in Tucker’s career.
Tanya Tucker – Sweet Western Sound – Track by Track
The ten song album lasts 35 minutes.
Tanya is a fun way to open the album. Tucker and Billy Joe Shaver originally wrote this song. One day, Billy Joe sang the song to her voicemail… and the recording made it straight into the album, as a 49 second intro track.
This very first full length song of the album, Kindness, and the very last one have already been released as a single by Tanya Tucker. Kindness is a typical Tucker track: mid-tempo, maybe a bit on the slow side, traditional, but not outdated. She is using a wide range of instruments and musical support, including Brandi Carlile, who co-produced the album with Shooter Jennings, as a backing vocal. A lot of good names of the business, who lead to a good song.
3. Breakfast In Birmingham (feat. Brandi Carlile)
For the third song, Carlile is even stepping forward and taking over lead vocal duties instead of “just” backing Tucker. The duet-style sound works perfectly. The song is very energetic as well. One of my favorites.
As cheap as gas is here
I will look beyond my longing
The extra dollar doesn’t mean a damn
If I get clear of Jasper
And all this dixie thunder
I’ll get breakfast with brown eyes in Birmingham
4. Waltz Across a Moment
Even though you might not recognize it while listening, Shooter Jennings is taking a key role in this fourth song. Apart from the intense vocal performance by Tucker, the song is beautifully driven by the piano, played by the co-producer. The song is also somehow the title track of the album, as you will see in the lyrics below.
‘Cause just like the California sun
I think I’m goin’ down
Come and meet me in the shadows
Of this drunk and broken town
Don’t curse your mind with yesterday
And the love we could have found
Just waltz across the moment
To that sweet western sound
5. Ready As I’ll Never Be
Ready As I’ll Never Be is a bit faster than the fourth track. Overall, it is however another really nice listen. Tanya Tucker is doing well on the microphone – and the story of the song is definitely good enough to listen to it as well. By the way, this time Carlile is taking over the piano position.
6. The List
The List is a rather cheery recording with a traditional touch. The steel guitar is having more opportunities to howl its chords, compared to the songs before. Really nice one.
7. Letter To Linda
Letter To Linda is as personal as Sweet Western Sound will get. The song is based on a letter Tucker in fact sent to one of her idols, Linda Ronstadt. Tucker wrote it in 2019, being shocked that her idol is suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy, a degenerative disease of the brain. The story behind the song is tragic, the listen is outstanding.
8. City of Gold
My blood runs hot, baby, till it goes cold
And you know my heart is a city of gold
Honey, if you do just like I told you
Might have a little fun tonight
The slow eighth song is coming with a lot of soul and emotion and almost feels like a country music gospel. Good listen.
9. That Wasn’t Me
This part of the album feels very straight, personal. The slow, intense, repetitive That Wasn’t Me just has to stay in your mind. Great plot, good listen.
10. When The Rodeo Is Over (Where Does The Cowboy Go)
The title already feels to turn the tenth song into the perfect close. In Tanya Tucker relations, the song is very rhythmic. The steel guitar presence perfectly suits to the beautiful storytelling. The album definitely closes with another very convincing song.
Tanya Tucker – Sweet Western Sound – Spotify
Here is Sweet Western Sound on Spotify:
Tanya Tucker – Sweet Western Sound – My View
I just love what this lady is doing. Her stories feel to be so honest, the presentation is amazing. Tucker together with Carlile and Jennings is an amazing triangle of country music power and talent, which catapults Sweet Western Sound right into the highest ranges of potential ratings. How could an album containing songs like Letter to Linda or Breakfast in Birmingham be worse?
Country Music Legends
Rides on Rail (USA)