Tanya Tucker: My Turn

TanyaTucker_MyTurnGritty, heartfelt country covers tribute to Tucker’s  father

The wear that Tucker’s voice has accumulated over the years, the burnish of life, drugs, drink and age, has only made her sound tougher. There isn’t a waver in her pitch as she relives this dozen country classics. Even rougher, she takes on songs that were originally the emotional province of male singers, showing that while times have changed (women wearing pants!), it still takes an unusually strong woman to stand toe-to-toe with iconic classics waxed by Faron Young, Hank Williams, Buck Owens, Ray Price, Conway Twitty, Charlie Pride, Lefty Frizzell, Wynn Stewart, Don Gibson, Eddy Arnold and Merle Haggard. Tucker takes them on and pours a life’s worth of misery and redemption into each one, minding her father’s admonition to “sing it like soap wouldn’t get it off.”

Producer Pete Anderson, renowned for the inventive textures he brought to Dwight Yoakam’s records, dials it back here to present Tucker in basic country productions of guitar, bass, drums, fiddle and steel, with accordion from Flaco Jimenez on “Anybody Goin’ to San Antone?” and Jo-El Sonnier adding a Cajun twist to “Big Big Love.” The simple arrangements give this a nostalgic sound, but Tucker’s forthrightness and grit follow a modern arc from the hard-won gains of Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn and even the younger Tucker herself. Without heavily reworking the songs, the sound of Tucker’s voice (paired with a superb duet from Jim Lauderdale on “Love’s Gonna Live Here”) is more than enough to lend each tune her individual signature.

George Jones notes in his introductory notes that “you know immediately when Tanya Tucker is singing,” and this album is absolute proof. She brings her life story as a country singer, troubled tabloid star, lover, mother, and the daughter of a hard-country loving father to this project. This is an album one could only record on the heels of a career steeped in country music and a life lived deep inside the pains and joys drawn by these songs’ lyrics. Cover albums have a long history in country music, including recent releases from Pam Tillis (It’s All Relative), Patty Loveless (Sleepless Nights), and Martina McBride (Timeless), but this one shines especially bright in their company. It’s a great covers album, a great Tanya Tucker album, and most of all a great country music album. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]

Tanya Tucker’s Home Page
Listen to My Turn

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One Response to “Tanya Tucker: My Turn”

  1. doxiegirl4 says:

    I totally agree with ya’! It’s a totally fantastic cd!

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