Totally Biased Fan Review: While I’m Livin’ – Tanya Tucker

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It is probably just a coincidence that two of my long time American Country Music heroes happen to release long awaited albums in the same week, and that they are probably their best collections ever.

I have been following the growth of this album since Tanya hinted about it a while back. It has been a long time between albums. One of my go to albums is her Love Songs album which was also one of my Ma’s favourites. The neighbourhood cleared out whenever Ma and I sang to that album. If we had just let Tanya sing, we would have kept our neighbours.

I am so glad that Tanya had Brandi Carlile at the helm on this one. I can see how those puzzle pieces would fit together – it does seem like a rather obvious choice.

While Tanya doesn’t pull any punches in her songs (neither does Brandi), she still delivers in the style and the genuine country sound that she always did.

She is still Sassy, Cheeky, outspoken, a cross between Loretta and Tammy and Reba. She twangs it, belts it out, growls it and hooks you from the first word. She can you rock you to sleep with her words and wake you the hell up with others.

I always felt like a bit of a rebel when I played a Tanya Tucker album or song. Part of me always wanted to party with her, another part of me always wanted give her a hug and say that it will all turn out ok. The deliberate, awesome cracks in her voice break you and make you. The husky, sometimes raunchy vocals and the change up in her songs from mellow to country rocking keep you on your toes.

Bring my flowers now is probably my favourite, for some personal reasons, but also because it is Tanya at her best. Piano playing and Tanya at her husky, twangy, yearning kind of sound. It is a Kaz song. Sad and sweet and honest.

I like all the songs, and I am so glad that this album has finally arrived, I was beginning to think that it wouldn’t. It goes so fast. I played it through four times without realising that I had played it four times.

Hard Luck is another favourite, for totally different reasons. It is one of those songs, along with Mustang Ridge that will probably stick in my head for a while.

I Don’t Owe you anything is so Tanya. It is one of those sassy, cheeky songs that she does so well.

Another favourite is The Day My Heart Goes Still. It is another one of those love songs that only Tanya can deliver. High Ridin’ heroes is so country that you can smell the hay stacks.

This is yet another contender for album of the year. It is everything that I thought that it would be and more.

Welcome back Tanya, though to me, you were never really out of the picture. I just kept playing your old stuff!

Track listing
“Mustang Ridge”
Brandi CarlileTim HanserothPhil Hanseroth
“The Wheels of Laredo”
CarlileT. HanserothP. Hanseroth
“I Don’t Owe You Anything”
CarlileT. HanserothP. Hanseroth
“The Day My Heart Goes Still”
CarlileT. HanserothP. Hanseroth
“High Ridin’ Heroes”
David Lynn Jones
“The House That Built Me”
Tom DouglasAllen Shamblin
“Hard Luck”
John C. “Pete” BaileyDavid Lee MitchellRaymond L. TurnerJerry Ontiberoz
CarlileT. HanserothP. Hanseroth
“Seminole Wind Calling”
CarlileT. HanserothP. Hanseroth
“Bring My Flowers Now”
Tanya TuckerCarlileT. HanserothP. Hanseroth
Total length:

Brandi Carlile – producer, background vocals, acoustic guitar, group vocals on “Hard Luck”, piano
Danny Clinch – back cover photo, interior photos
Dakota France – group vocals on “Hard Luck”
James Garner – A&R, group vocals on “Hard Luck”
Nate Haessly – assistant engineer
Phil Hanseroth – background vocals, bass, banjo, claps
Tim Hanseroth – acoustic guitar, background vocals, banjo, claps
Rich Hinman – pedal steel
Norm Howell – group vocals on “Hard Luck”
Tricia Howell – group vocals on “Hard Luck”
Shooter Jennings – producer, engineer, piano, organ, Wurlitzer, synthesizers
Ted Russell Kamp – bass, standup bass
Pete Lyman – mastering
Steven Lyon – cover photo
Chris Masterson – acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, electric guitar, tambo, mando guitar, 12 string guitar, claps
Josh Neumann – cello
Chris Powell – drums, claps
Dennis Quaid – group vocals on “Hard Luck”
Mark Rains – engineer
Ben Reed – group vocals on “Hard Luck”
Jerilyn Sawyer – A&R, group vocals on “Hard Luck”
Trina Shoemaker – mixing, shaker(s)
Carrie Smith – art direction, design
David Spreng – additional mix editing
Grayson Tucker – group vocals on “Hard Luck”
Tanya Tucker – vocals
Eleanor Whitmore – mandolin, tenor guitar
Nathan Yaccino – additional engineering
Jim Zumwait – group vocals on “Hard Luck”