The Return of Tanya Tucker – Featuring Brandi Carlile @ Nashville Film Festival

Tanya Tucker is a name I am familiar with despite the fact that I am in no way a country music fan. That shows how wide-ranging her influence was. Then she kinda just disappeared. Though her influence on younger musicians did not end. One of those was Americana artist Brandi Carlile. Carlile made it her mission to bring Tanya Tucker back onto the scene. So this documentary came about.

This is not just another music documentary. It is different and special. You get to go on the journey with Tucker and Carlile as they reintroduce her onto the music scene. Carlile convinced Tanya Tucker to record a new album. So the documentary, directed and written by Kathlyn Horan (Indigo Girls: One Lost Day, The IF Project), follows the two singers through the recording process leading up to Tanya Tucker taking the stage to sing again.

Tanya Tucker was not your typical country music artist. She broke all the rules and fans loved her for it. During the doc you learn that she was inspired by Elvis so the outfits she wore on stage and the way she moved begins to make sense. For this reason and others, she inspired someone like Brandi Carlile, who felt she did not fit into the mould of your typical female singer-songwriter. So Carlile reached out to her and convinced Tucker to come out of retirement. Carlile wrote a whole album for the country music singer. The album took for inspiration the life led by Tanya Tucker.

What strikes you right away is the way the two get along. Kindred spirits. Plus Carlile is like a little kid in the joy she displays working with her musical hero. It is wonderful to watch. Shows you a side of musicians/singers you don’t often get to see. The human side. The job, insecurities, passion for what they do, and that they love other singers just like us.

This story is brought to us because Horan does not intrude on any of the goings on. This allows her to capture plenty of intimate moments. Moments you don’t often get to witness. We learn how funny Tucker is and, despite all her success, her insecurities.

Though Tucker says she does not like the word, this endeavour spurred one of the greatest comebacks in music history. Once the album was recorded (Tucker’s first in 17 years) and released it became one of the biggest albums of the year. It earned Tucker and Carlile a few Grammy nominations including Record of the Year.

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