Movie reviews: Tanya Tucker still shines in a film about her return to the studio
PHOENIX — “The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile” offers exactly that.
The documentary shares flashes of Tucker’s rise from teenage superstardom thanks to her first hit “Delta Dawn” in 1972, through her eventual revival and two Grammy wins, after a nearly two decade break, following her collaboration with musicians Brandi Carilie and Shooter Jennings, who co-produced the project.
Carlile said she wanted to make music with Tucker to show “the influence that you’ve had” on country music.
Clearly a fan, Carlile declares Tucker is as important to the American people, musically, as Dolly Parton.
And musically, her voice is a smoky presence. It is still filled with strength, perseverance and American struggle we’ve grown accustomed to in country and folk music.
The movie also includes distinct flashes of Tucker’s foibles and wild times, though not in great doses.
Director Kathlyn Horan skillfully details the musical collaboration while sprinkling in details of her past.
You expect men to carouse, Tucker points out, “When a gal does it? ‘It doesn’t look that good.”
Horan seems to have applied this to the film, which is a noble and watch-worthy look at the musical treasure that Tanya Tucker still is.