On Tanya Tucker's While I'm Livin', out Aug. 23, the living legend reshapes Miranda Lambert's Grammy-winning 2010 single "The House That Built Me" to suit a 60-year-old survivor with no plans to slow down anytime soon.
"I was shaking my head, but she talked me into it," Tucker says. "And Brandi was with me the whole time in the vocal booth, going, 'Try it like this.' I followed her, and it was 43 takes on the first line of the song. But now I listen to it and it gives me chills."
In Tucker's trusted hands, the song transforms from the tale of a woman revisiting her childhood home to the story of a mother's reflections on where she raised her children. It's great, but in the bigger picture, it's nothing new. Over the past 20 years, older country stars found critical acclaim by lending their weathered voices to unlikely cover songs. Johnny Cash's "Hurt" comes to mind instantly, with other examples including Glen Campbell's take on Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." Tucker's choice falls within the genre, but she brought the same charm to a song made famous by a different woman uninterested in playing by the rules.
The third single off her third album Revolution, "The House That Built Me" became Lambert's fastest-rising single and her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country charts. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Plus a nomination for Song Of The Year and Best Country Song.
Tucker's new album offers her a shot at a career resurgence while allowing co-producers Carlile and Shooter Jennings the chance to further a legend that dates back to 1972, when 13-year-old Tucker became an overnight success via her version of "Delta Dawn."