Directed by Kathlyn Horan, The Return of Tanya Tucker goes behind the scenes to document what went into her first album in two decades. A friend and super fan Brandi Carlile made it her mission that Tanya Tucker receives her flowers while she’s still among us.

Often seen as a renegade, Tanya Tucker defied what it meant to be a country singer and how a female country singer should conduct herself. She dressed, dated, and did, what she wanted at her own discretion. She was far ahead of her time.

Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker, and Shooter Jennings joined forces to work on Tucker’s comeback story (although she loathes the word “comeback”). A new single, a new album, and a new sound force Tucker out of her comfort zone. You see clear hesitation as she’s unsure of herself with a path she’s unfamiliar with, but with constant comfort from Brandi, she pushes through to complete a Grammy-award-winning project.

After the death of her parents, she thought that love was behind her and in her past. With this win, she knows that’s not true.”

Brandi Carlile

This documentary does an excellent job of digging. A plethora of archival photos mixed with Tanya’s own personal accounts paint a clear picture of who she is as a person and an artist. So don’t worry if you don’t listen to country music, her straight-shooting personality and storytelling will make you a fan.

I give The Return of Tanya Tucker an 8.5 out of 10. A bonus to learning about Tanya Tucker and how she approaches her music, you’ll also learn a lot about Brandi Carlile. I was first introduced to her music back in 2009 with her single “Touching the Ground”. You’ll be just as interested in Brandi as you’ll be with Tanya.

-Jon Jones

Cover photo credit: Jessica Young. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

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