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Country legend Tanya Tucker releases first single in 17 years, “The Wheels Of Laredo”

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic (Getty Images)

One of the most impressive performances at last night’s CMT Music Awards was Tanya Tucker and Brandy Carlile dueting to Tucker’s signature song, “Delta Dawn,” before being joined onstage for a larger girl power group sing with artists like Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride. The performance served as a powerful return to form for Tucker, who’s now announcing her first new song in 17 years, “The Wheels Of Laredo.” The track will appear on her upcoming album While I’m Livin’, produced by Carlile and Shooter Jennings.

The track is a bit of a poignant story song—the kind that Tucker has always excelled at—with imagery like “...if I was a White-crowned Sparrow/Well I would float upon the southern skies of blue/But I’m stuck inside the wheels of Laredo/A-wishin’ I was rollin’ back to you.” In a press release, Tucker says of her new collaborators:

“Brandi is truly out of this world. She’s talented, smart, funny, never ever slows down and has a heart of gold… I just love her. She was like my shadow when we were in the studio. Every time I turned around, she was there. And Shooter, I’ve known him since he was a baby. He’s the one who brought us all together. So I’m ready to get this music out there because it’s different than anything I’ve ever done.”


The press release teases upcoming While I’m Livin’ songs like “The Day My Heart Goes Still,” a nostalgic ode to Tucker’s late father, or “Mustang Ridge” about her childhood in central Texas. The record will also contain covers like “High Ridin’ Heroes,” which was described as “a 1987 song Shooter selected that featured David Lynn Jones and his dad, Waylon Jennings,” and Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me.” Fans of the country music legend will get to hear them all when While I’m Livin’ is released on Fantasy Records August 23.

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Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.