DISClaimer: The Enduring Greatness Of Tanya Tucker

Greetings, and welcome to an all-female DisClaimer column.

If the boneheads at country radio won’t give you a fair shot, ladies, I certainly will. Especially when there’s this much talent to showcase.

Among those leading the charge today are Lauren Alaina, Mandy Barnett, Maddie & Tae, Allie Colleen and Kalie Shorr, all with worthy new tracks.

But I am completely awestruck by newcomer Caroline Watkins, who easily claims the DisCovery Award. If the rest of her songs are as strong as this, she’s a humongous talent.

I’m sure all of the women here will join me in bowing down to the enduring greatness of Tanya Tucker. She’s the Disc of the Day…..today and every day.

CAROLINE WATKINS/Drunk Girls in Bathrooms
Writers: none listed; Producer: Jason Massey; Publishers: none listed; CW
– “Where everybody’s your new best friend.” Gals cheer up one another, talk clothes and shoes, dry your tears, hold your beer while you fix your makeup. What a wonderful place the Ladies Room is. This song is genius. I totally love it.


TANYA TUCKER/Bring My Flowers Now
Writers: Tanya Tucker/Brandi Carlile/Tim Hanseroth/Phil Hanseroth, Producer: Brandi Carlile/Shooter Jennings; Publisher: none listed; BMI; Fantasy
– If this doesn’t tug at your heart, you haven’t got one. A magnificent, meaningful ballad from one of the greatest country voices in history. I say, yes, bring this woman the accolades and praise she deserves RIGHT NOW. I say, yes, let’s give her a Grammy Award NOW. I say, yes, let’s put her into the Country Music Hall of Fame NOW.

Writers: Allie Colleen/Stephen McMorran; Producer: none listed; Audiam
– The percolating rhythm anchors a sweet vocal that urges you to climb your mountains and dream, but with love by your side. Very uplifting.

MADDIE & TAE/Everywhere I’m Goin’
Writers: Maddie Marlow/Taylor Dye/Josh Thompson/Jimmy Robbins; Producer: Derek Wells; Publisher: none listed; Mercury Nashville
– I so much welcome the return of these two. The title tune of the duo’s new EP has a similar feisty/sunny quality as their earlier work, but with added maturity and confidence. The vocal blend is as perfect here as it is on their excellent single “Die From a Broken Heart.”


CLARE DUNN/Gold to Glitter
Writer: Clare Dunn/Ben West/Jamie Moore; Producer: Ben West/Clare Dunn; Publisher: none listed; MCA Nashville
– Her husky, powerful voice is in full flight here, as are her electric guitar chops. I still think she has a solid shot at pop stardom, because both this and her other new track, “Money’s All Gone,” rock a little too hard to qualify as “country.”

MANDY BARNETT/The End of the World
Writer: Arthur Kent/Sylvia Dee; Producer: Fred Mollin; Publisher: none listed; Melody Place/BMG
-Luminous. She towers over most of the competition as a Nashville Sound chanteuse. The song is a gorgeous Skeeter Davis classic from 1963. No current country stylist could bring it back more beautifully. The strings are super, too.

Writers: Lauren Alaina/Jon Nite/Zach Kale; Producer: David Garcia; Mercury Nashville
– Lauren introduced this echoey ballad during her Dancing With the Stars spotlight earlier this week. It is a touching, spiritual ode to her late stepfather, whom she believes is her Guardian Angel watching her from the Other Side.

Writers: none listed; Producers: EmiSunshine/Tony Brown; Publisher: none listed; EmiSunshine
-She’s only 15, but she’s growing in leaps and bounds. The vocal performance and the songwriting are still on the juvenile side. I’d keep an ear on her future.


Writers: Brent Anderson/Lainey Wilson/Smith Ahnquist; Producer: Jay Joyce; Publisher: none listed; BBR
– There’s something uncomfortably compressed about this audio. It makes her sound artificial. She clearly has ability, but I don’t think this is a career-launching recording.

Writers: Kalie Shorr/Robyn Collins/Will Stone; Producers: Skip Black/Kalie Shorr; Publisher: none listed; KS
– She’s getting over a relationship and sleeping alone with her own lullaby to soothe her. The mix is loaded with dynamics, ranging from hushed intimacy to full-on rocking. Tougher sounding than she used to be, this young woman is going places.


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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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