Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show on Thursday night to deliver a mesmerizing rendition of their song “The Wheels of Laredo.” Written by Carlile with her bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth, the imagery-rich track is a standout of Tucker’s comeback album While I’m Livin‘, her first LP of new material in 17 years.
Tucker, sporting a Dolly Parton ‘do and a teal fringe jacket, sings with gravitas, summoning the south of the border vibe of the lyrics as Carlile harmonizes behind her and strums an acoustic guitar. The pair have performed the song together in the past — including during Carlile’s Bonnaroo set this summer — and their chemistry is undeniable on Fallon. (“Wheels of Laredo” also appears on the Highwomen’s debut album, out today.)
Since the release of While I’m Livin‘ last week, Tucker has been on a major promotional push. On Thursday morning, she and Carlile sang “Bring My Flowers Now” on the Today Show. Tucker is set to perform during AmericanaFest in Nashville next week, and will headline New York City’s Bowery Ballroom on September 17th.
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“Brandi is a leader and she leads with velvet gloves,” Tucker told Rolling Stone of her relationship with Carlile. “She knows how to communicate. That’s such an incredible gift to know how to communicate your feelings. I have no doubts about her. I trust her.”