Brandi Carlile Says Writing “Breakfast In Birmingham” with Bernie Taupin Was Like Getting a “Bear Hug”

Tanya Tucker recruited Brandi Carlile to write and produce her forthcoming album, Sweet Western Sound. The track list features 10 songs, including one song Carlile penned with Bernie Taupin. 

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The nine-time Grammy Award winner turned to social media on Tuesday (May 30) to discuss the story behind “Breakfast In Birmingham,” a chilling duet with Tucker available now. The short snippet was paired with the album cover art, which displayed the country-outlaw star standing in a field with a majestic horse. 

Carlile said the collaboration marked a full-circle moment, one she’s longed for since childhood. 

“Writing this song with @bernietaupinofficial for @thetanyatucker was like getting a bear hug from my heroes,” wrote Carlile in the caption. “I used to promise myself when I was a weird little girl that I would learn to write songs so I could grow up and write even just one with Bernie Taupin.” 

She continued, “Simultaneously, I was singing San Antonio Stroll and trying to sing like I’d smoked a pack so I could go toe to toe with Tanya mother Tucker. God was pretty on the nose with this one man! Holy shit! It happened!”

The songwriters use imagery to bring “Breakfast In Birmingham” to life. The track that serves as the third release from the LP displays Tucker’s raspy sound and Carlile’s folk-rock inflection. Together they create goosebump-provoking harmonies that spark a chill down spines. 

Carlile produced Tucker’s full-length album Sweet Western Sound alongside Shooter Jennings. The two worked alongside each other on Tucker’s comeback album in 2019, While I’m Livin’. The collection received world-renowned praise, as it scored two Grammy Awards in 2020. 

Sweet Western Sound will arrive on June 2. Following the release, Tucker will kick off her Sweet Western Sound Tour at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

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