MP3 Tara La'Dell - NEW WAY OUT
It''s country music sung with the sublety of jazz.
12 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Country Pop, COUNTRY: Modern Country
Bio & Album Profile for ''New Way Out''
Written by Edward Morris
Senior writer for Country Music Television
There are singers who interpret songs as if they’re performing them on an award show- all very assertive and oratorical. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this approach. It’s produced a wealth of show-stopping tunes. But it’s not Tara La’Dell’s way. Listen to any of her renditions on New Way Out and you’ll feel you’ve drifted into a private conversation, one in which she’s sharing her joys, dreams and anxieties only with you. It’s country music sung with the subtlety of jazz.
What you’re less likely to detect in La’Dell’s voice is the fact that she’s a down-to-earth Georgia girl who grew up belting out gospel music in her home church. That’s one story. The other is how she invaded Nashville from New York.
La’Dell was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, where her father still pastors a church and her mother plays piano. “From the time I was around eight,” she recalls, “I sang with my parents. We performed at our home church- as well as many others peppered in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. I grew up surrounded by traditional Southern gospel, bluegrass gospel and even a little sacred harp. As a child, I always looked forward to our Church’s ‘homecoming’ or dinner on the ground. That was the day you ate wonderful home cooked food topped off with all-day singing.”
Before he became a minister, La’Dell’s father was a choir director, “he could get everyone in the entire Church to sing their best every time.” Her mother, she proudly asserts, can “play the keys off a piano and sing with anybody. I put her right up there with Vestal Goodman. Growing up with parents like that was a real treat. They will always be not only my first but most precious inspirations.”
There were ample musical influences beyond the church, La’Dell says, chief among them Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt and Wynonna. When her sister married a man from New Jersey, La’Dell fell under the sway of such eminent Garden Staters as Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen.
“I have an affinity for sad songs,” La’Dell admits. “I don’t know why. It’s just in my body. I can listen to Hank Williams Sr. forever. That guy . . . he just tears your guts out. I like artists who try to connect.”
La’Dell’s prime inspiration, however, was none of the above. “I remember like it was yesterday,” she begins. “I was driving down the road and this song came on. It was Vince Gill singing ‘When I Call Your Name.’ I couldn’t believe it. It was pure perfection. I thought to myself, ‘That’s it! That’s the voice.’ It was the exact style I loved. He’s got that R&B in there, and he’s got that beautiful tenor. To me, there’s nobody else playing in the same ballpark.”
Even though Gill rocked her world, La’Dell never visualized herself having a career in music . She rarely performed outside of churches and private circles, and when it came time for college, she put her music behind her. “There were a couple of reasons for this,” she says. “First, I didn’t know anybody in the business, and I felt sure I needed to. Then, my mom was going through some major surgeries. So I stayed close to home.”
There followed a brief marriage that, sadly, ended in divorce. “After that, I needed a change in my life,” La’Dell says. “So I moved to Manhattan. In New York, you either win or you get eaten. And I won. I had a successful career, met and married my soul mate and had a great time soaking up the whole scene. I encountered the kind of diversity and culture you can''t find anywhere else.”
Making an album was the last thing La’Dell had on her mind the morning she waved goodbye to her husband, Christian, as he departed for a business meeting in Washington, D.C. Later that day, he was on the golf course when a playing partner asked what his wife did. Christian explained that she worked with him in the family’s financial services business. He went on to say that she was “a great singer” and that he’d often tried to convince her to record an album. “So,” says La’Dell, picking up the story, “the guy told him he knew someone in Nashville that he’d like to introduce me to. Christian came home and said, ‘I want you to do this. It’s now or never.’ And I said I would.”
That “someone in Nashville” was producer and music publisher Terry Choate, a man who had helped guide the careers of Tanya Tucker, Anne Murray, T. Graham Brown and Garth Brooks, among many others. As head of the Nashville Songwriters Foundation, Choate had also distinguished himself as a songwriter’s advocate.
Choate recently was involved with production on a gospel album for Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers which was nominated for a Grammy. When speaking with Choate as to how he decided to get involved with La’Dell’s project he explained his decision making process. “When I’m considering whether or not to produce a particular artist, I listen for two things. First, a voice that is unique and second, singing that is emotionally believable. Tara’s pure voice emerges from the speakers in a subtle and refreshing way and her delivery of a lyric comes from within. She’s not trying to dazzle you with vocal acrobatics and licks or force any issue, she simply wants to share with you what she feels when she sings and have you believe her. The most amazing part of the process for me was the way we were instantly drawn to the same songs. We both couldn’t wait to record these songs. My job was to surround her with the best musicians, engineers, and arrangers and then let her sing on “both sides of the road” and just guide her away from the ditches !! Recording Tara was a true and special pleasure.”
When La’Dell phoned him, Choate asked her to send him a recorded sample of her singing. Since she had none, she flew to Nashville and sang to him in person. “It was just me and him and the four walls,” La’Dell remembers. “I probably sang seven or eight songs—all unaccompanied—and he just went, ‘Wow!’” Choate agreed to produce an album for her, but he warned her that if she “laid an egg” in the studio, he’d stop the project.
The next step was finding songs for La’Dell to consider. She told him she liked “melodious music” and reminded him of her penchant for sad tunes. Only one of the songs Choate and La’Dell picked had a chart history. It was the title cut, “New Way Out,” a Randy Sharp tune that went Top 20 for Karen Brooks in 1982.
True to La’Dell’s request, several of the songs she wound up recording have a distinctly wistful edge. The title cut, for example, wonders if there’s a gentler way to break up a relationship. “Better Off With My Broken Heart” concludes that it’s best not to give a lover who’s wounded you once a chance to do it twice. “Going Down In History” concedes how difficult it is to sweep an old lover out of your mind. “I Will Be O. K.” surveys the difficulty of swimming upstream against a rejection. “There Must Be A Highway” searches for a route that leads away from day-to-day domestic routine.
But there is cheerier fare, too. “Only Always” and “For Your Love” pledge eternal devotion.“Thirst” is a flat out declaration of attraction and need. “Lovin’ One Woman Well” observes how true love focuses a man’s attention (and sharpens his amatory skills). “The Will Of The Wind” advises a calm surrender to forces larger than you. “Soul Deep” expresses a profound contentment with the state of one’s love.
The final cut, “Who Did You Love?,” is tinged with gospel as it asks “Judgment Day” question, “Who did you give more to than you took from?” But it’s very much a here-and-now song as well in suggesting a universal standard to live by.
Listeners will find in Choate’s deft production and La’Dell’s agile vocals a treasury of rich melodies and finely nuanced emotions.
Rather than “shop” New Way Out to major labels, La’Dell has chosen to release it on her own imprint, CastleLion Entertainment in association with The MAGNET Music Group. In doing so, she aims to build a level of attention and sales that will attract a major to pick it up. La’Dell left her job with the family business last January to focus her concentration on recording and marketing the debut album, and she and her husband will move to Nashville this coming January to oversee the project. The album will be released Oct. 1.
As La’Dell was completing New Way Out, Choate surprised her by taking her backstage at the Grand Ole Opry to meet her idol. Vince Gill was feeling under the weather that evening, she remembers, but he still brought many in the crowd to tears when he sat alone on stage with his guitar and sang “Go Rest High On That Mountain”
After the performance, Choate ushered La’Dell over to meet Gill just as he was walking offstage. “The guy was unbelievable,” she marvels. “There he was sick and everybody trying to talk to him—and he took the time to stop and have a conversation with me. Once I could form words, I told him how much he’d inspired me. He proceeded to lean against the wall as if he had nothing else to do, and I’ll bet we talked for 15 minutes. He could see I was nervous, so he said, “That’s OK, honey. I’m just a hillbilly from Oklahoma.”
And that was all a hillbilly from Georgia needed to hear.
CHECK OUT TARA''S WEBSITE https://www.tradebit.com OR HER MYSPACE PAGE at link: https://www.tradebit.com
MUSICIANSHIP INFORMATION FOR ''NEW WAY OUT'':
Below is a list of the musicians and harmony singers that Terry Choate enlisted for Tara''s album, ''New Way Out''. They''re some of the best in the music industry and Tara was honored to have them play and sing for her debut album. After their name is the instrument they played for Tara''s album followed up by a list of some of the other artists they''ve played or sang harmony for.
Eddie Bayers- Drums & Percussion.
Credits Include: John Denver, Ricky Scaggs, George Strait, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Glenn Campbell, The Judds, Alabama, Reba McEntire, Randy Travis, Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett, Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rogers, Waylon Jennings, Patty Loveless, Alan Jackson, Conway Twitty, Willie Nelson, Sara Evans, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Jr., George Jones, Toby Keith, Marty Stuart, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, Trisha Yearwood, Clint Black, Linda Davis, Elton John, Wynonna Judd, Julio Iglesias, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Billy Currington, Peter Cetera, & The Beach Boys,
Craig Nelson- Bass.
Credits Include: The Judds, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Patty Loveless, Charlotte Church, Trisha Yearwood, James Taylor, Little Big Town, Gaither Vocal Band, Amy Grant, & JoDee Messina.
Dirk Johnson- Piano, Keyboards & B3 Organ.
Credits Include: Keith Whitley, Alan Jackson, Gaither Vocal Band, Bill Anderson, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, & Florida Boys.
Kirk “Jelly Roll” Johnson- Harmonica.
Credits include: Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Etta James, Lee Ann Womack, The Judds, Gaither Vocal Band, Travis Tritt, & Gary Allen.
Mike Johnson- Pedal Steel Guitar.
Credits Include: Bill Anderson, Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Trick Pony, Shannon Brown, & Aaron Tippin.
Paul Leim- Drums & Percussion.
Credits Include: Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, The Monkees, Amy Grant, Wayne Newton, Tom Jones, Roy Orbison, Whitney Houston, Reba McEntire, JoDee Messina, Montgomery Gentry, Barry Manilow, Randy Travis, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, Hank Williams, Jr., Glen Campbell, Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Kenny Chesney, David Foster, Kenny Chesney, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Neil Diamond, Ricky Skaggs, Linda Davis, & Lyle Lovett.
Tommy Harden- Drums & Percussion.
Credits Include: Reba McEntire, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers.
Larry Paxton- Bass.
Credits Include: Alabama, George Strait, Tom Jones, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire, Chet Atkins, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty, Wayne Newton, Roy Clark, George Jones, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Kris Kristofferson, & Martina McBride
Curtis Young- Harmony vocals.
Credits Include: George Strait, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Garth Brooks, Ricky Scaggs, Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty, Clint Black, Lee Ann Womack, Tammy Wynette, JoDee Messina, Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams, Jr., Glenn Campbell, Tim McGraw, Merle Haggard, Kenny Chesney, Patty Loveless, Neil Diamond, Keith Urban, Sara Evans, Brooks & Dunn, Willie Nelson, & Toby Keith.
Cindy Walker- Harmony vocals.
Credits Include: Randy Travis, George Jones, Ronnie Milsap, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Clint Black, JoDeeMessina, Kenny Chesney, Lorrie Morgan ,& Gregg Allman.
Kris Wilkinson- Violin,Viola, & String Arrangements.
Credits include: Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Glen Campbell, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, Jewel, Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Marty Stuart, Keith Urban, Randy Travis, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Martina McBride, Big & Rich, & Trace Adkins.
John Willis- Acoustic Rhythm Guitar, Gut string guitar, & electric guitar.
Credits Include: Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Jewel, Brooks & Dunn, Billy Currington, George Jones, Jo Dee Messina, Ronnie Milsap, Gary Allan, Blake Shelton, Van Zant, Wynonna Judd, Le Ann Rimes, John Rich, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Toby Keith, Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers, Gretchen Wilson, Gaither Vocal Band, Aaron Neville, Clay Walker, Alabama, & Blackwood Brothers.
Dennis Wilson- Harmony vocals.
Credits Include: Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Brooks & Dunn, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Hank Williams, Jr., Garth Brooks, Marty Stuart, Clint Black, Martina McBride, Emmylou Harris, Conway Twitty, Shania Twain, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Trisha Yearwood, Neil Diamond, Ricky Scaggs, LeAnn Rimes, Vince Gill, Sara Evans, George Strait, Faith Hill, Willie Nelson, Chicago, Lee Ann Womack, Blake Shelton, Glen Campbell, & Trace Adkins.
Lisa Silver- Harmony vocals.
Credits Include: Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Ronnie Milsap, Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Jr., Glen Campbell, Marty Stuart, Trisha Yearwood, Tom T. Hall, Don Williams, Ray Charles, Lee Ann Womack, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, & George Jones.