New Way Out
Tara La'dell Bio & Album Profile for, 'New Way Out' Written by - Edward Morris, Senior Editor & Writer for Country Music Television.com 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. That's one story. The other is how she landed in Nashville from New York. La'Dell was born and raised in Georgia, where her father still pastors a church and her mother plays and teaches piano. 'From the time I was around eight I started singing with my parents. Before my dad went into the ministry he was a choir director. My mom happened to be the piano player, so as you can imagine music was a huge part of my childhood. We were always going somewhere to sing. It seemed like it was nonstop when I was a kid. Then, around the house my mom was always singing and playing the piano. It definitely influenced my taste in music. I grew up on a mixture of Southern gospel, blues, rock and country music. All of which end up coming out when I sing and write. Growing up I listened to a lot of different stuff...Elvis, Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Allman Brothers and Ella Fitzgerald.' When her older sister married a man from New Jersey, LaDell fell under the sway of eminent Garden Stater's, Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen along with New Yorker, Billy Joel. 'I do have an affinity for melancholy songs,' La'Dell admits. ' I love to listen to Ray Charles singing the blues or Roy Orbison singing, 'Only The Lonely'. Those artists had the rare gift to reach through the speakers and pull you in close. I admire artists who can make that connection. To be able to evoke emotion in a listener through music is one of the hardest, but most rewarding attributes an artist can possess.' La'Dell's prime inspiration, however, was another artist. 'I remember I was driving down the road and this song came on. It was Vince Gill singing, 'When I Call Your Name'. He's got that lonesome tenor voice and phrasing that seems to just fall out of his mouth.' Even though Gill rocked her world, La'Dell never visualized herself having a career in music. She only sang at social events, and when it came time for college, she put her music behind her. A few years later La'Dell moved to Manhattan. 'I found out rather quickly living and working in New York City, you run the race or get run over. And, I didn't plan on getting run over. I had a successful career while taking the time to soak up the scene. I encountered the kind of diversity and culture you can only find in NYC.' A couple of years later, La'Dell was put into contact with a friend of a friend who was involved in the music scene in Nashville. 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. Emmy award winning, Choate recently was involved with production on an album for Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers which was nominated for a Grammy. He also was the executive producer for a D.V.D. featuring the grammy nominated Time Jumpers shot here in Nashville at the legendary Station Inn. 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.' In finding songs for La'Dell to consider for her debut project. She told Choate she liked 'melodious music' and reminded him of her penchant for melancholy 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. La'Dell currently resides in Nashville, Tennesee. She is touring the country promoting her debut album along with writing and recording her own original songs. 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.