Singer and artist Laura Tate takes aim at the good and bad of love in her latest album and first live compilation: “Laura Tate – Live from El Paso.” Recently released, the CD brings Laura Tate and her band back together again with fans and new listeners ready to discover one of the most remarkable voices in American music today.
Far from the venues in Nashville, New York, and LA that she has played for years, this concert soars to the sky in McKelligan Canyon, a natural amphitheater in the foothills of El Paso’s rugged mountains. Under the bright stars of West Texas and a few miles from the Rio Grande and Mexico, Laura sings her heart out at this benefit concert for the El Paso Community Foundation’s Laura Tate Fund for the Arts, providing arts education for the under served.
Had a chance to interview, Laura, Full written interview below.
Hey, very happy to welcome you to the Radio Show and Podcast community. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. Introduce yourself to the community.
I’m very happy to have this opportunity to talk to the Radio Show and Podcast Community. Hello everyone, I’m Laura Tate. I grew up in Dallas, Texas and have been involved in the arts my whole life. I made my stage debut at the age of 9, and had my own band in high school. I attended The University of North Texas and left just shy of graduating -because I landed a job acting and touring with a theatrical production company. I spent the better part of four years on the road. I moved to New York City and worked singing in clubs and small intimate venues. On leaving New York moved to Los Angeles and then to Nashville and the rest is history! So fortunate to have met and worked with many
wonderful singers and musicians. I’ve performed in numerous great venues and excited to continue to perform again very soon.
I met and married a wonderful man from El Paso, Texas and have adopted this wonderful city! I have a love for volunteerism and have a long history of doing so, it’s important to give of your time and do good things for so many. I started Laura Tate Fund for the Arts thru El Paso Community Foundation that benefits people who might not have the money for art supplies, music lessons, instruments to name a few. The fund kickoff was the night the band played, filmed and recorded Laura Tate “Live From El Paso.” Proceeds from that performance and others will benefit from this fund.
One thing that I’m always interested in, when I sit down and chat with artists is, what their defining moment was that they knew that they wanted to be in music… What was that moment in time for you?
I grew up around music. My father was a professional opera singer and later taught voice lessons. Because of his influence in music and theatre, as young girl I always knew I wanted to be a part of the performing arts world. I guess that’s the way I’m wired and got that gene from him. I’ve worked as an actress, singer and film director. It one point I paused and did some soul searching and said to myself – I’m going to jump into just music and give it my all.
I have been fortunate to have worked with stellar musicians and singers along the way. The success of “Laura Tate Live From El Paso” has made all the hard work and focus all worthwhile. I must mention the great musicians many of them you’ll recognize on this live album and they are Terry Wilson, bass guitar, Teresa James vocals, Doug Hamblin -lead guitar, Jeff Paris piano, Tony Braunagel drums, Joe Sublett-saxophone, Lee Thornburg-trombone, and Darrell Leonard-trumpet. The night the album was recorded and filmed was magical and each of these players are the biggest part of its success. I love and admire them all.
Do you mix and master yourself or do you have an engineer or a producer that works with you?
No. I could never mix and master a project myself. The wonderful Terry Wilson is my producer and is responsible or mixing and mastering my last three albums, “I Must Be Dreaming,” Let’s Just Be Real” and “Live From El Paso.” He’s not only a great musician but a wonderful songwriter and producer. I’m honored to work with him and all the players I mentioned.
What motivates you? Not just in your music but in your normal life as well.
Us artist types always question themselves constantly so it helps to getting wonderful worldwide radio airplay, reviews and fans from all over the world!! I’m honored nominated by The Independent Blues Awards for, Best Live Album and Best Blues R&B song “I Need a Man”!! The album also remained Number 1 for 26 weeks on the Roots Jazzy Blues Charts. That’s a big motivator and that’s what keeps me going. It’s also wonderful to have this opportunity with you!! Thank you!
Who, musically, is one of your bigger influences?
A quick story. As a young woman in NYC, I was singing with a piano player in a small venue in the Village. Looking out into the audience I spotted Richie Havens of Woodstock fame. My heart started to race. After my set, he came up to me and said, “Great girl, I’ve really loved hearing you sing!! Keep going you’ve got it.” That was amazing and still influences me when I question myself, I still remember his words like it was yesterday. As far as singers have always loved my father Gerald Tate, Michael McDonald’s amazing voices and well as Bonnie Raitt, Tina Turner and Aretha Frankl Some of the great blues singers such as Etta James and Billie Holiday and Irma Thomas are some of my great influencers.
One question that I like to ask artists is, how did Covid affect your music in particular and the music scene in your area?
I found Covid to be a time of reflection and a time to see what and whom in my life was important. I spent a great deal of time alone. Covid made live performances grind to a halt which seem to be the only way we musicians can make money these days. Like I mentioned, living in El Paso and the band members are all in the Los Angeles area. I wasn’t able to travel however Terry Wilson, Teresa James and myself where able to keep creating and working on a new album.
I grew up in the 90’s, I listened to everyone from Dr. Dre, to Weezer, to Pink Floyd, Metallica, Cypress Hill and back again. I truly believe that the 90’s were one of the greatest eras for original music. Which era of music is one of your favorites?
For me the era of music from the 1970’s paved the way for different genres. The Beatles, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen were great rock influencers. Soft rock came with Carole King, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Chicago and the Eagles I still love and listen to these greats. Even Country music started crossing over to more of a pop sound. The work of bands such as Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith in the 1970s; Def Leppard, Kiss, Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi, and Metallica extended the genre in the 1980s and made it even more popular and opened up a great era for exciting new music.
If you could swap yourself into a different artist, who would it be?
I would love to swap myself out for the great Tina Turner!! What a fire cracker!! I’ve always loved and admired her!!
What tips or advice would you give someone that’s just starting out in the music game?
Don’t spend your time trying to create what other people think is cool. Create music that resonates with you!!! Every release, ever show, & every time you write a new song is so special and we need to remind ourselves of that much more. There will be failures and there is no such thing as a sure thing in this business. In enjoy the ride. Follow you heart and your talent. Please don’t listen to the prophets of doom.
I want to thank you for this Q&A, is there anything you want to say to everyone out there? Shout outs?
Thank you so much for the interview!! Very honored to have this opportunity. Please check out my sites listed below!!! All the best to you and helping artist be heard!! xo, Laura
Laura and her band of top Los Angeles-area musicians take us on a tour of the ups and downs of love from sultry torch songs to tough love ballads. With crowd favorites from her previous four albums, this “Best of Laura Tate” collection moves smoothly from jazz and blues to rock and Americana, but each selection features Laura’s own interpretation. Critics raved about her take on the Tiny Lizzy rock classic “The Boys Are Back in Town,” released in 2017 on her “Let’s Just Be Real” CD. At the live concert, that hit and other favorites take on fresh life, while new works, some of which were written for her, provide the right soundtrack for happy hours, road trips, romantic nights
– or any time your mood needs a boost.
You Can Follow Laura With The Links Provided Below.
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/artist/laura-tate/id768731160
Laura is a “Making a Scene” Independent Blues Awards Nominee for
- Best Live CD (question #7)
- Best R&B Blues Song – I Need A Man (question #21)
Voting runs from May 1 thru Aug. 31, 2021. Only fully completed ballots (26 questions) will be
eligible to be counted. Please vote at: