Laura Tate review…July 14, 2015…

LAURA TATE

I MUST BE DREAMING

A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF MEL HARKER

SNAKE TATTOO–NO PLACE TO HIDE–WHAT A WAY TO GO–I MUST BE DREAMING–DEAD END ROAD–TALK IS CHEAP–IF EVER FOREVER SHOULD END–COWBOY JAZZ–COUNTING UP THE WAYS–DON’T TRY TO TALK ME OUT OF LOVING YOU–TOO BLUE–HOLD ON (THE EDGE OF YOUR LOVE)

Laura Tate is a Texan blues lady with one of those voices that can easily go from a soulful growl to a sultry, passionate delivery perfect for ballads.  Our readers may compare her to Music City’s own Etta Britt, and Laura’s style certainly fits well within the context of this material.

Enter songwriter Mel Harker.  Laura made fast friends with Mel several years ago, always enjoying his ways with a lyric and the development of his characters in his songs.  Mel paid her the ultimate compliment recently, turning over his entire catalog to Laura.  She has rewarded all us fans with a hand-picked list of Mel’s twelve best songs for her latest CD, “I Must Be Dreaming: A Tribute To The Music Of Mel Harker.”

Over the course of this set, Laura lends her sweet, sultry, and sassy vocals to torch songs such as the title cut, which finds her backed by a lush, full band.  Laura brings Harker’s words to life, and the ballads are very poignant.  Check out a love affair on the skids, as she begs her lover, “Don’t Try To Talk Me Out Of Loving You,” while she vows to stand by another lover no matter what, even “If Ever Forever Should End.”

There are several examples of some good ole rock and blues, too.  The set leads off with the clever tale of a straight-laced businesswoman who is really a “time bomb of passion” who “went and got herself a Snake Tattoo!”  The story of a love affair with “Mr. Wrong” is punctuated by Terry Wilson’s keyboard work as Laura realizes, “I’m sinking fast, but What A Way To Go.”  And, a humorous story of all things country and western, from the “cool water” to the “tumblin’ tumbleweeds” of The Sons Of The Pioneers” is the gentle lope of “Cowboy Jazz.”

Our favorite was easy.  A hearty, rockin’ tale of a lover who “ain’t nothin’ but a Dead End Road” has a great Texas-sized juke-joint, Delbert feel to it, with mighty fine piano from Teresa James.

Laura Tate has done an excellent job of introducing the music of Mel Harker to those who might not be familiar with him.  Her soulful, passion-filled vocals are a perfect fit for Mel’s great songs!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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