Reviews

Vivascene
Randall Parrish  March 14, 2018
Laura Tate – Let’s Just Be Real ~ 811 Gold Records
Number 5 in our series of Best Blues Albums of 2017 
4.7 out of 5 Stars Overall

On Laura Tate’s fourth album, Let’s Just Be Real, her maturation process has manifested itself to make a potent musical statement that is undeniably one of the top releases of 2017. Tate proves that she is an interpreter of songs with the ability to bare her heart while warming your soul in the process. Quite a few of the outstanding musicians playing on Let’s Just Be Real are holdovers from Tate’s last album “I Must Be Dreaming.” The addition of heavily-in-demand veteran drummer Tony Braunagel to the mix can only be termed an asset. Terry Wilson returns to once again arrange, produce, and engineer the set as well as adding some backing vocals and bass guitar throughout. Her last release was a salute to the songwriting talent of Mel Harker. Harker gets compositional credit for two of the dozen tracks on this new album, as Tate expands her scope. 

The opening song is from the catalog of renowned late Texas-based guitarist and vocalist Stephen Bruton. It is entitled “Nobody Gets Hurt,” and is a medium tempo blues shuffle led by the Hammond B-3 organ of Jeff Paris in tandem with the deep rocking-chair groove dug by the rhythm section of bassist Wilson and drummer Braunagel. Billy Watts delivers a subdued electric guitar lead that is sweet as molasses. Laura Tate sings the tune with a self-assured tone that substantiates the fact that she is the one in complete control of the relationship. The song’s confident lyrics read in part: “stay where you are baby, don’t say another word, just do what I say, and nobody gets hurt.” Tate’s enunciation really stands out and grants the lyrics extra clarity, especially when she sings lines like “I need you to listen to me baby.” 

The iconic horn section of former Tower Of Power trumpeter Lee Thornburg and saxophonist Paulie Cerra (Lucky Peterson, Little Milton, Joe Bonamassa, etc.) really scintillates on the T.Wilson/J.Paris composition “If That Ain’t Love.” Tate’s vocal is oh-so-fine, reminiscent of the early 60’s Phil Spector girl groups that ruled the charts in those days. 

The sax lead barks and the piano of Paris bites, while Tate alluringly sings “you ain’t hittin’ on nothing unless you got something for me,” on the R&B “Hitting On Nothing.” The song is a bit more up-beat, and everyone involved sounds very fine. 

The jazzy tango of “Can’t Say No” finds Laura doing her best enticing sultry vocalese. A sample is the way she states with a purr: “you only call me cause I can’t say no.” Horn punctuations join in with jazzy piano, guitar, and Braunagel’s kettle-drum sounding snare to enhance this exhibition of Tate’s charismatic vocal expertise. 

Laura reimagines the Thin Lizzy/Phil Lynott song “Boys Are Back In Town” and does a discerning job fitting the mood of the song with the lyrics to create an entirely new environment. Starting very slow and then kickin’ it up a notch this take contains tender guitar as well as a softly dynamic Tate vocal. 

The first Mel Harker composition of the album, “Still Got The Blues,” transpires as a blues ensemble piece with a rich luster. Tate occupies the tune with a bluesy lounge singer vocal that is tender as a medium-rare porterhouse steak. The accompany guitar is also very tastefully presented along with corresponding piano and brass. 

A classy R&B feel comes with the delight “I’ll Find Someone Who Will.” Tate is sass personified with the lead vocal, and the background vocal is well-placed as well. The bass and drums lay the foundation for a steady rolling rhythm and the horn work adds to the atmosphere. The cymbal percussion help support a hand-clapping impression to the song. 

The title track, “Let’s Just Be Real,” is the second Mel Harker composition on the release, and it is a treasure that sparkles like a perfect diamond. The romantic vocal of Laura Tate is as relaxingly clear as a nightingale singing tranquil and peacefully in the orchard. It is the title track for a good reason, and I believe it is my favorite song on Let’s Just Be Real. 

Some honky-tonk piano suitable for an old TV western bar alongside slide guitar accompany Tate’s crispy vocal on “I Know You Lie.” A sample lyric that illustrates the song’s message is “Everybody’s somebody’s fool, but honey I’m just not yours.” 

Tate somewhat reminds me of a female Muddy Waters on “I Need a Man.” She pulls no punches in letting you know just what is on her mind. As on all of this record, she impressively displays an ability to impart pop sensibilities into whatever genre she is delving in. 

”Dallas-born and raised, this charismatic singer and actress brings a vibe to everything. Her years in Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York show through in this fun fusion of blues, rock, and jazz. When you’re ready for an album that gets real and rings true, enjoy discovering Laura Tate on “Let’s Just Be Real.” ~ Cindy Graff Cohen, Music Writer 

That quote pretty much sums it up perfectly. This is a fun recording that has the capacity to greatly please a wide variety of audiences.

La Hora Del Blues 
Vincente P. Zumel (Barcelona, Spain)  October 2017 
Con este su cuarto álbum Laura Tate y los músicos que la acompañan se han embarcado en una nueva aventura llena de ricos y coloridos sonidos y matices. Con su dulce y sugestiva voz Laura nos invita a un delicioso viaje que combina rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues y algunos sabores de regusto jazzy. Las doces canciones que han sido incluidas en el disco nos hablan de las diferentes caras que tiene el amor y de los sinsabores que este nos produce. Aunque desde los inicios de la música popular, la mayoría de las canciones suelen estar inspiradas mayoritariamente en el tema recurrente del amor, Laura nos lo muestra con una visión diferente, sorprendente, tierna y sensual a la vez. Todo ello nos impulsa a que escuchemos las canciones una y otra vez, descubriendo algo nuevo y diferente en cada escucha. Los arreglos de Terry Wilson son también magníficos y todos los músicos que han participado en estas grabaciones han realizado un excelente trabajo encaminado a realzar las cualidades vocales de Laura, destacando especialmente Billy Watts a la guitarra, Jeff Paris al piano, B-3 y mandolina y la sección de vientos formada por Lee Thornberg y Paulie Cerra. MUY BUENO.

With this fourth album Laura Tate and her musicians have started a new adventure full of rich sounds and colourful nuances. With her sweet and suggestive voice, Laura invites us to a delightful journey that combines rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues and some jazzy flavours. The twelve album songs talk about the different faces of love and the troubles and rewarding moments it may give us. Although popular music songs have ever been inspired and mostly deal with love aspects, Laura shows these subjects with a different perspective on an amazing, tender and at the same time sensual way. So she gets to make us listen to her songs again and again and each time she makes us discover something new and different. Terry Wilson’s arrangements are really superb. All the musicians who have been involved in these recordings have done an excellent work to enhance Laura’s, vocal qualities with a special mention to Billy Watts on guitar, Jeff Paris on piano, B-3 and mandolin and a powerful horn section including Lee Thornber

Macalle Blues - Short cuts: I cd in breve… (Italy) 
Giovanni Robino  September 2017 
Laura Tate, “Let’s just be real” 
811 Gold Rec. (USA) – 2017

The Rocker - The new home of Zeitgeist and The Rocker
Stewart A Hamilton  September 26, 2017 
I remember “I Must Be Dreaming” from a couple of years back. I enjoyed her rootsy, jazzy, bluesy, soul tinged sound and now she’s back for another go. 

And it’s another enjoyable release which sees her working in the sweet spot occupied by Bonnie Raitt and her ilk. It’s the fourth album from Ms Tate and the mixture of new songs and covers works well as she smokily works her way through a set of well arranged and performed material. 

The musicians who’re along for the ride really have a feel for the music with the likes of producer and bass player Terry Wilson, Jeff Paris on piano, B3 and mandolin and some splendid brass work from Pauline Cera and Lee Thornberg putting in an excellent shift. 
Ms Tate works best when the music slows down and she can fill the spaces, so songs like ‘Still Got The Blues’ work best. She also finds space for a rearranged run through of the Thin Lizzy classic ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ on what is a thoroughly enjoyable release.

Il Popolo del Blues Online
Michele Manzotti  August 4, 2017

Con Laura Tate ci troviamo di fronte a una voce versatile di cui abbiamo già parlato due anni fa. Questo album raccoglie brani di vari autori tra blues, soul e atmosfere jazzate che ben si adattano alla sua personalità, molto melodica e con la giusta dose di swing. Se immaginiamo Laura Tate dal vivo, immaginiamo che possa passare da un club a un palco all’aperto con sicurezza. Le dodici tracce del disco la aiutano a evidenziare queste sue doti, supportata da ottimi musicisti,  tra cui Jeff Paris alle tastiere e la sezione fiati composta da Lee Thornberg e Paulie Cerra. Tanta energia nella traccia iniziale Nobody Gets Hurt, nel soul di Hitting For Nothing e di I’ll Find Who Will, in I Know You Like, così come si apprezza la vocazione alla melodia nella swingata Boys Are Back in Town, in Still Got The Blues e nella traccia titolo. Una conferma delle ottime doti della cantante texana.

Musiczine 
August 2, 2017 
Laura Tate est chanteuse, mais également actrice. Née à Dallas, cette Texane a beaucoup voyagé au cours de son existence. Elle a ainsi vécu à New York, Los Angeles ou encore Nashville. Ses chansons parlent d’amour et de passion. Mais se nourrissent autant de joie que de tristesse. Les sessions d’enregistrement se sont déroulées au studio Ultra Tone, à Los Angeles. Elle y a reçu le concours de musiciens locaux expérimentés. Dont son fidèle partenaire, le batteur Tony Braunagel ; mais également deux membres de Rhythm Tramps, soit Teresa James (une autre Texane) qui donne la réplique vocale ainsi que son guitariste Billy Watts. Sans oublier Terry Wilson, qui se consacre à la basse et se charge de la production. Laura n’assure pas la composition. Sur les 12 plages de cet elpee, trois sont co-écrites par Wilson et deux par l'auteur compositeur Mel Harker, qui avait inspiré son œuvre précédente, "I must be dreaming". 

Signé par le regretté Stephen Bruton, "Nobody gets hurt" ouvre la plaque, une piste atmosphérique, légèrement country, colorée par l'orgue. La voix de Laura est claire et émouvante. Billy égrène ses notes nonchalantes de gratte. Ballade r&b, "If that ain't love" est  tapissée de cuivres en arrière-plan. Le "Hitting on nothing" d'Allen Toussaint" nous entraîne à la Nouvelle Orléans. A cause de ces rythmes, du piano et des interventions au saxophone de Paulie Cerra, bien mises en évidence. Miss Tate est également à l’aise dans l’univers du jazz. Et elle le démontre tout au long de "Can't say no", une ballade exotique enrichie par une très jolie incursion aux ivoires, opérée par Jeff Paris. Notre jolie blonde aime se plonger dans les atmosphères nightclubiennes. Ainsi, elle adapte de manière plutôt surprenante, mais surtout convaincante, le tube de Thin Lizzy, "The boys are back in town". Mais aussi lors du "Still got the blues" de Mel Harker, un blues lent qui ressemble étrangement à une compo de Gary Moore. Sa voix est alors proche du murmure. Et devient caressante, veloutée sur "Let's just be real" et "I need a man". Teresa James apporte son soutien aux vocaux, tout au long d’"I know you lie", une plage qui nous replonge dans une atmosphère louisianaise, entretenue par le piano et la slide. Et c’est le plus pop "Wildest dreams" de Miss Jodi Siegel qui clôt cet opus. La mise en forme est excellente ; et alors que les cordes de Watts peuvent s’enflammer pour la dernière fois, l’ombre de Tom Petty se met à planer…

American Blues Scene
Anna Warkentin  August 2, 2017

Laura Tate blends blues, smooth jazz, swing, and soul masterfully.

Texas-born Laura Tate began sharing her cheerful disposition and mesmerizing voice at the age of nine. However, music was not the only way she performed. Moving to New York as a young adult she studied at the Herbert Berghoff Studio School of Acting and the Stella Alder School of Acting. Her talents graced theatres across the US. As she grew her skills only expanded, and she quickly developed a bright career as a TV star, on-screen personality, and director. But music was always her true love. She released three albums in three years (2013, 2014, and 2015) then took her time producing a fourth to round it out. Let’s Just Be Real is that fourth album, and it thrives with the extra time and love poured into it.

Laura thrills alongside some names that are familiar to fans and followers. Terry Wilson accompanies her on bass in every track, as well as backup vocals. Jeff Paris not only shares his talents on piano in this album, but also on mandolin. However, we must make a special note of Pauline Cera, whose skills on saxophone perfectly complement the rest of the team. Her saxophone solo on “If That Ain’t Love” is especially noteworthy.

The tracks on Let’s Just Be Real are a smooth blend of reimagined classics and original material. Laura Tate blends blues, smooth jazz, swing, and soul masterfully. The first song on the album, a cover of Stephen Bruton’s “Nobody Gets Hurt,” has definite gospel and rhythm-and-blues influences, and Laura trims down the original to keep it short and sweet, a strong opening song. We especially enjoyed her rendition of “The Boys Are Back In Town,” originally by Thin Lizzy. While the original is an entertaining Gaelic gallivant, Laura’s version adds depth and soul that any blues fan can appreciate.
Finally, the title track, “Let’s Just Be Real,” is clearly a song that she’s put her all into. Laura bares her heart in this strong blues track that features a slow piano opening, gorgeous vocals, lyrics that manage to be down to earth while packed with literary references, and a strong trumpet section. “Let’s Just Be Real” is definitely a song that could get couples swaying on the dance floor.

We very much enjoyed Laura Tate’s Let’s Just Be Real. Her mature voice and creative leadership, combined with the instrumental talent surrounding her, has allowed her to craft a beautiful album that is sure to offer enjoyable listening to any who pick it up. There’s something for everyone on Let’s Just Be Real.

Let’s Just Be Real by Laura Tate
12 Tracks
Label:  811 Gold Records
Running Time  50:06

The Blues and Roots Music Blog
Marty July 16, 2017

Laura Tate new album release "Let's Just Be Real"...tough and tender from a smooth Texas lady
Laura Tate’s fourth CD, “Let’s Just Be Real,” takes this Texas singer and her talented musicians to a rich, new level of sound and message. On these twelve tracks – a mix of old, new and originals released for the first time – Laura gets real and stays there. With her smooth and sultry voice, she invites us on a jazzy journey that combines rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues. It’s a journey through the cycle of love that carries us through new love, passion, breakup, and back again with heart and humor. Even though poets have written about romantic love for thousands of years, the dozen songwriters featured here will make you see love with new eyes. These songs are surprising and sexy, tough and tender – and Laura’s vocals make each one a pleasure to hear again and again.

Bits Blues In The South
Norman Darwen July 7, 2017

Laura Tate Let’s Just Be Real (811 Gold Records) And that’s just what Dallas, Texas based singer Laura is here, tackling real music – soul and blues mostly, either strutting coquettishly as on ‘I’ll Find Someone Who Will’ or getting nicely mellow as on the melodic ‘If That Ain’t Love’. Hitting on Nothing’ comes from Irma Thomas and certainly keeps a New Orleans flavour. For examples of her blues approach, try ‘Still Got The Blues’, and the lovely slow blues, ‘I Need A Man’ or for a more jumping sound, try ‘Big Top Hat’. For something a little different, there is Laura’s supper club styled version of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Boys Are Back In Town – honest! - ‘whilst the closer, ‘Wildest Dreams’ moves into Cyndi Lauper pop territory – definitely quite a change and totally unexpected, judging from what has gone before! Laura has some of today’s top musicians backing her here: Teresa James on backing vocals, Tony Braunagel on drums, and Lee Thornberg supplying brass, among others, and the result is a top quality release. Recommended indeed.

CD Review: “Let’s Just Be Real” – Laura Tate
Craig Whittington July 3, 2017

Laura has some solid support on this cd. Tony Braunagel on drums. Teresa James on background vocals and her man Terry Wilson on bass. Keys, a guitar player and a horn section to round it out. Tony is not the producer for once, but Terry is. This isn’t rocking blues despite the cool cover of Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town. (FYI- that’s the song I linked below in the hear for yourself.)  These songs are smooth as Sinatra. The way Laura sings these songs might be described as sexy, I’m not sure, my folks told me not to worry about that stuff until I’m older so that’s what I’m doing.  It’s a 54 year streak of pure innocence.  I can find no fault with this cd, and that includes production, playing, singing, song writing and the picture of Laura in the leather britches. These are all relationship songs of one type or another and she sings them all convincingly. What’s not to love?  How should I know? Ask my parents. I want to hear Laura sing sultry songs to me, after I learn what that word has to do with birds or bees, so still years out there. Some days I take a walk in the neighborhood, usually go by the grade school. Once   I heard some of the more worldly 2nd graders talking about their carnival knowledge, you know, the tilt-a-whirl and what-not, or how to get a good prize on the cranes. Maybe that’s not the word I’m looking for….

Blues Bytes
Graham Clarke July 2017

For Let’s Just Be Real (811 Gold Records), Laura Tate’s fourth album, the lovely Texas-born and raised singer brought in a few big guns to help out, including producer/bassist Terry Wilson, fellow vocalist Teresa James, drummer Tony Braunagel, and a horn section led by Lee Thornberg.  The new release includes a dozen tracks, all penned by others, but Tate has the amazing ability to take somebody else’s songs and make them her own, as heard on her previous efforts.

The song selection on Let’s Just Be Real and allows Tate to really show her range as a vocalist.  The disc kicks off with “Nobody Gets Hurt,” one of three songs on the album written by the late, underappreciated Stephen Bruton.  Tate’s sultry reading is spot on.  “If That Ain’t Love,” written by Wilson and keyboardist Jeff Paris, has a light pop/soul feel and makes good use of the horn section.  The rollicking “Hitting On Nothing,” from Allen Toussaint (in his “Naomi Neville” incarnation) mixes blues and R&B with a dash of Crescent City seasoning, and the smoky “Can’t Say No” has a jazzy Latin quality.

Next up is Thin Lizzy’s “Boys Are Back In Town,” but Tate’s reading is quite different from the original, starting off in a mellow easy listening tone, but quickly kicking things up a notch or two.  It’s an interesting take and the final product is very rewarding.  Doug MacLeod’s “Still Got The Blues” follows, and Tate does a wonderful job on this tender slow burner.  Wilson and Teresa James wrote “I’ll Find Someone Who Will,” and Tate gives it a feisty treatment.  The title track is an elegant, big band-styled ballad, and Tate really gives a great performance.

Tate plays it coy on “I Know You Lie,” but her smoldering take on the torch song “I Need A Man” is sure to steam a few windows.  “Big Top Hat,” another Bruton composition, is a sassy swinging number and you can tell Tate had a blast recording it.  The closing track is a terrific country rocker “Wildest Dreams,” written by Jodi Siegel.

The backing band, especially guitarist Billy Watts and keyboardist Paris do a marvelous job, but Tate’s vocal performance is really top notch, as she skillfully works her way through this versatile set of tunes.  Let’s Just Be Real is a very enjoyable set of songs that will satisfy music fans of a number of genres, notably blues, soul, and jazz.

In a Blue Mood
Ron Weinstock 6/28/2017

Laura Tate, Let's Just Be Real, 811 Gold Records>
Texas born vocalist Laura Tate has a resume that goes way beyond the blues and soul rooted music on this recording. She is an actress who performed in musicals and other theatrical productions, as well as television shows like "Dallas: and HBO's "First and Ten," as well as engaging in film production and directing music videos, commercials and documentaries. As far as her vocal influences, she states "I grew up listening to everything from rock and roll and Motown to show tunes, and soulful ballads. I loved Tony Bennett, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and other greats from the past along with the Beatles, James Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, and Linda Ronstadt. I have been singing their songs ever since." Her vocals on this is supported by a terrific studio band including the producer, arranger and engineer, Terry Wilson on bass guitar; Billy Watts on guitars; Jeff Paris on keyboards and mandolin; Tony Braunagel on drums; Lee Thornberg on brass; and Paulie Cerra on saxophones. Leslie Smith adds percussion and Teresa James on backing vocals.

This is a wonderfully recorded album full of fresh songs, most in a classic rhythm & blues vein and even the covers are not your typical standards including a wonderful reworking of a Thin Lizzy favorite, "Boys Are Back In Town." Tate is a soulful singer with a relaxed, unforced delivery that gets one's attention with the opening "Nobody Gets Hurt," that has hints of classic Hi Records as well as the easy rocking groove of "If That Ain't Love." She is quite good, if not quite on the level of Irma Thomas, whose Allen Toussaint penned "Hitting on Nothing" she does a nice cover of. The studio band captures the feel of the 1963 original and includes a nice tenor sax solo.

After a jazz-tinged late night blue ballad "Can't Say No," Tate reworks "Boys Are Back In Town," into a reflective lament for an outstanding performance, "Still Got the Blues" is a superb urban blues with a relaxed vocal and Watts playing strongly on guitar. "I Need a Man" is another solid blues performance with a vocal that might be described as Peggy Lee crossed with Etta Jones. It has a fine piano solo from Paris. The title track is another lovely ballad marvelously played and followed by the swampy, southern-rock blues, "I Know You Live." Watts contributes both slide guitar backing and a tremolo laced background riff while Paris takes a brief solo on the his. The Stephen Bruton penned "Big Top Hat," evokes Louis Jordan while Tate sings the lyrics with plenty of sass.

"Wildest Dreams," is a solid country-rock performance in the vein of seventies Linda Ronstadt that is the final track on a first-rate recording by a fine singer that is wonderfully backed throughout.

BLUES AGAIN
César 6/17/2017

Laura Tate, la classe naturelle avec une petite pointe de sophistication. Cette Texane est actrice, chanteuse et pour son quatrième album nous propose des chansons dont les sujets tournent autour de l'amour. Les arrangements à tendance jazzy avec une section cuivre réglée au quart de poil sont dus au bassiste producteur Terry Wilson. Le piano omniprésent, ainsi que le B3 réagissent sous les doigts de Jeff Paris. Pour la guitare, Billy Watts qui joue avec beaucoup de finesse a été choisi et le batteur n'est autre que l'excellent Tony Braunagel. L'interprétation de la douzaine de titres figurant dans cet album met en avant le côté sexy et précieux de la chanteuse. Vous n'en croirez pas vos oreilles en découvrant le fameux 'Boys Are Back In Town' de Thin Lizzy dans une version soft. 'If That Ain't Love' et 'Wildest Dream' ont un côté sucré qui contraste avec le  swing irrésistible de 'Big Top Hat' mais toujours avec un côté robe fourreau et coupe de champagne. Alors quand elle se met à chanter 'I Need A Man', forcément, on a tendance à tomber sous le charme de cette Texane ensorceleuse et de son band tout entier dévoué à sa cause... L'amour.

ROCK N ROLL CALL
Bill Locey 6/13/2017

Laura Tate’s fourth and latest is ``Let’s Just Be Real,’’ out since May Day on 811 Gold Records. Tate has that steamy, bluesy voice that’ll have the boys all delusional and hopeful when it comes to a horizontal adventure for two – and ``Can’t Say No,’’ may refer to that girl low on the calling list but she’ll end up high in the memory banks. Tate has an all-star band behind her including Billy Watts, Terry Wilson and Teresa James – sometimes it’s sort of lounge lizard stuff, other times, sort of Big Band stuff and other times low down and dirty blues. Tate excels at each and the Thin Lizzy biggie, ``Boys Are Back In Town’’ is downright trippy – in short, Tate makes it her own. On ``Hitting On Nothing’’ Tate continues the thought…``unless you got something for me,’’ which reminds me of Napoleon’s lowdown on the fair sex (and mostly Josephine), ``Women – ha! They go to the highest bidder!’’ Tate is haunting, haughty and totally running the show, offering just what this world needs – the vision of a tough chick to run things.

CHAMELEONFIRE1
Sean Arthur Joyce 6/11/2017
March of the Blues Divas

Laura Tate on Let’s Just Be Real similarly draws from a wide, sometimes surprising range of songwriters. Tate’s voice and vocal style leans even more heavily toward blues-inflected pop than Mitchell. She gives Terry Wilson and Teresa James a special shout-out for their help with the album. Wilson—who performed with the legendary Eric Burdon—plays bass here and is the writer of If That Ain’t Love, a snappy jazz-blues number. Wilson is also producer of the album and co-writer with James of I’ll Find Someone Who Will, a brisk, horn-driven tune. Tate offers a seductive spoken word intro to Can’t Say No before shifting gears for her interpretation of Thin Lizzy’s rock classic The Boys Are Back in Town. This could have been a huge misstep, but she wisely chooses a downbeat, lounge jazz rendering that shouldn’t work but somehow does, and beautifully. If anything, it makes the tune far more interesting than the original. Here again Braunagel’s presence is felt, though primarily as drummer, not producer.

BMAN's BLUES REPORT
Bman 6/7/2017
811 Gold Records artist: Laura Tate - Let's Just Be Real - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Let's Just Be Real, from Laura Tate and it's a light jazzy smooth. Opening with Steve Bruton's Nobody Get's Hurt, vocalist, Laura Tate baits you in with her warm voice, backed by Terry Wilson on bass, Billy Watts on guitar, Jeff Paris on keys, Tony Braunagel on drums, Lee Thornberg on brass, Paulie Cerra on sax and Leslie Smith on percussion. I always like when music is nicely woven like a fine fabric and this track is just that. Original soul track, If That Ain't Love, has a strong radio feel with a catchy melody, nice sax work and an interesting rhythm. Cerra lay out a real nice sax solo on this track and backing vocals add nicely to the mix. lightly salted Latin rhythm on Can't Say No has a great feel and Watts' guitar solo is particularly nice. Thin Lizzy's Boys Are Back In Town gets a balladeer's rework and I find it quite nice. I feel that it will appeal strongly to the pop radio market. With it's orchestral arrangement, Still Got The Blues is a really nice showcase for Tate's vocals and the horns do a really nice job warming the track. Watts lays down a particularly nice job playing a cleanly articulated guitar solo as a highlight in the track. With Teresa James joining on vocals, I'll Find Someone Who Will has a cool jazz/rock feel like one associated with Sting. Another nice sax solo by Cerra and tight brass work by Thornberg dresses this track nicely. I Need A Man is another sultry blues track with particularly nice brass work by Thornberg. With strong piano work by Paris this track strengthens the release ever further. Wrapping the release is pop rocker, Wildest Dreams, a definite radio track and possible movie theme.

Tate is enjoying herself and I think you will too.

ROOTSTIME.BE
Eric Schuurmans 5/25/2017
Laura Tate – Let’s Just Be Real

Laura Tate, ze is geboren in Dallas, is zangeres, actrice, producer en advocate. Als kind viel ze al op o.w.v. haar zang- en acteertalent. Voor dat ze zich vestigde in Los Angeles, tourde Laura door het land met theater en muziek gezelschappen. Laura volgde een acteer opleiding aan het ‘Herbert Berghoff Studio School of Acting’ en aan de ‘Stella Alder School of Acting’ (beide) in NYC. Vanuit LA werkte ze voor theater en TV. Als zangeres deed ze zo opdrachten in Dallas, Nashville, New York en Los Angeles. Als acteur en lid van een theatergroep deed ze opdrachten voor de lokale netwerk zenders en trad ze op in Los Angeles, New York City en Nashville.

Als muziek producer werkt ze in de film industrie. Ze maakte al muziek video’s voor The Bellamy Brothers en de Nashville Bluegrass Group. Laura maakte “Held In Trust”, een bekroonde documentaire over het verhaal van de Buffalo Soldiers. Dit waren zwarte soldaten van het U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment (hun bijnaam was de “Negro Cavalry”), dat opgericht werd op 21 september 1866 in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. De documentaire volgt de eerste zwarte soldaten tijdens hun opleiding en proeven aan de Militaire Academy in West Point. Laura is ook een actief lid van de ‘Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists & Actors Equity Association’. Tenslotte is Laura ook erg geëngageerd bezig via sociale events met humanitaire en opvoedkundige dossiers.

Met haar vorige album ‘I Must Be Dreaming’ [2015] bracht Laura Tate hulde aan de muziek van songwriter Mel Harker. Haar nieuwe (haar vierde) album ‘Let’s Just Be Real’ is een album met twaalf nummers, die een verzameling zijn van oude en nieuwe nummers, waar ze als zangeres met een mix van jazz, R&R en R&B te horen is. De songs, van verschillende songwriters, gaan over liefde, passie en dingen die met relaties te maken hebben. Het zijn sexy numers, die je als luisteraar zeker zullen verbazen!

Laura zat in de studio met producer Terry Wilson en enkele “oude” bekenden als Teresa James (zang), Billy Watts (gitaar, zang), Jeff Paris (piano, B3, manoline), Tony Braunagel (drums), Lee Thornberg (brass), Paulie Cerra (sax) & Leslie Smith (percussive).

Het album opent vrij rustig met een shuffle van Stephen Bruton ”Nobody Gets Hurt”, waarin we al direct kunnen kennis maken met de gitaar van Billy Watts. ”If That Ain’t Love” is een goed geschreven soul nummer van producer van Terry Wilson en ”Hitting On Notting” is een nummer met een New Orléans swing (gegarandeerd door Lee Thornberg & saxofoniste Paulie Cerra) van Allen Toussaint, dat we beter kennen in de versie van Irma Thomas. Met ”Can’t Say No” is het (letterlijk) relaxen geblazen en Phil Lynott’s (zanger/bassist van Thin Lizzy!) ”Boys Are Back In Town” krijgt een jazzy invulling met funk accentjes. ”Still Got the Blues” is niet…, maar een bluesy jazzy intermezzo. ”I’ll Find Someone Who Will” is opnieuw ronddolen in NO en met ”Let’s Just Be Real” en ”I Need a Man” waan je je in een nachtclub. ”Big Top Hat” (de tweede Stephen Bruton compositie) swingt en afsluiten doet Laura met ”Wildest Dreams”. Het is een poppy Jodi Siegel song, die aardig in de oren klinkt.

Liefhebbers van swingende, jazzy R&B kunnen met een gerust gevoel ‘Let’s Be Real’ van Laura tate aankomen!

THE ROCK DOCTOR BY JOHN KEREIFF - MUSIC REVIEWS
John Kereiff 5/24/2017
LET’S JUST BE REAL Laura Tate (811 Gold Records)

Laura Tate is here with her 4th album, and it’s a beauty.  A sultry, sexy mix of jazz and blues, Let’s Just Be Real flirts with Bossa Nova grooves that have totally swept me off my feet.  A mix of originals and cool covers, I can’t get enough.

Let’s Just Be Real re-casts Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town as a gorgeous swinging piano ballad, and holy hell does it ever work!  The disc is a journey through the cycle of love- new love, passion, break-ups and jumping back in with both feet again… and who can’t relate to that?

Tate has a gorgeous voice that you’ll want to hear again and again, and the chemistry between her and the band is absolutely undeniable. VERY swankalicious!

ESSENTIALS:  The Boys Are Back In Town, Nobody Gets Hurt

HISTORIA DEL BLUES
Diego Luis 5/23/2017
Laura Tate – Let’s Just Be Real (811 Gold Records, 2017)

La cantante de Texas, Laura Tate, llega con su cuarto disco “Let’s Just Be Real” en el que trabaja la temática del círculo amoroso, con doce canciones entre antiguas y nuevas que hablan sobre las fases del amor, la pasión, la ruptura y el nuevo comienzo para volver a llegar al enamoramiento, con un mensaje muy real que viene desde el corazón, con mucha seriedad y algo de sentido del humor también. La química entre los músicos es notoria y permite que la voz de Tate se ajuste muy bien a los toques de blues, rock, pop y jazz que se escuchan a lo largo de la producción.”Let’s Just Be Real” es un disco vibrante, con mucha energía, con canciones entre sexys, duras y tiernas que sorprenden al oyente, y que llevan a un nivel más alto la música de Laura Tate.

MAKING A SCENE - INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS GUIDE TO MUSIC BUSINESS
Richard Ludmerer 5/23/2017
Laura Tate – Let’s Just Be Real

Laura Tate is from Dallas, Tx. where she began performing when she was nine years old. She studied acting in New York City and toured in theatrical productions. She soon found herself on the production side of the business directing music videos, documentaries and commercials. She now lives in El Paso and holds both a Bachelor degree and Masters from The University of Texas El Paso. She has performed benefit concerts for a variety of non-profit organizations and was the recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award from both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Tate made her recording debut in 2013; yet this is her fourth album in as many years. Her last one was produced by Terry Wilson and he is with her again on “Let’s Just Be Real”. Wilson is the leader of Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps and so it’s his band on this new recording. Included are Tate, vocals; Wilson, bass; James, background vocals; Billy Watts, guitar; Lee Thornberg, horns; and Tony Braunagel, drums. Additional musicians include Jeff Paris, keyboards and mandolin; Paulie Cerra, sax; and Leslie Smith, percussion.

Tate opens with Stephen Bruton’s “Nobody Gets Hurt” original recorded in 1999. Paris is a great B-3 player and adds just the right touch. Tate’s an exciting and expressive vocalist. Also from Bruton is “Big Top Hat”.

Wilson has co-written three songs for this project. “If That Ain’t Love” is from him and Paris; featured is a great horn arrangement from Thornberg while Cerra wails on sax. “Can’t Say No” is a jazzy tune written with Watts and David Raven; Paris plays some smoky lounge piano, Thornberg is on trumpet and Smith adds the percussion. “I’ll Find Someone Who Will” written with James gets the full Stax treatment.

“Hitting On Nothing” is from Allen Toussaint but is credited to his mother, Naomi Neville. Featured is another great horn arrangement and sax solo from Cerra. It was originally recorded by Irma Thomas in 1978. “You know you promised me a mink coat for my birthday and I ain’t seen mink, rat or rabbit to make me want to stay”.
“The Boys Are Back in Town” written by Phil Lynott for his band Thin Lizzy is elegantly re-arranged. Included is some great guitar playing from Watts. “Still Got The Blues” is from Mel Harker and Doug MacLeod. The title track, “Let’s Just Be Real” is a jazzy ballad from Harker and Jill Black.

“I Need A Man” written by Rick Deltrick is a playful and sexy tune as sung by Tate. “He don’t have to be rich, if he can scratch my itch, I need a man”. Once again the horn arrangement is fabulous.

Tate seems to like songs about love. Her voice and delivery are so good it’s hard not to love her.

ELMORE MAGAZINE - ALBUM REVIEWS
Jim Hynes 5/23/2017

Dallas-born and raised singer and actress Laura Tate called in top notch Los Angeles session musicians, for this, her fourth album. Tate has spent time in New York and Nashville in addition to L.A. and it’s clear she knows her way around. A group that includes bassist/producer Terry Wilson, vocalist Teresa James, drummer Tony Braunagel, and horns led by Lee Thornberg is attention-getting, but the combination of Tate’s voice and song selection is the major draw to the album for me. Yes, I confess that I am huge admirer of the late, and too often underrated Stephen Bruton, who incidentally also grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. So, it was gratifying to see Tate select two of his tunes, (“Nobody Gets Hurt” and “Big Top Hat”) among her dozen. Her voice is more on the sultry, smooth side, and while she’s certainly not in the vocal powerhouse category, she proves to be versatile: this album features not only blues, but rock, R&B, and elements of jazz as well. As the title implies, she faithfully delivers these tunes without showboating or histrionics. The energy and soul comes across convincingly.

Let’s look a little more closely. Between the single writer and co-writers, there are twelve of them here on the dozen tracks, covering some very different angles of love. From Naomi Neville’s “Hitting on Nothing” to Phil Lynot’s “Boys Are Back in Town” to Arleen Nicastro’s “I Know You Lie,” Tate carries mostly a tender, playful demeanor. Rather than being angry, it’s as if she’s shaking her finger and winking at you, or in other places just being coy in a sexy way.

Rollicking piano from ace Jeff Paris and strong guitar work from Billy Watts are augmented by the horn section and background vocals. Wilson’ arrangements, production, and engineering are strong across the board. Tate can’t miss in this setting and gives us an easy-going vibe that makes for a fun listen.

PROFESSOR JOHNY P's JUKE JOINT
John P 5/20/2017
Laura Tate ~~ Let’s Just Be Real

I remember receiving one of Laura Tate’s earlier CDs, but it lives in my office at the station where Henry Cook and I put together Time For The Blues, so I can’t remember which one it was. I do remember liking it, and I’m sure we played one or two of her songs, and a Christmas song she recorded on one of our holiday shows.

So, while she’s not exactly a brand new artist to me, she’s new enough that I had to dig up a little research to refamiliarize myself with her work. And I’m glad I did.

Her newest album, Let’s Just Be Real, is a solid, vocal-driven disc that showcases her wonderful voice. While she covers some blues songs on the album, most notably Still Got The Blues and I’ll Find Someone Who Will, her selections are not genre driven. If she finds a good song that’s more in a rock vein, or a rhythm and blues groove, she’s going to do that, and do it well.

Many of her choices would make a great live show in an intimate setting. Fortunately, there are many clubs that can accommodate such a performance, and they are not limited to blues or jazz clubs.

When I listen to this album, I can easily imagine her performing them and it almost seems like a live album. All that’s really missing is her rapport with the audience and I imagine that would not be difficult for her to achieve.

Tate has put together a tight musical outfit that includes her on all the lead vocals along with Terry Wilson on bass and vocals; Billy Watts on guitars and vocals; Jeff Paris on piano, B3 and mandolin; Tony Braunagel on drums; Lee Thornberg on brass; Paulie Cerra on saxophones; and Leslie Smith on percussion. Teresa James supplies the female backing vocals.

Paris’ keyboards sets the mood for Nobody Gets Hurt and her vocals come in after a throaty chuckle. Tate has a sweet voice and mixes a little of that Texas steam into her vocals. It has a good sound and shows some potential, and as I am new to her work, I have faith that she’ll continue throughout the album.

The next song, If That Ain’t Love, is written by Paris and Terry Wilson. I’ve been noticing more of Wilson’s work this year, maybe I’m just catching up to the rest of the world, but he continues to impress me. This song is a great tune that would be at home in just about any cabaret or Broadway show and Tate delivers it with style.
Hitting On Nothing kicks off with a barrelhouse piano and some sharp brass. It’s a soulful bluesy tune with some great hooks as one would expect on a song written by Naomi Neville. Listen for the sax lead (it’s impossible to miss) and you know that this song has got to be a killer when Tate performs it live. It’s a great anthem for the women in the audience.

Her next song, Can’t Say No, is a gentle number that mixes in some rhythm and blues with what feels like a slight bossa nova run. Her vocals are delivered in a saucy purr and she toys with her audience in a delightful manner.

The opening to Boys Are Back In Town is lush and entirely different from the well-known Thin Lizzy version. This starts off as a slow ballad through the first verse then kicks it up with plenty of spice. As the song says, “she’s steaming.” Tate has some fun with this and with her delivering the song, it takes on a different perspective. Interesting and bold choice.

Tate follows up with Still Got The Blues, which is a solid blues number that she can sing the hell out of. That may not be the best grammar, but it accurately sums up my thought on the song. The slow horns roll in like waves and Tate’s voice soars and drops with emotion. Watts’ guitar break is a sweet run. I’ll be playing this one on Time For The Blues.

Teresa James and Terry Wilson wrote the next song, I’ll Find Someone Who Will. James and Wilson have been popping up on several other artists’ albums, plus the one they did together. This number is big and brassy and gives Tate a chance to perform with some serious attitude. This is a great somebody did me wrong song. Love it.

The title track, Let’s Just Be Real, follows. Paris’ piano leads us in and Tate’s vocals start off soft and low. Pretty soon, things move up and Tate switches into a crooning style. It’s a good big band kind of a number and one that works very well in an intimate setting.

There’s a bit of Texas grit in the opening of I Know You Lie. Watts has some fun with the guitar and Tate’s vocals take on a sharper edge. When you see a title like this, you know somebody’s going to be on the receiving end of a serious discussion, and you might not want to open your mouth to respond anytime soon…
Curiously enough, Tate then follows up with I Need A Man. Maybe she means a new man, but title quibbles aside, she delivers this advertisement with some solid emotion. It makes for a good torch song and the horn section punctuates the song at precise intervals to give it a cool Chicago sound.

More great horns open Big Top Hat and the song immediately has a big band feel. I like that particular style very much and realize it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Tate delivers the song with as much attitude as she can muster. If you’re listening to this song in the car with a bunch of younger kids, you might want to hit the “next” button to avoid a few instances of a three-letter word that’s a synonym for “derriere.” It doesn’t detract from the fun of the song, just a warning, just in case.

Tate and company close the album with Wildest Dreams. It’s a song of longing and remembering. The song is very nice, with kind of a California pop sound. It’s slick and one that could receive some airplay on the crossover stations if the producers would give it half a chance.

Laura Tate has a great voice and she’s put together a terrific band. I know a lot of blues fans read this blog looking for new things, and while I like this album very much, I’m not sure that it has enough blues to satisfy some of the more hardcore fans. Still, you should be the one to make that call, and you can sample some of her work on her website https://www.musicbylauratate.com/.

While you’re there check out some of her earlier work, and take a look at her acting and directing resume to see some of her work outside of music. She’s quite a talent!

KEYS AND CHORDS
Philip Verhaege 5/16/2017
Laura Tate: Let’s Just Be Real

Laura Tate mag dan niet meteen een belletje doen rinkelen hier in de Lage Landen, toch heeft ze al een rijkelijke carrière achter de rug. Laura is niet alleen een gevierde zangeres, ze had ook rollen in tv-programma’s als 1St & Ten, Thirtysomething and Sister. Ze regisseerde ook heel wat videoclips en commercials. Laura was ook betrokken bij diverse humanitaire projecten. Haar werk resulteerde in een ontvangst van een President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2008 en 2009.

Naast dit alles had ze ook de tijd om een vierde album in te blikken. Haar nieuwste release ‘Let’s Just Be Real’ is een leuk en knap blues album dat is ingezaaid met heel wat jazz en rock componenten. Net zoals bij haar vorige release vindt Laura nu ook backing bij enkele leden van Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps. (Terry Wilson op bas, zangeres Teresa James, gitarist Billy Watts, Lee Thornberg op hoorns en drummer Tony Braunagel). Verder wordt Laura ook vergezeld door Jeff Paris op piano, orgel en mandoline, Paulie Cerra op saxofoon en percussionist Leslie Smith.  Het album opent met de Stephen Bruton’s song ‘Nobody’s Gets Hurt’. Het nummer ‘It That Ain’t Love’ leende ze bij Tery Wilson en Jeff Paris. Het opwindend en New Orleans begeesterde ‘Hitting On Nothing’ is origineel van Naomi Neville, het synoniem voor Allen Toussaint. Het nummer was zelfs een grote hit voor Irma Thomas. De grootste verrassing is toch wel de herwerkte versie ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ van Thin Lizzy en Gary Moore’s ‘Still Got The Blues’, dat blazer arrangementen meekreeg. En die blijfen ook in de spotlights in de track ‘I’ll Find Someone Who Will’ en het sexy en jazzy ‘I Need a Man’. Stephen Bruton’s ‘Big Top Man’ is alweer op het lijf geschreven van Laura Tate. Het pop en country getinte ‘Wildest Dreams’ mag het album op een waardige en knappe manier beëindigen.

BLUES MAGAZINE, ALL ABOUT BLUES MUSIC AND MORE
Peter Marinus 5/14/2017
Recensie: Laura Tate - Let's Just Be Real

Laat ik gelijk maar met de deur in huis vallen: Deze cd is een aanrader voor iedereen die gek is van zangeressen als Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur of Tracy Nelson. Maar ook voer voor fans van Johnny Adams of een band als Roomful Of Blues. En dan weet je ook gelijk uiit welke hoek de muzikale wind waait. Een mix van soul, jazz en rhythm & blues.

‘Let’s Just Be Real’ is alweer de vierde cd van de Texaanse zangeres Laura Tate. Een drukke tante want ze Is ook nog eens aktief als actrice ( in TV series als “Sisters” en “Thirtysomething”), advocate en filmproducente.

Op dit album wordt ze begeleid door een grote band met muzikanten als bassist Terry Wilson en drummer Tony Braunagel, die samen, in een ver verleden, deel uitmaakten van Paul Kossoff’s band Back Street Crawler. Op gitaar komen we Billy Watts tegen, die werkte met Coco Montoya en John Trudell.
Het album opent op een erg prettige wijze met Nobody Gets Hurt, een compositie van Stephen Bruton, een oude bekende in het roots rock circuit. Een shuffle vol soul met de warme stem van Tate en de Robert Cray-achtige gitaarpartij van Billy Watts.

If That Ain’t Love is een erg aanstekelijk soul nummer, gevolgd door het door Allen Toussaint geschreven Hitting On Nothing. Dit nummer werd bekend in de uitvoering van Irma Thomas en heeft een heerlijk swingende New Orleans sound met uitbundige blazers.

Het tempo gaat behoorlijk naar beneden in Can’t Say No, een wiegende bigband blues waarin Tate je het idee geeft dat je in een rokerige nachtclub naar haar smachtende zang zit te luisteren. En dan de verrassing van deze cd! Wie had er ooit gedacht dat er van het Thin Lizzy nummer The Boys Are Back In Town een jazzy versie zou verschijnen met licht funky injecties. Phil Lynott zou trots op deze cover zijn. Still Got The Blues is geen cover van het Gary Moore nummer maar een slowblues met zacht wiegende blazers en lekker jazzy gitaarspel.

De nummers met soul invloeden klinken het lekkerst op deze cd. Zo heeft  I Know You Lied weer de typische New Orleans sound en gaat I Need A Man weer richting het geluid van Bonnie Raitt.

Het tweede door Stephen Bruton geschreven nummer op deze cd is Big Top Hat. Een swingende boogie met een hoofdrol voor de piano van Jeff Paris en de zoemende gitaar van Billy Watts. De swingende blazers geven dit nummer een New Orleans dixieland sound. De afsluiter van de cd, Wildest Dreams, valt wat uit de toon want dit is een REM-achtige folkpop nummer, dat mij niet echt wist te boeien.

Fans van swingende jazzy rhythm & blues kunnen deze cd blindelings aanschaffen!

BLUEBIRD REVIEWS
Giovanni “Gio” Pilato 5/7/2017
Laura Tate - Let's Just Be Real

It gives such a great feeling to listen to an album like this. Laura Tate, American actress and singer, here on her 4th studio album called Let's Just Be Real, delivers one of the most intense records of her career.

Tate's new album is a masterful display of the Texan singer's vocal abilities on the 12 tracks that travel through old, new and original material, never before released. Tate surrounds herself with the elite of worldwide studio musicians, from the Brass Maestro Lee Thornberg to the devastatingly brilliant Jeff Paris on Piano, B3 and Mandolin, just to mention few of the great musicians involved on the album.

The artist herself is at the absolute top of her form. Tate moves between R&B, Jazz, Swing, Soul, Boogie and Blues with an incredibly natural talent and agility, through some of the smoothest, intense, soulful and sometimes even sassiest vocal performances she has ever put on any of her records.

When it comes the time to highlight some of the most inspired tunes on an artist's record, that can be occasionally a tricky task to face for a writer but not on an album like Let's Just Be Real. There are so many wonderful moments of brilliancy on this record. The title-track of the album delivers such an intense sentimental mood through Laura Tate's voice, in a jazzy ballad that fits to perfection Tate's singing style. The Thin Lizzy's classic Boys Are Back In Town has been rarely covered in a more refined and elegant way than Tate and her musicians have done on this album, an authentic gem to listen and appreciate over and over again.

Still Got The Blues shows another layer of Tate's artistry. The Texan singer's vocal delivery on this tune has got an incredible amount of depth, quality and power and the craftsmanship of the musicians accompanying Tate on this tune is close to absolute perfection. The closing song of the album, Wildest Dreams, demonstrates once again Tate's ability to adapt to many different music genres, by delivering another vocal performance on this rock ballad where also Jeff Paris does a terrific job, this time on mandolin.

Let's Just Be Real is a record inspired by the concept of universal love, sang with love and played with love too. Laura Tate's talent as a live performer has never been in doubt throughout the years but in studio, never before the American artist had reached the maturity, charisma and vocal perfection that she has achieved on this album. An album you can easily fall in love with.
 
BARN OWL BLUES
Eric Campfens  5/15/2017
Laura Tate – Let’s Just Be Real

Stil zitten is er niet bij voor Laura Tate. Op haar negende stond ze al op het podium. Zij heeft gewerkt als actrice, heeft films en video’s geregisseerd en geproduceerd, doet vrijwilligerswerk voor diverse goede doelen en heeft ook nog tijd gevonden om vier cd’s op te nemen. Haar nieuwste, “Let’s Just Be Real” is onlangs verschenen, waarop zij een aantal covers en wat origineel werk zingt. Laura’s zangstijl beweegt zich in het gebied tussen jazz en blues, iets dat voor sommige nummers een verrassend resultaat geeft.

Op “Let’s Just Be Real” wordt Laura ter zijde gestaan door een aantal leden van de band van Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps. Hieronder zangeres Teresa James, bassist Terry Wilson, gitarist Billy Watts, Lee Thornberg op diverse blaasinstrumenten en drummer Tony Braunagel. Zij worden aangevuld door toetsenspeler Jeff Paris, saxofonist Paulie Cerra en percussionist Leslie Smith. Een aantal van de nummers op de cd zijn geschreven door haar begeleiders. Verder horen we covers van onder meer Naomi Neville (aka Allen Toussaint), Phil Lynott, Doulas MacLeod en Mel Harker; aan laatstgenoemde heeft zij haar voorlaatste cd gewijd. De luisteraar wordt afwisselend getrakteerd op soulblues, jazz, blues en soul. Laura heeft een aangenaam stemgeluid en de muziek erachter is gewoon erg prettig. Fraai zijn nummers als “Still Got The Blues”, geschreven door Mel Harker en Doug MacLeod, “I’ll Find Someone Who Will” van Teresa James en Terry Wilson en het eveneens door Wilson geschreven “If That Ain’t Love”. Een grote verrassing is Laura’s versie van de oude Thin Lizzy hit “Boys Are Back In Town”. Ik verraad er niets over; luister er maar naar.

Een prima cd. Heerlijke jazzy blues, gewoon genieten.
 
MICHAEL DOHERTY'S MUSIC LOG
Michael Doherty  5/6/2017, 1:02 AM
Laura Tate: “Let’s Just Be Real” (2017) CD Review

Laura Tate has an interesting career. As an actor, she’s had roles in television programs like 1st & Ten, Thirtysomething and Sisters. She has also directed music videos and commercials. She’s also involved in several humanitarian causes, her work resulting in her receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award twice – in 2008 and 2009. And when she’s not been busy with all of that work, she’s managed as a vocalist to put out four full-length CDs, tackling standards on her first release. Her new release, Let’s Just Be Real, is a fun, playful bluesy album with rock and jazz elements. As with her previous release, I Must Be Dreaming, the vocalist is joined by several members of Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps, including Terry Wilson on bass, Teresa James on vocals, Billy Watts on guitar, Lee Thornberg on horns and Tony Braunagel on drums. She is also joined by Jeff Paris on piano, organ and mandolin; Paulie Cerra on saxophone; and Leslie Smith on percussion. While Laura Tate didn’t write any of this album’s material, a few of the tracks were written by some of these musicians.
Laura Tate opens this album with a cover of Stephen Bruton’s “Nobody Gets Hurt” (a song from his Nothing But The Truth CD). As you might guess, the instrumental intro in her version is not as long as that of the original, and she throws in a little vocal play. It’s a good rendition, and it’s followed by a song written by Terry Wilson and Jeff Paris, “If That Ain’t Love,” which has something of a joyful 1960s feel. Part of it is the horns, of course. But it is also the groove and the backing vocals, as well as Laura Tate’s vocal approach. “I don’t want to lose you, baby/You know that I really don’t/You know, I work just as hard as I can/When it’s something that I really want.” This is a fun, sweet, bright song, one of my favorites. “If that ain’t love, baby, it’s a damn good start.”
 
Allen Toussaint wrote a lot of excellent songs, some of them under the pseudonym Naomi Neville. One credited to that name is “Hittin’ On Nothing,” originally recorded by Irma Thomas, and also done by Southern Culture On The Skids. On this album, Laura Tate delivers a really delicious, fun rendition (here written as “Hitting On Nothing”). It’s a song in which the woman basically says she’s not going to put out unless the guy buys her something – diamonds, a mink coat, something. “You know you promised me a mink coat for my birthday/And I ain’t seen mink, rat or rabbit to make me want to stay.” I love the sax and the piano on this track. That’s followed by another of the CD’s highlights, “Can’t Say No,” written by David Raven, Terry Wilson and William Watts. This too has something of a playful vibe, the way Laura Tate delivers lines like, “Who else could it be?/You must be way down on your list/I know I shouldn’t let you use me like this/But I’m crazy about you, you old freak/You only call me because you know I’m weak.” This is a delightful jazzy number with a bit of a Latin feel.
Probably the biggest surprise of this CD is the cover of “The Boys Are Back In Town” (here titled “Boys Are Back In Town”). Laura Tate’s version is quite a bit different from the original Thin Lizzy recording. It’s a strange rendition that begins as a slow, nostalgic number, then kicks in to become something of an upbeat tune, with almost a lounge jazz style. I’ve never heard it done like this before. Actually, this isn’t a song that I often hear covered at all. And certainly it takes on a different meaning when sung from a woman’s perspective. And then “Still Got The Blues” has a kind of sexy sound at the start. Oh yes, I love the horns. This is another of the disc’s highlights, written by Mel Harker and Douglas MacLeod. You can rely on the blues, baby. “You know I’m going to be just fine/If all my dreams fall through/Because after everything is gone again/I still got the blues.” And I like these lines: “Ain’t nothing worse than feeling down/But it’s better than feeling nothing at all/You can scratch your way to the top, baby/But you’ve got that much farther to fall.” This song also features some nice work on guitar. Mel Harker also co-wrote the CD’s title track, “Let’s Just Be Real,” this one with Jill Block. It begins with Laura’s voice accompanied by just piano, and she sings that “Romeo and Juliet were just victims of bad timing.” Well, there was a bit more to it than that, but sure. When the song kicks in, it has something of a classic vibe, which I love. And then the song builds in power at certain points. “Once upon a time don’t mean nothing to me.”
 
The horns play a prominent role in “I Need A Man,” a fun, playful and sexy tune written by Rick Deitrick. “I’m a gal on a quest/You folks ought to know/No time to rest/Got miles to go/I need satisfaction/I need it the most/I searched high and low/Deep and wide/And coast to coast/I need a man.” Now that is one randy chick. Well, I don’t think it ought to be all that difficult for her to fill her need. “He don’t have to be rich/If he can scratch my itch/I need a man.” That song is followed by a lively number, “Big Top Hat,” written by Stephen Bruton. “Well, you can kiss my ass ‘til my hat pops off, baby.” Ah yes, I am enjoying that piano. The CD then concludes with “Wildest Dreams,” with more of a country pop vibe, written by Jodi Siegel.

Let’s Just Be Real is scheduled to be released on May 16, 2017 on 811 Gold Records.
 
MIDWEST RECORD
Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher 5/5/2017
811 GOLD

LAURA TATE/Let's Just Be Real: The latest from this sassy pants, Texas blonde is just the right thing if you are looking for a good time blues eyed soul/bluesy set that delivers a fast ball down the middle. Totally made for good time listening, southern soul from various points on the map convene here in Texas with right choices in personal and songs running wild throughout. Not trying to be Bonnie or Angela or anyone but herself, Tate makes her mark, leaving a firm impression for when you need music for that Friday state of mind. Smart stuff that just doesn't let you down.
 
INDIE VOICE BLOG
LaMusicCritic@gmail.com  5/3/2017
Laura Tate, Let’s Just Be Real
Artist Name:  Laura Tate
Album Name:  Let’s Just be Real
Label:  811 Gold Records
Genre:  Blues
Publicist:  Frank Roszak Promotions

Review:  While the blues are usually a dark form of music, Laura Tate’s music is anything but.  While the undertone is definitely the blues, it is married with an upbeat jazz tone and soaring vocals, accompanied by brilliantly hopeful lyrics about love, and guitar riffs that chase away the shadows, ushering in a new day.   The horns also complement that process, creating a new form of the blues that encourage hope and lift the listener’s spirits.  Every song has that special dynamic, making this an album that you will want to listen to from start to finish, over and over again.  Favorite cuts include “If That Ain’t Love,” “Can’t say No,” “Still got the Blues,” “I’ll Find Someone who Will,” “I Know you Lied,” and the nostalgic “Big top Hat.”  We also love her truly original cover of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys are Back in Town.”  The final track, “Wildest Dreams,” provides the perfect cherry on top of a treat of an album.

Recommendation:  Let’s Just be Real is scheduled for release on May 16, and we strongly encourage you to Get it.  It believe it will be one of the best releases of this year, and a worthy addition to your musical collection.
 

DONANDSHERYLSBLUESBLOG
dvcrow56 5/10/2017
Laura Tate review…May 10, 2017….
LAURA TATE - LET’S JUST BE REAL
811 GOLD RECORDS

Laura Tate has always been one of our favorite singers.  The Dallas-born-and-raised siren has spent time in New York, Los Angeles, and even here in Nashville, and those experiences make her right at home with a jazz number, a torch song, and even a kiss-off song.  You can hear elements of all these and more over the course of the eleven cuts that make up her latest set, “Let’s Just Be Real.”

A couple of would-be adulterers are the theme of the opening cut, the sultry story of what goes on “down at the corner of Disaster and Despair,” “just stay where you are and Nobody Gets Hurt.”  The horn-drenched, shimmery, summery “If That Ain’t Love,” is Laura’s proclamation of her feelings for a lover.  She revisits that classic Stax sound with the story of a long-gone lover, “if you can’t stay home with me, I’ll Find Someone Who Will.”

Laura Tate is a woman who’s not afraid to hold back to get what she wants.  Witness the title cut, where no games are allowed, this ain’t no Cinderella story, and, tonight, “Let’s Just Be Real.”  And, a torch-y, stop-time, slow-blues  has Laura coming right out and saying, “I need a special breed to fill my need–I Need A Man.”

That brings us to our favorite.  If you have the stones to do her wrong, be prepared to pay the price.  In one of the ultimate kiss-off  songs ever, Stephen Bruton’s “Big Top Hat,” Laura rides a jazzy, piano-heavy groove to tell her ex that “you can kiss my ass ’till my hat pops off, honey,” in a delicious act of defiance!

One cannot help but be captivated by the voice and talents of Laura Tate.  Easy on the ears (and on the eyes!), she begs in this set to “Let’s Just Be Real.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.
 

LAMUSICCRITIC.COM/INDI_VOICE_BLOG
LaMusicCritic@gmail.com    May 3, 2017
Laura Tate - Let's Just Be Real - 811 Gold Records

While the blues are usually a dark form of music, Laura Tate’s music is anything but.  While the undertone is definitely the blues, it is married with an upbeat jazz tone and soaring vocals, accompanied by brilliantly hopeful lyrics about love, and guitar riffs that chase away the shadows, ushering in a new day.   The horns also complement that process, creating a new form of the blues that encourage hope and lift the listener’s spirits.  Every song has that special dynamic, making this an album that you will want to listen to from start to finish, over and over again.  Favorite cuts include “If That Ain’t Love,” “Can’t say No,” “Still got the Blues,” “I’ll Find Someone who Will,” “I Know you Lied,” and the nostalgic “Big top Hat.”  We also love her truly original cover of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys are Back in Town.”  The final track, “Wildest Dreams,” provides the perfect cherry on top of a treat of an album.

Recommendation Let’s Just be Real is scheduled for release on May 16, and we strongly encourage you to Get it.  It believe it will be one of the best releases of this year, and a worthy addition to your musical collection.

ROOTSVILLE.EU
May 2, 2017
Laura Tate - Let's Just Be Real - 811 Gold Records​

With a heart for Dallas TX, a soulful feeling like a Memphis Diva and a NOLA swingin' mood, this Laura Tate brings with 'Let's Just Be Real' the sun in our lives...

Voor de opnamen van haar 4de album liet Laura Tate zich omringen door een boel hoog aangeschreven muzikanten zoals o.a. Terry Wilson en Tony Braunagel. Voeg daarbij dat de backing vox verzorgd worden door niemand minder dan Teresa James en Billy Watts en we hoeven je dan niet te vertellen dat deze 'Let's Just Be Real' uitbarst van talent en kwaliteit.

De 'chemistry' die haar stem teweeg brengt bij de aanwezige muzikanten bereikt ongewild eenzame hoogten. Met haar nieuwe album inviteert deze Laura Tate ons op een mix van rhythm 'n blues, jazz en rock 'n roll. De passie waarop ze nummers als 'The Boys Are Back In Town' van Thin Lizzy op een vrijwel ongelooflijke jazzy manier weet te brengen is van een zodanig hoog allooi dat het kippenvel teweeg weet te brengen.

Deze 'Let's Just Be Real' werd een mix van 12 nummers waarbij nieuwe en oudere originals hand in hand gaan en waarbij het er op lijkt dat alle nummers wel een boodschap in zich dragen. Door te leven in zowel LA, Nashville als in de 'Big Apple' weet Laura Tate haar skills als uitermate goede vocaliste in een jasje te steken waarbij blues, soul, rock en jazz zich verenigen tot haar eigen 'exciting sound'.

Opener is 'Nobody Gets Hurt' is een schoolvoorbeeld van een aangenaam soulbluesje waarbij de warme vocals van Laura Tate als een welgekome verrassing uit de speakers komt. Samen met Jeff Paris schreef bassist 'If That Ain't Love' en diezelfde Wilson schreef samen met Teresa James het nummer 'I'll Find Someone Who Will' of waar New Orleans en Memphis samen komen. Het lichtjes in een Bossa Nova jasje gestoken 'Can't Say No', een nummer waar de piano partij van Jeff Paris en de jazzy ritmes van Billy Watts zijn hollow body gitaar het exotische aspect in je op komen te roepen.

Met 'Still Got The Blues' komen we toe aan een bijzonder sfeervol soulblues nummer waar de klankleur van Laura bijzonder jazzy aanvoelt, gedragen door de intieme blazers en die verdomd mooi klinkende gitaar en wanneer Laura Tate het uitroept van 'I Need A Man' zullen er wel veel handjes de lucht ingaan. Laat ons er swingend uitgaan met 'Big Top Hat'...

Lightnin' up and let's just be real...this is one of the finest music on earth.

CINDY GRAFF COHEN
Music Writer    April 02, 2017
Laura Tate - Just Be Real - 811 Gold Records

Laura Tate's fourth CD, "Let's Just Be Real," takes this Texas singer and her talented musicians to a rich, new level of sound and message. On these twelve tracks - a mix of old, new and originals released for the first time - Laura gets real and stays there. With her smooth and sultry voice, she invites us on a jazzy journey that combines rock-and-roll, rhythm-and-blues. It's a journey with heart and humor and Laura's vocals make each track a pleasure to hear again and again. 

In the studio, she ignites a kind of chemistry that bonds her voice with an amazing big horn section and hard-driving piano. Add in extraordinary work on guitar and percussion and this album vibrates with energy and soul. Dallas-born and raised, this charismatic singer and actress brings a vibe to everything. Her years in Los Angeles, Nashville and New York show through in this fun fusion of blues, rock, and jazz. When you're ready for an album that gets real and rings true, enjoy discovering Laura Tate on "Let's Just Be Real."   -- Cindy Graff Cohen, Music Writer

 

CHICKENWILSON2.BLOGSPOT.COM
Bill Wilson    August 01, 2015
Laura Tate - I Must Be Dreaming - Self-Produced​
This is a tribute to the music of Mel Harker.  Getting the basics out of the way, Laura is backed by Terry Wilson on guitars, bass & drums on all tracks, plus the occasional organ, piano, and strings, Lee Thornberg on bass; Teresa James on backup vocals, Wally Ingram on percussion, Billy Watts on guitars, Paulie Cerra on saxophones, David Fraser on harmonica; Lewis Stephens, Jeff Paris and Karen Hammack on assorted keyboards and Richard Millsap on timbales.  With all the bases covered musically, Laura is free to pour herself heart and soul into what she does best.  Whether it is soulful ballads, country love songs, rock & roll or torch songs that melt clear to the deepest part of your heart.  She does it all and does it with power and a deep-felt passion, leaving one with the impression that the tunes were written by her.  This is another case of "been there & done that" or the fact that, especially in matters of  the heart, there is little that is not common to us, one and all.  Whatever the reasoning, Laura Tate's renditions of these tunes come across in such a way that the listener knows that she has had the experience personally.  This is the perfect album to put in the player, open a bottle of your favorite wine and snuggle with that favorite loved one.  We will not be held responsible for what happens afterwards.  There are albums that are perfect for putting on and going on a long drive, others that are just the thing if you yearn to dance, this one is perfect for those private moments.  Frankly,  it doesn't get any better than this.  Laura Tate starts a raging fire where all but a fading ember remained.  This is good stuff that belongs in every collection.  One never knows when that perfect moment might arise.  It is a keeper to be sure.
- Bill Wilson

WWW.ROCKTIMES.DE
Joachim 'Joe' Brookes    July 30, 2015
Laura Tate / I Must Be Dreaming
Gut, wenn man mehrere berufliche Standbeine hat. Laura Tate ist nicht nur Sängerin. Darüber hinaus betätigt sie sich auch als Schauspielerin, Produzentin und Regisseurin. Die vielseitige Künstlerin wurde in der Herbert Berghoff Studio School of Acting und Stella Alder School of Acting ausgebildet. 

Im Zusammenhang mit "I Must Be Dreaming" beschäftigen wir uns natürlich mit ihrer Musik. Das vorliegende Album widmete sie dem Songwriter Mel Harker, mit dem Laura Tate in der Vergangenheit zusammenarbeitete. Alle zwölf Songs stammen aus seiner Feder. Hier und da tauchen Co-Komponisten wie Pat Schunk auf. Die Sängerin veröffentlichte bereits die Alben "Songs From My Suitcase" und "Blue Train". 

Die Protagonistin hat eine sehr sympathische Stimme mit der sie ohne Probleme in verschiedene musikalische Rollen schlüpfen kann. Ihr Gesang passt zum Blues, Soul, Country und nicht zuletzt auch zum Jazz. Die verschiedenen Stile aufzählend, sagt natürlich auch etwas über die Bandbreite der vonMel Harker geschriebenen Lieder aus. 

Bei den Arrangements hat man großen Wert auf Bläserklänge gelegt. Bis auf wenige Nummern ist der vielbeschäftigte Lee Thornberg dafür zuständig. Paulie Watts erledigt den Rest in bemerkenswerter Weise. Dabei legt man das Augenmerk deutlich auf den sogenannten Big Band-Sound. Oftmals bekommt man den Eindruck, als singe Laura Tate vor einem großen Orchester. 

"I Must Be Dreaming" wurde mit gleich fünf Tastenmännern/-frauen eingespielt. Der bei dieser Platte als musikalischer Tausendsassa auftrumpfend Terry Wilson (Ana PopovicPaul Kossoff, Kenny Loggins, Maria Mudaur, Prefab Sprout und viele andere mehr) bedient darüber hinaus auch noch Gitarren, Bass, Schlagzeug und Streichinstrumente. Respekt! Teresa James, Lewis Stephens, Jeff Paris sowie Karen Hammack vervollständigen die Riege der Leute an den schwarzen und weißen Tasten von Orgel und Piano. 
"Dead End Road" ist ein echter Hinhörer. Teresa James serviert klasse Pianoklänge zu einem fast schon furios-kurz aufspielenden Gitarrensolo. 

Mit einer leichten Prise Funk versehen, macht der flotte Opener "Snake Tattoo" einen guten Eindruck. Das folgende "No Place To Hide" verpflanzt man musikalisch nach New Orleans und "What A Way To Go" rockt ganz angenehm. 

Auf einem anderen Weg befindet man sich bei "Counting Up The Ways". Da geht es mit einem lockeren Reggae-Flair eher in Richtung Jamaika. Quasi als Gegengewicht dazu fungiert eine Blues-Harp. Laura Tate & Co. setzen die Kompositionen von Mel Harker toll in Szene. 

Nicht nur hier darf man dem Handtrommeln-Spezialisten Wally Ingram (unter anderem Sheryl CrowEric Burdon, Henry Kaiser, Anders OsborneDavid Lindley) ein besonderes Kompliment aussprechen. Danke einer klaren Produktion von Terry Wilson, der auch gemixt hat, darf man sich auf einen rundum herrlichen Sound freuen. 

Wunderschön wird es dann in "Too Blue" mit gedämpften Trompetenklang, einem relaxten Saxofon und Retro-Jazz-Ambiente. Klasse! 

Niederknien wird man beim zeitlosen Lounge Jazz-Blues-Titelsong "I Must Be Dreaming". Wunderschön! Der Frau aus El Paso, Texas kann man nur Anerkennung zollen. Sie füllt ihre Rolle als Sängerin voll aus und kann überzeugen. Terry Wilson hat die Mel Harker-Originale toll arrangiert. 

"I Must Be Dreaming" ist nichts für Puristen. Aufgeschlossene Musik-Anhänger werden dieses Laura Tate-Album, von dem viele Lieder für die sogenannte blaue Stunde bestens geeignet sind, definitiv antesten.

BARNOWLBLUES.PUNT.NL
Eric Campfens    July 29, 2015
Laura Tate – I Must Be Dreaming (A Tribute To the Music Of Mel Harker)
Als iemand een cd vol zingt met jouw liedjes en deze aan jou opdraagt dan ben je toch iemand. Maar eerlijk gezegd zei de naam Mel Harker mij helemaal niets. Gelukkig hebben we daar het internet voor en Harker blijkt iemand te zijn die mooie songs heeft geschreven en hier en daar ook nog wat prijzen heeft behaald. Blijkbaar was Laura Tate, naast zangeres ook actrice en producent/regisseur, behoorlijk onder de indruk van hem. 

Op haar inmiddels derde album heeft zij twaalf songs opgenomen die allemaal van de hand van deze meneer Harker zijn. Wat stijlen betreft horen we een variatie aan country, jazz en blues en begeleid door een prima band kwijt Tate zich zeer goed van haar taak. Zij heeft een prettige heldere stem, waarmee zij zowel vrolijke country, rauwere blues en slepende jazz kan zingen. Mijn favoriete nummers zijn de jazzy “Cowboy Jazz” en het rockende bluesnummer “Talk Is Cheap”. 

Een leuke cd, waarmee de songs van Mel Harker op een prettige wijze aan een groter publiek getoond worden.

WWW.ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM
C. Michael Bailey    July 14, 2015
Laura Tate: I Must Be Dreaming: A Tribute To The Music Of Mel Harker (2015)
Were Bobby Short a woman and New York City's Café Carlyle a Dallas honky tonk, then he would be one Laura Tate playing a brand of roadhouse cabaret in her hometown. Tate's third recording (after Songs From My Suitcase (Self Produced, 2013) and Blue Train (Self Produced, 2014)), I Must Be Dreaming is a fine-tuned affair celebrating the songwriting of Californian Mel Harker. The result is a batch of well-conceived and well-behaved Americana that is both inventive and fun. Urbane and polite might be appropriate adjectives also. Harker's songwriting is as much the star here as Tate and the two make quite a pair.  

Tate, channeling Harker's music covers a lot of ground, from the roadhouse country funk of "Snake Tattoo" to the New Orleans-Carribean tang of "No Place to Hide" to the Reggae-inflected "Counting Up The Ways." Tate excels on the "Cowboy Swing" pieces like the title tune, "Talk is Cheap" and "Cowboy Jazz." Tate sings with a jazz sophistication that has little of the unhinged abandon present in Mandy Lemons' or Eliza Neal's singing. This not a bad thing, offing the listener a larger plate of music from which to sample. The big band pieces make this recording sing. 

Track Listing: Snake Tattoo; No Place to Hide; What a Way to Go; I Must Bbe Dreaming; Dead End Road; Talk is Cheap; If 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). 

Personnel: Laura Tate: vocals; Terry Wilson guitars, bass drums, organ (7), piano (2, 4, 9); strings (10, 12); Lee Thornberg: bass; Teresa James: backup vocals; Wally Ingram: percussion; Billy Watts: guitars; Paulie Cerra: saxophones; David Fraser: harmonica; Lewis Stephens: keyboards; Jeff Paris: keyboards; Karen Hammack: piano; Richard Millsap: timbales. 

Record Label: Self Produced

DON AND SHERYL'S BLUES BLOG - THE NASHVILLE BLUES SOCIETY
Sheryl and Don Crow    July 14, 2015
Laura Tate Review
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.

MIDWEST RECORD - ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWS, NEWS AND VIEWS
Chris Spector    July 10, 2015
LAURA TATE/I Must be Dreaming: 
The Texas singing/acting gal headed back to Texas and decided that it was time to do an album focusing on the songs of Mel Harker. Kicking it off with "Snake Tattoo" a dandy rocker that seems to fit both of them well, the program goes along in high gear from all involved putting all the right moves in all the right places. With a little something from all popular genres on board, this is a fun rootsy vocal set that simply goes the distance without running out of gas. Settle in for some fun listening here. www.musicbylauratate.com 

HIT-TRACKS TOP 100 FACEBOOK PAGE
Hit-Tracks Top 100    July 13, 2015
NEW ALBUM: Laura Tate > I Must Be Dreaming
Born in Dallas, Laura Tate traveled the country with a number of theatrical and musical companies before settling in Los Angeles to sing and act in stage productions as well as on television. She also began a career in film production, eventually producing an award-winning documentary. She worked with a wide variety of singers and groups, ranging from Phil Collins and Gloria Estaban to Megadeath and Cheap Trick. Today she lives in the mountains of El Paso.  

Laura Tate mesmerizes her listeners with her smooth sultry torch singer voice and warm charismatic stage presence. "I Must Be Dreaming", produced by Terry Wilson, is a new collection of jazz, blues, country and rock 'n' roll.  

Laura Tate: vocals 
Terry Wilson: guitars, bass, drums, organ, piano, strings 
Lee Thornberg: brass 
Teresa James: back up vocals 
Wally Ingram: percussion 
Billy Watts: guitars 
Paulie Cerra: saxohones 
David Fraser: harmonica 
Lewis Stephens / Jeff Paris: piano, organ 
Karen Hammack: piano 
Richard Millsap: timbales

ROOTSTIME.BE
Eric Schuurmans    July 10, 2015
LAURA TATE – I MUST BE DREAMING, a tribute to the music of MEL HARKER​
Zangeres, actrice, producer en advocate Laura Tate is geboren in Dallas. Als kind viel ze al op o.w.v. haar zang- en acteertalent. Voor dat ze zich vestigde in Los Angeles, tourde Laura door het land met theater en muziek gezelschappen. Laura volgde een acteer opleiding aan het ‘Herbert Berghoff Studio School of Acting’ en aan de ‘Stella Alder School of Acting’ (beide) in NYC. Vanuit LA werkte ze voor theater en TV. Als zangeres deed ze zo opdrachten in Dallas, Nashville, New York en Los Angeles. Als acteur en lid van een theatergroep deed ze opdrachten voor de lokale netwerk zenders en trad ze op in Los Angeles, New York City en Nashville. 

Als muziek producer werkt ze in de film industrie. Ze maakte al muziek video’s voor “The Bellamy Brothers” en de “Nashville Bluegrass Group”. Laura maakte “Held In Trust”, een bekroonde documentaire over het verhaal van de ‘Buffalo Soldiers’. Dit waren zwarte soldaten van het U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment (hun bijnaam was de “Negro Cavalry”), dat opgericht werd op 21 september 1866 in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. De documentaire volgt de eerste zwarte soldaten tijdens hun opleiding en proeven aan de Militaire Academy in West Point. Laura is ook een actief lid van de ‘Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists & Actors Equity Association’. Tenslotte is Laura ook erg geëngageerd bezig via sociale events met humanitaire en opvoedkundige dossiers. 

Met haar nieuwe album “I Must Be Dreaming” brengt Laura Tate hulde aan de muziek van songwriter Mel Harker. De twaalf nummers die ze van Mel Harker koos, zijn een mix van jazz, blues, country en R&R. Ze trok hiervoor naar de studio samen met de multi-instrumentalist Terry Wilson, gitarist Billy Watts en zangeres Teresa James. 

Mel Harker is een singer-songwriter/ gitarist en producer, die door omstandigheden vrij laat (hij was toen tweeëndertig) gitaar leerde spelen. Hij kocht zijn eerste gitaar tweedehands, in een pandjesshop in Venice Beach, Californië. Zijn muziek carrière omvat optredens in clubs in LA en Californië. Voor zijn song “Cowboy Blue” werd hij in 2010 onderscheiden met de ‘AWA Award’ voor ‘Best Cowboy Song of the Year’. Harker is medeoprichter van een “Blues Brothers tribute band”. Hij schreef “Soldier’s Song” over een jonge sergeant, die in 2010 in Afghanistan stierf. Dit jaar bracht Harker “What Away To Go” uit. Op deze EP staan vijf roots rock nummers. 

Laura Tate opent haar album sterk met de rocker ”Snake Tattoo”. Met ”No Place To Hide” zakt het tempo daarna meteen, doven de lichten en komen Teresa James en ook Paulie Cerra (sax) en Lee Thornberg (brass) in actie. Terry Wilson doet in het zwingende en zwoele ”What A Way To Go” zijn eerste gitaarsolo. De toetsenist in dit nummer is Jeff Paris. Het wordt nog intiemer als Laura vervolgt met de jazzy slow ”I Must Be Dreaming”. Je waant je meteen in een kleine bar, waar je in leuk gezelschap wegdroomt. ”Dead End Road” is een country rock song, die opnieuw de dansvloer doet vollopen. Ook het bluesy ”Talk Is Cheap” is zwoel. Let op voor dame en laat je niet verleiden door Laura’s zang. Voor dit nummer zit Karen Hammack achter de piano. ”If Ever Forever Should End” is de eerste echte gevoelige ballade. Ook dit soort nummers brengt Laura feilloos. Ja, ook cowboys houden van jazz. Dit hoor je in de song ”Cowboy Jazz”, enkele jodels inbegrepen. We zouden in Jamaica of Boa Vista kunnen zijn als Laura de song”Counting Up The Ways” brengt. De harmonica grooves blaast David Fraser hier de kamer in. De track met de langste titel is ”Don’t Try To Talk Me Out Of Loving You”. In deze ballade raakt Laura’s zang je ziel. Voor de lichten volledig uitgaan is er eerst nog het swingende brassy ”Too Blue”, waar Laura nog even rustig verder mijmert. ”Hold On (The Edge Of Your Love)” is de afsluiter van het album. Het nummer sluit gepast het rijtje met de rustige songs af.   

Enkele Jaren geleden ontmoette Laura Tate in Californië de songwriter Mel Harker, met wie het muzikaal direct klikte. Toen ze na wat zoeken terug in contact kwam met Harker, keerde ze met een resem nieuwe songs  terug naar Texas en begon ze aan een nieuw album te werken. Het resultaat heet “I Must Be Dreaming” en is een tribute aan Mel Harker. Als je naar de goed geschreven nummers luistert, zal je rap begrijpen waarom hij deze eer verdient. Laura Tate maakte van al die mooie teksten nog meer moois.  

THE JAZZ CHILL CORNER
Jazz Chill    June 02, 2015
LAURA TATE - I MUST BE DREAMING
Singer & Actress Laura Tate pays tribute to songwriter Mel Harker in this fantastic collection of Jazz, Country and Rock-n-Roll songs. There is simply no one else like her. With a heart the size of Texas, a mesmerizing voice and a zest for living that is irresistible, Laura Tate inspires; through her music, her words and her deeds. There is a spark behind those violet blue eyes that seems to say, “I’m living my life on my own terms… with love and laughter and passion. Want to come along?” And, yes, we do… and with the new CD release, “I Must Be Dreaming,” we most certainly do. Whether she is singing Broadway hits or ballads, pop favorites or original compositions, Laura brings heart and soul to her performance and recordings. The versatile singer, actor, producer, and community advocate continues to mesmerize audiences in both intimate cafes and huge concert halls, reaching each listener with her smooth sultry torch singer voice and warm stage presence.