Right This Minute
S a New York City 'adult contemporary singer/songwriter with quirk'. "Right This Minute" (2005) surprised and thrilled Tamara's fans with it's pop-oriented production and full-band arrangements compliments of Producer, Art Hays. While a few die-hard folk fans frowned at this departure, they still had to admit that "Pebble In My Shoe" (a Blue Grassy tune featuring layers of background vocals that kill and Tamara on her Martin Backpacker guitar) grabbed them and wouldn't let go! ?Who Produced the record? How did you meet? Art Hays produced the record and did most of the arrangements as well. We met through my husband, Henry Hey -- he and Art went to North Texas University together. When I decided to make a new record, I wondered if Art had ever done any production. I called him and asked if he'd be willing to give it a shot with 1 or 2 tunes and he said 'yes'. I think the first tune he demoed was 'Angeline'. I was so excited! I didn't think my music could sound so...hip! ?When did you begin the recording process? I think we began recording in April of 2004. The recording process for 'Right This Minute' was a little unusual I think. Art would take my acoustic guitar/vocal demos and do arrangements of them on his computer. Then he'd send them to me to see what I thought. After we were both happy with the direction, it became a process of replacing Art's ideas with real drums and final vocals. ?Who played on the record? Lots of really great musicians were on the record. I still can't believe it. Super drummers: Brian Delaney, Shawn Pelton & Dan Reiser; Art Hays on electric guitar and bass, Henry Hey on keyboards and piano, John Hebert on upright bass; a real string quartet: Vincent Lionti, Jonathan Dinklage, Katherine Livolsi & Jean LeBlanc. You couldn't ask for a better lineup. !Wow a string quartet! I know! Henry had met many fantastic string players while on the road with Rod Stewart. It was his idea to arrange 'More Like Melanie' for string quartet. While in Iowa visiting his family for Thanksgiving, Henry started working on the arrangement. Where did you record? Alot of recording was done at my apartment: the piano, upright bass and most of the lead and background vocals. I bought a Shoji screen and threw a fleece blanket over it for a vocal booth & Henry replaced the fan in my computer with a quieter one so the noise wouldn't leak into the recording. Art played and recorded the electric guitar and bass at his home studio. Drums were recorded in 3 sessions: 2 at Dubway Studios, NYC and 1 at Six String Recording, NYC. ?Did you have all the songs before recording began? No. I had a bunch of songs, but not all of them made it onto the record. Most of the songs that are on it required rewriting first. Art and I worked together on 'Rainy Rainy Cloud', 'Angeline' and 'Under For Good'. Actually, I had written 'Under For Good' as a 12-bar blues and gave it to Art just because I thought he'd find it amusing. One day maybe months later, he sent me a version of the lyrics with all new music. Towards the end, we had 9 songs and really wanted 10. That's when I wrote 'Right This Minute'. ?Which is your favorite song on the record? Most people like 'Pebble In My Shoe' the best, but 'Right This Minute' is my personal favorite. ?Where do you get the ideas for some of the songs? Are they all true stories? They are all true stories to some degree. I have interesting friends and get ideas from their stories and behavior. I try to see situations from their point of view and mix that with my own. I think I understand them better as a result and the songs have interesting angles. ?What about 'In The Universe With Me'? Is there a story there? Yes. Someone very close to me is struggling with drug addiction. Most of the time I don't know where he is or how he's doing. It can be very frightening and painful sometimes. ?'Pebble In My Shoe' -- how did you get that idea? I was taking a walk in Montauk, NY with a little pad of paper and a pen with me and started writing down whatever popped into my head. When I got a pebble in my shoe ... well, I wrote that down. Seems kinda stupid. But then months later, I was trying to play 'Boy Named Sue' on my guitar while staring at that list of stuff I had written down. 'Pebble In My Shoe' caught my eye on that list and the feel of that 'Boy Named Sue' fingerpicking pattern went really well with it.