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tara

Tara Kelley- Back-up & Lead Vocals

 

I knew my passion was for singing by early childhood. My three sisters harmonized in the back of the station wagon on road trips as a tradition. It was my mothers insistence that talent was apparent as a toddler singing from my crib, so even before entering Jr.High I asked to be allowed to take formal voice lessons. The instruction was encouraged and I became interested in the challenge of learning vocalizations and complexities of classical music, all the while having my eye on what appealed to me in the growing album collections my sisters and I were culminating. I also looked forward to qualifying for the vocal jazz and pop groups my sisters had qualified in high school.

 

In 1976 a group of girlfriends had invited me for a Birthday sleepover. The father in the household was a small time band manager and had left the microphone on in the basement. I happily took it upon myself to start belting out You're No Good, in Linda Ronstadt format and immediately had the attention of the household. This landed me my first paid gig at the ripe old age of 14 alongside a 30 year-old-pop crooner and his drummer. We played the Elks and Eagles lodge circuits and I sang a number of old standards as well as Linda Ronstadt and Carlie Simon and harmonized to all the pop favorites of the decade.

 

Within the year I was fronting the re-invented 4-piece band with another female several years my senior. The band was called Myriad. We played local bars (with the help of a minors permit) street fairs, like the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, as well as Children's Hospital benefit concerts and local restaurant lounges. Covering Steely Dan, Abba, Fleetwood Mac, Joan Jett, Heart, and Pat Benetar. The popularity of two girls up front opened the door for new opportunities.

 

By age 16 it was suggested I join the band with my big sister to update the face of a college-age University of Washington band called Osyris. We played a couple sets that covered Journey, ToTo, Kansas, Stones plus a couple sets of strongholds including Medleys of anything from funk to southern rock. I knew them all - Lynard Skynard, Eagles, Alman Brothers, Santana, Joe Walsh... they were all in my collection of albums.

 

The bass player and I were married in 1979 and had two children who grew to be musically inclined as well. During those decades the band PrivateEye was manufactured and covered a lot of the same artists but under the influence of the 80s. I was also briefly involved with a new-wave cover band. In the 90s I went my own way. I attended college a little alongside my daughter, and took some music theory among other courses, recording a little original music here and there. I joined a Rhythm and Blues band who were 20 years in the making called Get Off The Stage, or G.O.T.S., a 12-piece band showcasing a 3-piece horn section with (again) two girls and a guy up front. Catering mostly to the Pioneer Square circuit and Seattle's bigwig conventions and executive parties. These songs were familiar rock and blues tunesI knew well and we performed them with a variety-show kind of flair.

 

When the kids were grown I moved to North Central Washington, for a spiritual rebirthing, built a home and performed a few originals, locally for about 8 years. All my lifes my inspirations and influences were gifts from half a generation ahead of mine so I was torn between current music interests and holding on to the classics as the years moved by.. I have two kids in the music scene now.

 

I've dabbled in Classical, Opera, and Jazz, Southern and straightforward Rock and Roll, Rhythm n Blues, Motown, New Wave, Punk, and Electronica and even a short stint in heavy metal with guitarist, JR, who introduced me to Whiskey Creek. This band has taken me to familiar territory - my album collection and my youth in the music industry! I was reluctant to try to come back to what I knew so well, 30 years later but when the time came, there was no trying - it was all instinctual and natural. I admire the years of dedication, the passion and the talent this group exudes and I'm honored to be welcomed among them, to celebrate the history, create and celebrate the new history. Whiskey Creek, Carry me home to see my kin!