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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

Tara Thompson Talks New Single and Album + Shares Recipe!

Tara Thompson's Pico de Gallo Recipe for "Staying in with the Dogs"

2 limes

1 whole onion (I recommend cutting them with sunglasses on to keep from crying)

5 tomatoes


Tons of salt (just when you think you’ve added too much, add some more)


Garlic (spoon full)

jalapeños (3)

Mix all that together and then add more salt

Eat with A family size bag of Tostitos scoops

Drink with a box of wine

And then sit on your couch with 4 or 5 dogs and binge watch the ID channel on Hulu.. (investigation discovery) or anything murder lol or if you have access to Dr. Phil.. that’s a good one too all while wear a face mask!

Thank you so much for talking with us and for the great recipe LOL! So what was a typical dinner or family meal like for you growing up in East Tennessee? My parents literally made the same three meals over and over. My mom was never a cook (bless her heart) so we would get pot roast, ham, or taco salad . My grandma Diane on the other hand made the best fried chicken in town and every time she would make her famous chicken, she would make the best salad! It was the dressing that was so special and so simple. It consists of a head of lettuce with tomatoes and cucumbers. The dressing is just vegetable oil mixed with garlic salt... sounds weird, but it’s amazing!

If you could pick one food to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would that be? Hot wings or I would be perfectly happy eating home grown tomatoes with salt and pepper everyday for the rest of my life. And I can drink about a gallon of 2% milk in three days. I’m obsessed.

One food everyone tells you to try, but you just can’t get up the nerve. Raw oysters. I’m not a huge seafood fan at all! My fiancé says I eat like a child

What is your favorite dish to cook? Unfortunately, I am a horrible cook (I blame my mother). But I think I could handle spaghetti!

If you could be on a cooking show, which one would it be? I would probably be on “Worst Cooks in America.” I’ll just let that answer speak for itself.

If someone is coming to Nashville for the first time, where do you take them? People always seem to gravitate towards downtown Broadway and although there are some really cool local spots, I like to take them to Tootsies Orchid Lounge, the place where I sang for nearly eight years and passed a tip jar to pay rent. After that, definitely The Palace, right across the street from the Grand Ole Opry! They play all old school country and they have the best cheese burgers in town!! Oh and you will most definitely hear steel guitar throughout the night.

What made you want to become a musician? I have been singing since I could talk. Growing up watching Loretta Lynn sure had a huge factor as I became mesmerized with how she could capture an audience and how she could change peoples lives with her lyrics. I want to be able to tell stories and make people feel something real, that is the ultimate goal!

Do you see yourself as a mentor to the younger female artists? I do consider myself experienced in singing and entertaining, as I’ve been doing it since I was a child. I don’t know if I am at mentor level, but by God I know I could give some great advice on “what not to do”! Hell I could write the book! I’m still learning and I’m still fighting for that chance to shine.

Tell us about your brand new single “My Dogs Are Home.” What was the writing/recording process like behind it? I wrote “My Dogs Are Home” with Kelly Archer & Al Anderson. I was a newly signed artist at Big Machine at the time so we all actually met each other that day! We just started throwing around song ideas and I had “it ain’t drinking alone my dogs are home” and they both hopped right on it. I have been absolutely in love with that song since the day we wrote it. It’s one of my favorites to perform and I have four dogs of my own, so I’m a very proud dog mom! Al Anderson is such a songwriting legend so it was an honor to share the room with him, and I just love Kelly Archer. The song wouldn’t have been what it is without her. She’s fantastic.

Any exciting Fall plans fans can look forward to? I plan on releasing my full album that’s currently in the works this fall - Eleven songs total that I co-wrote. This album digs a little deeper on what I’ve been through in life, but still has that tongue and cheek touch to it!

What is your favorite Southern expression? Everything I say is a southern expression so it’s hard to pick a favorite.. I say “bless his heart” way too much... not “bless your heart," Bless his heart haha!

Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? I would have to go with Coca-Cola... I LOVE coke!!

Thompson is as tough and gritty as the Great Smoky Mountains she came from. Raised in the foothills of East Tennessee, Tara started singing when she was just a baby. She was raised on Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, and you can still hear those influences in her music to this date. Surrounded by the familiar sights and sounds of small-town life, bars, mobile homes, horses and the mountains, Thompson music inspired by real life firsthand stories.

Thompson the cousin of country legend Loretta Lynn, left home as a teenager and moved to Nashville, shortly thereafter, she became a regular performer at many popular honky-tonks throughout Nashville. Most notably the historical Tootsies on Broadway. “I wrote my first song when I was 16, but I didn’t take songwriting serious until the age of 21. I was spending most of my time on Lower Broadway Nashville, singing other people’s songs in the bars for tips.” It was there that she was discovered. Her hard work and dedication landed her a record deal with Big Machine Label Group’s Valory Music Imprint. Thompson was able to have her first radio tour, open for major country artists and record a lot of music, but similar to many talented artists, she was let go from her record deal unexpectedly and without cause.

I have been through it. I’ve learned so much through the process and I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I’ve had a taste of what it feels like to live in "that moment" and be surrounded by people I listened to as a little girl going up. I’ve also had the feeling of having my whole world (everything I’ve worked so hard for) be taken away from me and for a reason that was beyond my control.”

Never one to back down or give up, she knew she would just do it on her own then! “I had something to prove, that I belong in country music and no one can take that away from me.” Her forthcoming debut album, Circus, is a reflection of her years navigating the music industry in Nashville. All of the ups and downs, heartache, and in true Thompson fashion a bit of humor. She is currently in the studio with longtime friend and colleague, James Cook, putting the final touches on her debut full length album to be released later this year. The first single “My Dogs Are Home” is a homage to a girl’s best friend: her dogs, and of course a lot of wine. The autobiographical and humorous collection of songs showcase a singer and storyteller, who's ready to carry on her family's country legacy with one foot rooted in traditional Country music and the other pointing in a new, bold direction. “I want to change the world, so I might as well do that with the lyrics God gave me and the talent to tell stories and hopefully make also make people laugh a little.” Part destiny, part bloodline. Thompson did not choose this music career. It chose her.


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