Tara Thompson: Family Scrapbook Becomes Songbook

Singer’s Whole Squad Inspires Her Music

Diana Webb’s daughter is Allison Taffer, who is Loretta Lynn’s first cousin. And Taffer’s daughter is country newcomer Tara Thompson. Confused yet?

That’s kind of the point.

Because all those women had an influence on the way Thompson writes songs, so in a new piece on NPR.org, they’re all part of the story.

Webb is so proud of her granddaughter that no matter how racy a song may be about a one-night stand, she says, “Every time I play it for somebody, I go, ’Be quiet. You’ve gotta hear this part. You’ve gotta hear this part.’”

And Taffer is proud that her daughter doesn’t have any kind of entitlement that comes from being related to Lynn.

“Loretta’s never — I don’t even know if she knows the word — snobby. And Tara’s definitely, definitely like that,” Taffer said.

When Thompson moved to Nashville to start her own singing career, it sounds like she was determined not to play the Loretta card. Instead, she relies on her family to fill her song book with ideas.

“You think I’m unfiltered,” Thompson said of her family, “look at them.”

Her mother’s backstory turned into the tune “Pregnant at the Prom.”

When her sister got engaged, she wrote the shotgun wedding song, “Vows.”

And when her brother got married in a very unlikely setting, it obviously became a reason to put pen to paper.

“My brother did get married in a storage unit. That’s probably another song I have to write,” she laughed.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.