Stoney LaRue. Tanya Tucker. Gary Nicholson. Without question, three absolute legends. Bring them together to create a song and what do you get?
You get a legendary duet entitled “Meet in the Middle.”
Before we get to the music, let’s talk about the players. Over the last two decades, Stoney LaRue has become widely recognized as one of the kings of the Red Dirt music scene. Selling out 200 plus dates a year, recruited by the likes of Miranda Lambert and Lee Ann Womack to sing on their songs, and landing his albums on every chart from Billboard to the Texas Regional Radio Chart, LaRue is as authentic and coveted as it gets.
Gary Nicholson started writing hits all the way back in the Urban Cowboy days (literally, Mickey Gilley sang his song “Jukebox Argument” in the movie) and has had hits with everyone from Don Williams, Charley Pride and T. Graham Brown, to Reba, Montgomery Gentry, Clay Walker and Lee Roy Parnell. The man has written with superstars ranging from Ringo Starr to Stevie Nicks to Vince Gill and produced The Judds, Pam Tillis and T. Graham Brown to name a few. Oh yeah, he’s also in both the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame as well.
Tanya Tucker? Safe to say she needs no introduction.
Which leads us back to the music concocted by these three musical masters. “Meet in the Middle” is a gritty duet between LaRue and Tucker about compromise in a relationship. The idea that while it’s supposed to be equal and have balance, in reality it always becomes the shifting of power. Mind you the song wasn’t initially intended to be a duet, but as most great songs do, it dictated its own path and LaRue and Nicholson were smart enough to give the song what it called for.
“When Gary and I were about a quarter of the way through the song, we had a ‘eureka’ moment and decided on making it a duet,” recalls Stoney. “When going through possibilities to match my vocal style, Gary immediately said, ‘TANYA!’ I said, ‘Hell yea,” and boom! We have ourselves a good one. I feel blessed to have done this project with Gary and for Tanya singing in her timeless way.”
“When I thought of which female artist could match Stoney’s grit and swagger, only one name came to mind, the incomparable Tanya Tucker,” Nicholson agrees. “I’m so fortunate to have her as a longtime friend. She came right over and nailed it.”
Built with barroom soul, this bluesy duet with a killer harmonica is the kind of country music that truly warrants being deemed country, a rare occurrence these days. So country in fact that the moment Ms. Tanya heard the worktape, she damn near tripped over herself getting on board.
“Stoney is one hell of a singer and a talented young man,” lauded Tanya. “When I heard ‘Meet in the Middle,’ I got to the studio as soon as I could. I think the record turned out great and hope fans turn it up and play it LOUD!”