Songwriter, Musician, Performer
TAMARA’S (then Matoesian) early career began as a “Gilley’s” dancer and singer with Becky Bauch Williams (then Conway) in the Movie “Urban Cowboy” (Paramount Pictures 1980), followed by credits on Elton John’s album The Fox in 1981, and future husband Bill Champlin’s album Runaway.
She went on her first road trip as part of Rita Coolidge’s band to South Africa also in 1981. In films, she had lead vocal acknowledgment for “Heart of Glass” (composed with Bill Champlin and Bruce Gaitsch) from Caddyshack II; sang 3 songs in the Rob Lowe Movie “Illegally Yours” where she also shared songwriting distinction with Bruce Gaitsch on “Who Wins” from that film; lastly with husband Bill Champlin and Rita Coolidge there were 2 songs performed on screen in the Jim Carrey Movie “Copper Mountain” (1983)
Writing collaborations followed including “Price of Love” (written with Jack Ponti and Vic Pepe) for the Baton Rouge Release; “If You’re Not The One For Me” (written with Bruce Gaitsch), sung by Bill Champlin and Brenda Russell, from Tim Scott’s “Keep This Love Alive”, “Stone Cold” Released by Paul Rodgers (Queen/Bad Company) with his band the Law on their Album Laying Down The Law (1991) and was a background vocalist on Peter Cetera’s Album World Falling Down.
Tamara Champlin’s Solo CD “You Won’t Get To Heaven Alive” (Europe /1991) was released in the US in 1995 (Turnip). In addition to vocal and musical performances by many of the co-writers on this CD, industry greats such as Nicky Hopkins Bill Champlin, Tris Imboden and Greg Mathieson also held contributing credits as players. “Tragic Black” (written with Michael Caruso & Cal Curtis) was Number 1 in Germany and “You Won’t Get To Heaven Alive” (a collaboration with Randy Cantor & Michael Caruso) reached the top 20 in Spain
Also in 1995 she co – wrote 3 songs “Southern Serenade” (where she shared vocal credits); “God Sent Angels” (background vocals), “Someone Else” and performed a duet on a Bill Champlin/Greg Mathieson tune “Love Is Gonna find You” that were featured on Bill Champlin’s “He Started To Sing”. On Champlin’s Live CD “Mayday” (Champlin Records – 1996), she was part of the Band that toured in Europe to promote it. The Album included their duets of “Southern Serenade” and “Love Is Gonna Find You” with Tamara performing her own “Backstreets of Paradise”.
There were a series of collection releases to follow where she was a guest lead vocalist and writer: “Make You A Believer” on “World Jam Volume 1; “Express Yourself” from Rocco Prestia’s Solo Release “Everybody on the Bus” both in 1999; “Talkin’ To Angels” from a charity project “Wings of Light-Songs of Inspiration” Released in 2001; Janey Clewer’s “Love” CD (2012) where she shared vocals on the title track (written by Janey Clewer) with Janey, Peter Cetera & Bill Champlin; “Voices in The Wind” from Frederic Slama’s Release “Secrets of LA” (2013) and was was the featured vocalist on the tune “Circle of Danger” from Slama’s 2014 release “LA Connection”. In 2015, she released a Single “Dreamin’ of Chagall” (Champlin/Caruso/Champlin) inspired by works of artist Marc Chagall.
Continuing during this time were her writing credits for other performers: “Saint Forgiveness” (Champlin/Gaitsch/Champlin) written for Bruce Gaitsch “Aphasia” Album in 1997; “Runaway Love” (Champlin/Caruso/Matkosky) recorded by both Rita Coolige on her “Thinkin’ About You” Release (1998) and was a top 40 Billboard Hit for Chris Ledoux’s on his “One Road Man” Release (1996). On Chicago 25 she and husband Bill Champlin (a 28 year member of the band) contributed a co-write that he sang “Bethlehem”. Many collaborations with Michael Caruso followed: “Shoo-Rah”, “I’m Not Your Lover”;(Champlin/Caruso/Matkosky) recorded again, by Rita Coolige; “Louisiana Wind” written by Champlin, Caruso, Matkosky and Lecompt was featured on Mike LeCompt’s “Can’t Let Go”(2002); “Pretty Ugly”, “Pretty When She Cries” (Champlin/Caruso) from a Perfect Day’s Release “All Over Everything” (2004) and Bekka Bramlett’s Hit on Music Row “What’s On My Mind” (2009). Son, Will Champlin, became part of this writing team in 2004 and the trio wrote many songs that featured Will as the vocalist for his first 3 albums (2004-2009). Will Champlin later went on to be part of Heather Headley’s Grammy Award Winning Album “Audience of One” and was a Season 5 finalist on “The Voice”.
In addition to the Studio work there was the live show in 2010 at Cafe 316 in Monterey, Ca, where she performed her own music and was accompanied by Bill and Will Champlin. Tamara was with the sold out tour in Scandinavia that featured Leon Russell, Bill Champlin, Joe Williams, Peter Friestedt, and in 2014 re-formed her own band – this time with husband Bill Champlin, Carmen Grillo, Johnny Griparic & Dave Raven entertaining at Genghis Cohen. In 2014-2015 she performed acoustically with Bill Champlin in the US, Europe, Japan, Hawaii and South America and with the Sons of Champlin that toured steadily on the West Coast
She was involved with a of the group of musicians organized by Lone Wolf Entertainment in 2011, that included husband Bill and son Will that traveled to Iraq and Kuwait to entertain US forces stationed there. In 2014 Tamara & Bill Champlin were part of a performance at Riverside, Ca in support of the Lone Survivor Foundation dedicated to help wounded American service members and their families. She was associated with Eddie Tuduri Rhythmic Art Project helping children with learning disabilities and has worked with and been part of concert performances for Saving K-9 Lives founded by Jasmine and Bobby Kimball
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