Thames, a sophomore at The Heritage School, has been working with singer/songwriter/ producer Diane Durrett for the past year on her first CD. 'Say Yes.' 'Say Yes,' is a country-pop album sung and co-written by the local teen. It was engineered by Markham White at After Dark Designs Studios. 'It's sort of a Taylor Swift (production) with an edge,' described Durrett, Thames' vocal instructor and producer. Doug Kees of Musicology introduced the two. 'Say Yes,' will be the first CD produced under Durrett's Blooming Tunes Music label, which is devoted to developing budding artists. Durrett is no stranger to the music industry, however. She began producing music in the early 1990's at Triclops Sound Studios, one the south's premier recording facilities. Their roster of clients included Courtney Love, Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones), Derek Trucks (Allman Brothers) as well as Atlanta's own Indigo Girls and Drivin' N Cryin'. Later, Durrett signed as artist/producer with independent label Glass House Records and was also successful writing and producing music for corporate clients with co-writer Jayne Olderman. In the late 1990's, she worked with songwriters at Polygram Publishing in Nashville, Tenn., all the while producing, writing and recording her own music. Durrett has recorded four of her own CDs, including her latest 'Blame it on my DNA.' She has opened for Sting, Tina Turner, Gregg Allman and will be singing backup on a new Faith Hill song to be released later this year. But, encouraging young musicians, like Thames, in their singing and songwriting efforts is her true passion. 'It just took me the long way to get here,' said Durrett, who in addition to vocal training conducts songwriting lessons, seminars and workshops. Thames said working with Durrett has been 'a lot of fun. I enjoyed it so much. We think alike as far as music.' 'We talk in our own language,' agreed Durrett. 'Julie really drove the project. She's a natural writer. She has fresh ideas and something to say. She's a great combination of having her own ideas, but, at the same time, being willing to learn. Hopefully, I'm the same way. We always have something to learn.' 'I've always liked English and had been writing poetry before I met Diane,' said Thames, who also plays the keyboard and the guitar. 'I put the poems to music, and it kind of kept building.' 'I just had to help her get rid of some of the proper grammar,' joked Durrett, who's known for her raw soulful sound. 'And perhaps guide her to be a little more serious, sadder on certain parts of the songs.' 'It's hard not to be happy when you are singing,' said Thames. Thames' balances both sides of her personality in 'Say Yes,' including the optimistic 'Crazy rhythm,' and the feisty tune, 'Push comes to shove.' The combination leaves listeners yearning for more.