‘Rebel’ Rod’s Reviews – Tracy Nelson “Victim of the Blues”
Tracy Nelson has been belting out tunes forever it would seem. One would think that at some point the artist would just completely run out of juices of the creative kind, and just stop.
Not Ms. Nelson though. Her latest album, her 26th, literally rose out of the ashes. Literally!
While her 100 + year old farmhouse was tragically burning to the ground, one of the firefighters courageously battling the blaze, told her they could save one room and it was their choice. Her and her long time partner, Mike Dysinger both replied, “The studio!”
This album, “Victim of the Blues”, which was named, paradoxically enough, before the fire, sends her back to her Chicago roots, belting out tune out after tune without ever letting up.
In to lend a hand her on this amazing compilation of eleven tracks are Angela Strehli on “Howlin’ For My Baby”, Marcia Ball on “Shoot My Baby”, and John Cowan on “Without Love”. Her back up band on the entire record is Mike Henderson on guitar and banjolin, Byron House on bass, John Gardner on drums, and Jimmy Pugh the piano and Hammond B3 organ.
The music is essentially of the Chicago blues style she grew up with, but with touches of other styles, evidenced by the appearances of Marcia Ball and Angela Strehli both bringing their own unique style to the table, adding a bit of the Texas blues flair to at least some of the record.
Don’t be mislead though, this record is all Tracy Nelson and it is exquisitely produced top to bottom. The musician’s performances are about as perfect as you will ever hear from a recording.
The record gets started with Willie Dixon’s “You’ll Be Mine”, followed by Earl Bridgeman and Philip Wootton’s “Lead a Horse to Water”, Jimmy Reed’s “Shoot My Baby”. You get the picture. This is a blues record through and through.
I’ve truthfully listened to this album 20 or 30 times. It never grows tiresome. In fact, it seems that every time I put it on, it seems fresh, as if I’m hearing it for the very first time.
That, my good friends, is the true sign of a classic.
Tracy Nelson’s “Victim of the Blues” releases today on Delta Groove Music.