Tracy Nelson
Gig Seeker Pro

Tracy Nelson

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Band Blues

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
08
Tracy Nelson @ Jazz Alley

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

Aug
07
Tracy Nelson @ Jazz Alley

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

Jun
16
Tracy Nelson @ Rancho Nicasio

Nicasio, California, USA

Nicasio, California, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


ALBUM REVIEW: Tracy Nelson, Victim of the Blues (Delta Groove Music)
By Robbie Woliver
It’s a plain simple fact. Tracy Nelson is one of the greatest American female vocalists in any genre, from any era. She has mastered blues, R&B, country, country-blues, white gospel, folk, rock...ah, the list just goes on and on. During her remarkable tenure with Mother Earth back in the ‘60s, she created one of the most gorgeous, uplifting joyous musical creations: “Down So Low,” a stirring masterpiece also recorded by Etta James (who called Nelson a “bad white girl”), Linda Ronstadt, Maria Muldaur and, most recently, Cyndi Lauper. All great singers, those four, but no one does it the holy justice it deserves the way Tracy does. It is one of the top-ten great songs/recordings of all time. Get the picture? Tracy Nelson is extraordinary.
And you know, Girl don’t let us down with her 26th album, Victim of the Blues, a return to the Chicago-style blues she grew up with. The many-classic tracks were written by Nelson’s idols like Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf, Joe Tex, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Percy Mayfield.
And there she wails at the album’s start…”You’ll Be Mine,” all growly, and rocking it to the rafters. She does Willie Dixon great justice.
“Lead a Horse To Water“ is a contemporary song by Earl Thomas and Philip Wooten. You’d never know it, thanks to its authentic groove. “You can lead a horse to water, you can’t make him drink, lead a man to knowledge but you can’t make him think“ has an electric immediacy thanks to the backup singers proclaiming with a gutsy response and call.
The shuffling “Shoot My Baby” and slow groove ”I Know It’s a Sin,” by Jimmy Reed (and Mary Reed on the latter) pay wonderful tribute to two distinct blues styles. “I Know It’s a Sin” sounds like it could have been out of Nelson’s own impressive songwriting catalog. Holy pours out of her like a natural breath. Nelson’s voice has such emotional range and is rich with more colors than the flags at a Gay Pride parade. This is the kind of song you would have lost yourself in back in the old Fillmore days. In the liner notes, Nelson mentions she lost her virginity to a Jimmy Reed song, so she says she owes him to be well represented on this album. Good shout-out, Jimmy.
Ma Rainy’s title track (Rainy, along with Bessie Smith, are Nelson’s ”most profound” influences) has Mike Henderson on banjolin, and he just about steals the show. Nelson, in her early years was often compared to Janis Joplin, and here, with its deep, internal emotionality, as opposed to Joplin’s more extroverted approach, shows where the differences lie. They both land in the same sweet spot, but Nelson’s just that drop more emotionally focused.
“Howlin' For My Baby” is a swampy, rousing Howlin’ Wolf tune, a standout greatly complemented by bluesy-great Angela Streheli on supporting vocals. It might be dangerous to play this in your car when you’re driving. It’ll be hard to not tap the pedals in rhythm with the song. But if you do, keep those windows rolled down so you can howl along to the sky as you chug-a-chug down the road.
“One More Mile,” is a Muddy Waters song Nelson says has been stuck in her head since the ‘60s, and it’s easy to see why. It drives deep into the soul, with its languorous, honey-sticky groove. And there’s always a chill when Nelson hits that primal “Down So Low” register. It’s a perfect song that shows Nelson’s restraint (as well as the great restraint of the players on the album, a sign of prime musicianship). Nelson knows, and always has, that she doesn’t need to go overboard with her vocal gift and sensational musical sensibility. The blues can be just as effective molasses-slow and gooey as they can be as a roof-raising shouter.
The chugging, “Stranger in My Own Hometown” is a fabulous Percy Mayfield song about being an outsider. Nelson, who never achieved the flame-burnt-too-bright fame of Joplin, must often feel that even in the music business she’s been an outsider. No one ever understood what to do with her—how to promote her, how to describe her. And kudos to her for enduring, never selling out, and putting forth exquisite music, album after album, concert after concert.
“The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)” by Joe Tex is a straightforward balled that Nelson just slays, hitting spectacular notes, both high and low. But when she’s in that middle range, there’s nothing like it. Call for your darling and slow dance the night away.
Nelson does Lightnin’ Hopkins proud on his “Feel So Bad,” updating the feel of the song by adding an infectious percussive rhythm led by drummer John Gardner. It’s a good opportunity for her first-rate band to show off their muscular musicality, as they all take turns in the spotlight, Byron House on a pulsing bass, and Jimmy Pugh on a riveting, soulful B3. And there comes Nelson, searing through it all with a heartfelt howl, and proceeds to let loose in a master lesson in Blues.
The closer, “Without L - Examiner


Tracy Nelson, Victim Of The Blues, Delta Groove Records

Don’t mess around with Tracy Nelson. She recorded her first album for Prestige Records in 1964 with Charlie Musselwhite, still a young woman from Wisconsin, and began a long career that has been about staying true to herself while fighting off those who would have it any other way. The fact that now, in 2011, Nelson has recorded an album of true blues so strong it makes others sound like American Idol tryouts is no accident. She has been around the block, up the alley and down the road and isn’t about to start pulling her punches. Consider those she covers: Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed, Ma Rainey, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Percy Mayfield, Joe Tex, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Irma Thomas and relative newcomer Earl Thomas. You don’t wade into those waters unless you know how to swim, sharks or no sharks.

Victim Of The Blues isn’t without tragedy. Tracy Nelson’s house in Tennessee caught on fire during the time of these sessions, and when the firefighters arrived and told her they could possibly save one room she immediately asked it be the studio. That’s where all the recordings were. So save it they did, and we have this release to be thankful for. It is such a nonstop groove of emotional heaviness, joyous delight, worrisome romance and soulful reflection that it is almost too good to be true. Guitarist Michael Henderson is a master of restraint, pouring on the gasoline only when it’s called for, while keyboard player Jimmy Pugh fills in with an easy elegance and bounty. Bassist Byron House and drummer John Gardner could just have easily walked off the bandstand at Chicago’s Pepper’s Lounge in 1965; that’s the treacherous touch they’ve got. Guest vocalists Angela Strehli, Marcia Ball and John Cowan sound like they also heard the calling and jumped onboard.

There are times today when blues feels like it’s heading for the history books, but then eleven songs like this come along to tell us timelessness does exist as long as we have the heart to hear it. Tracy Nelson knows the world she walks in, and has waited a long time to give herself again completely to the blues. Timing is everything, they say, and this music arrives ready to turn the world’s troubles inside out and show the way forward. Follow the path and find the salvation. - My Daily Find


It was a very pleasant surprise to receive this new Tracy Nelson disc and to find her in such robust voice, and with a set list of songs that is both powerful and moving. They are tunes that are both durable, and timeless. The songs here bring to memory some of her early solo work before, and then with, Mother Earth; blues tunes from back in the mid and late 60s. This selection of songs by writers such as Ma Rainey, Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, and Joe Tex among other writers is strong and they are perfectly suited for her voice. This is from a woman who has had hits in both the Blues and Country genres; songs she has done with such divergent artists as Willie Nelson, Charlie Musselwhite, Irma Thomas and Marcia Ball. Speaking of Ms Ball, she makes a strong appearance on this disc playing the piano on Shoot My Baby, and also singing one of the three guest vocal duets featured on the disc. Angela Strehli duets on Howlin' For My Baby and John Cowan duets on Without Love. These duets aren't for fluff; each of the cuts shows off the power of both singers as well as their touch.

Victim of the Blues is as powerful a statement as we have heard in years from Ms Nelson. Long time friend Mike Dysinger produced the disc, and the band here is strictly top shelf material. Mike Henderson is on guitar, and banjolin on cut 5; Byron House on bass; John Gardner on drums, Jimmy Pugh on piano and B3; as stated Marcia Ball takes piano on Shoot My Baby, and George Bradfute rhythm guitar on The Love You Save;. The backup vocals are Vicki Carrico, Reba Russell, John Cowan, Terry Tucker and James "Nick" Nixon. It's group that is both tight and knows whose disc this is.

The selection of the songs must have been quite a story. You can feel the special care and touch put into them and the gamut of emotion is staggering. These songs are at the root of Tracy's career; they are some of the first types of songs she was exposed to back when she started singing in coffee houses in Wisconsin and Chicago. Thinking Etta James sums up both Nelson and this disc best when in her inimitable and succinct way when she said "…a bad white girl…" Sheer vocal dynamite that shows Tracy Nelson's power and range, she takes a song that is well known and redoes it so it is something new, fresh, and packed full of emotional explosiveness.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb
(taoboy@cox.net) - Acoustic Music


Nelson comes by the title of her new album honestly. The tapes for it were one of the few things saved when her Tennessee farmhouse burned down. What they reveal is that she still possesses magnificent skills as an interpreter: With her distinctive touch of vibrato, she combines roof-raising power with deep-soul expressiveness, putting her own stamp on this vintage material.

She romps through Jimmy Reed's "Shoot My Baby" (with Marcia Ball) and Howlin' Wolf's "Howlin' for My Baby" (with Angela Strehli). She slows it down for a pungent acoustic take on the Ma Rainey title track, indulges in some gospel-flavored sermonizing with Joe Tex's "The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)," and concludes with a soaring, bring-down-the-house rendition of Irma Thomas' "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" that puts a fitting exclamation point on this tour de force.
- Nick Cristiano - Philadelphia Inquirer


Tracy Nelson seemed stuck in a creative morass that made even the most devoted followers of Mother Earth — her onetime group and her moniker inspired by her signature song from Memphis Slim — think twice about buying her albums. Perhaps she’d spent too long in Nashville. Since fire claimed her 100-year-old farmhouse last year, she has broken free of her country shackles with the earthshaking, R&B-inflected “Victim of the Blues.” She sings her heart out on each of these 11 masterfully chosen covers, but the one that will stop listeners in their tracks is Joe Tex’s “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own).” She now claims her rightful place among R&B belters like Ma Rainey and Irma Thomas — both of whom are represented here. - Chicago Sun-Times


Tracy Nelson's new full-length collection of rhythm-and-blues songs peaks with her perfectly judged cover of Percy Mayfield's "Stranger in My Own Home Town" — and that's appropriate for a record titled Victim of the Blues. Mayfield's tune is all about how success can turn quickly to failure, and you can't remember the person you were before you left home. In Nelson's interpretation, "Stranger" becomes a cry of defiance for a singer who has made Tennessee her home for many years, but who grew up loving R&B as the form moved out into the world — or at least to Nelson's hometown of Madison, Wis. Victim is a worldly, loving glance back at a time when blues, soul and gospel routinely intersected.

Victim of the Blues emerges from a difficult time: A fire destroyed the home of Nelson and her longtime partner, Mike Dysinger, in June 2010, almost taking the completed Victim recordings with it. In a triumph over the blues that informs the record, Nelson's recordings were salvaged. We're fortunate: Victim displays not only Nelson's refined vocal technique, but also a kind of sophisticated taste that effortlessly connects Jimmy Reed and Howlin' Wolf to Mayfield and Joe Tex.

Along with a crack band that includes guitarist Mike Henderson and keyboardist Jimmy Pugh, Nelson turns her grocery bag of songs into a remembrance of a sensibility that has almost vanished. Her version of Mayfield's "Stranger" moves smartly, with Mayfield's melancholy replaced by something more detached. "I ain't welcome here no more," Nelson sings, but she sounds unbowed by the cool reception.

Elsewhere, Nelson does justice to Willie Dixon's "You'll Be Mine," a song usually associated with Howlin' Wolf. With skittering piano and a basic guitar solo, it shows off Nelson's fine-tuned vibrato to beautiful effect. Throughout Victim of the Blues, Nelson sounds a bit like jazz singer Lee Wiley: There's a slightly acrid flavor to her lower register, and a pleading edge to her higher notes. In fact, she sounds so comfortable in these funky old songs that you could be forgiven for thinking that sometimes victims must have more fun.

Tracy Nelson's new full-length collection of rhythm-and-blues songs peaks with her perfectly judged cover of Percy Mayfield's "Stranger in My Own Home Town" — and that's appropriate for a record titled Victim of the Blues. Mayfield's tune is all about how success can turn quickly to failure, and you can't remember the person you were before you left home. In Nelson's interpretation, "Stranger" becomes a cry of defiance for a singer who has made Tennessee her home for many years, but who grew up loving R&B as the form moved out into the world — or at least to Nelson's hometown of Madison, Wis. Victim is a worldly, loving glance back at a time when blues, soul and gospel routinely intersected.

Victim of the Blues emerges from a difficult time: A fire destroyed the home of Nelson and her longtime partner, Mike Dysinger, in June 2010, almost taking the completed Victim recordings with it. In a triumph over the blues that informs the record, Nelson's recordings were salvaged. We're fortunate: Victim displays not only Nelson's refined vocal technique, but also a kind of sophisticated taste that effortlessly connects Jimmy Reed and Howlin' Wolf to Mayfield and Joe Tex.

Along with a crack band that includes guitarist Mike Henderson and keyboardist Jimmy Pugh, Nelson turns her grocery bag of songs into a remembrance of a sensibility that has almost vanished. Her version of Mayfield's "Stranger" moves smartly, with Mayfield's melancholy replaced by something more detached. "I ain't welcome here no more," Nelson sings, but she sounds unbowed by the cool reception.

Elsewhere, Nelson does justice to Willie Dixon's "You'll Be Mine," a song usually associated with Howlin' Wolf. With skittering piano and a basic guitar solo, it shows off Nelson's fine-tuned vibrato to beautiful effect. Throughout Victim of the Blues, Nelson sounds a bit like jazz singer Lee Wiley: There's a slightly acrid flavor to her lower register, and a pleading edge to her higher notes. In fact, she sounds so comfortable in these funky old songs that you could be forgiven for thinking that sometimes victims must have more fun. - Nashville Scene


"She has one of the signature voices of her generation. That natural gift has always guided Tracy Nelson’s soul; indeed allowed her to both write and seek out the deeper songs regardless of niche or genre. A fierce singer of truth, a fountain of the deepest heartache, she is an ultimate communicator and has regularly destroyed audiences across decades of performing," Rolling Stone asserted.

“Tracy Nelson proves that the human voice is the most expressive instrument in creation.”

With Victim of the Blues, her 26th album in just over five decades, she has circled fully, back to the original music from South Side Chicago that mesmerised her teenaged mind in the mid-1960s. The album is slated for April 19, 2011 release.

“Several years ago,” Nelson reveals now, “I was driving with a friend across Montana, tooling down I-90 hauling a 1962 Bambi II Airstream trailer, the one that looks like a toaster. We were making a trip to Hebron, North Dakota where my grandfather homesteaded and built up a 2000+ acre ranch which he sold in the early ’60s.”

The current owners were about to tear down the old claim shack and she wanted to go back there one last time. The car windows were down and national blues DJ Bill Wax was on XM Satellite Radio — the great Otis Spann’s “One More Mile,” from his 1964 Prestige album, rolled out of the truck speakers. “It had always been a song I wanted to do” Nelson recalls, “and that started me thinking about all the great Chicago blues songs and artists I had heard in my formative years, especially Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. This was around the time I made my first record, Deep Are the Roots.”

She thought too of just a few years ago when she was touring nationally as part of a well-known Chicago blues revue, playing a lot of blues festivals. “The music I heard back in the day in Chicago and what I was hearing from the current crop of blues acts bore little relation to each other.”

From that memorable day in the Badlands hearing One More Mile, she decided it was time to make a record with, she says, “some of those fine old songs and be as true and authentic to the style as a Norwegian white girl (is that redundant?) from Wisconsin could manage it.”

The new album, Victim of the Blues, is a hand-picked collection of songs, most written by Nelson’s early heroes: Muddy Waters (“One More Mile”), Jimmy Reed (“Shoot Him”), Percy Mayfield (“Stranger in My Own Hometown”), Lightning Hopkins (“Feel So Bad”), Joe Tex (“The Love You Save”) and Howlin’ Wolf (“Howlin’ for My Baby”). She has chosen 11 songs of the day, ones that were spilling out of AM radios from second-story apartments, rolled-down car windows, and live from darkened clubs with exotic names like El Macambo.

Nelson’s listening education began in the early 1960s when, while growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, she immersed herself in the R&B she heard beamed into her bedroom from Nashville’s WLAC-AM. “It was like hearing music from Mars,” she recalls of the alien sounds that stirred her so. As an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin, she combined her musical passions singing blues and folk at coffeehouses and R&B at frat parties as one of three singers fronting a band (including keyboardist Ben Sidran) called the Fabulous Imitations. She was all of 18. In 1964 she went to Chicago to record her first album, Deep Are the Roots, produced by Sam Charters and released on Prestige Records.

A short time later, Tracy moved to San Francisco and, in the midst of that era’s psychedelic explosion, formed Mother Earth, a group that was named after the fatalistic Memphis Slim song (which she sang at his 1988 funeral). In 1968 the band recorded its first album, which included Nelson’s own composition Down So Low. It became her signature song, called by Esquire magazine “one of the five saddest songs ever written.” It has been regularly covered by great women singers through the years, including Etta James, Linda Ronstadt, Maria Muldaur and, in 2010, Cyndi Lauper, who chose it for her own Grammy-nominated blues album.

In 1969, the second Mother Earth album, Make a Joyful Noise, was recorded in Nashville, leading Tracy to rent a house and later buy a small farm in the area where she still lives today. As a side project, she soon recorded Mother Earth Presents Tracy Nelson Country for which she coaxed Elvis Presley’s original Sun-era guitarist Scotty Moore to co-produce (with Pete Drake). After six Mother Earth albums for Mercury and Reprise Records, Nelson continued to record throughout the ’70s as a solo artist on various labels. In 1974, she garnered her first Grammy nomination for After the Fire Is Gone, a track from her Atlantic Records album, a hit duet with Willie Nelson that Tracy reprised on her 2003 album, Live From Cell Block D.

The highlight of Nelson’s tenure with Rounder Records throughout the 1990s was surely Sing It!, the brilliant, big-selling 1998 album starring Nelson, swamp blues/rocker Marcia Ball and - Cary Baker / conqueroo


"Tracy Nelson proves that the human voice is the most expressive instrument in creation." John Swenson-Rolling Stone

"A down-to-earth, no-nonsense person with an absolutely stunning voice. I mean just a knock you on your ass voice. -Tom Cole, NPR, The Record

"I also did "Down So Low," a tune written by a bad white girl named Tracy Nelson, who sang with the hippie group, Mother Earth. People said Tracy sounded like me, and her song fit my mood to a tee." - Etta James, from her biography, Rage to Survive:The Etta James Story

"Tracy Nelson is one of the great unsung heroes of blues and soul, a voice as big as all outdoors, with a heart to match, and her love is bigger than a Cadillac." Joel Selvin-San Francisco Chronicle

"She has a magnificent voice. She can truly sell a song." --Irma Thomas

"An unforgettable voice." Larry Kelp-Oakland Tribune

"Tracy Nelson has one of the finest, purest voices in rock today." Randy Savicky-New York Times

"Compelling." Stephen Holden-New York Times

"Dazzling voice; perfect contralto." Russ deVault-Atlanta Journal

"Widely recognized as the greatest female voice of a generation that includes Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Carlene Carter." Donald Myers-Circus

"I would give every word I've ever written, every phrase I ever turned well, if I could, just once, stand on a stage and sing a song the way Tracy Nelson sang 'Temptation Took Control' last night." Ronni Lundy-Louisville Courier-Journal

"Is there a better voice?" Phil Elwood-San Francisco Examiner

"One of the most glorious voices in pop music." Lee Hildebrand-Berkeley Express

"Jeez, what a voice." John Milward-Chicago Sun Times - Various Publishers


"When I started singing with Tracy as she was playing and singing and then Charlie ( Musselwhite) started playing too, I had to stop myself from crying.
For me to share a music moment with these two legends at the same time, was heart and mind opening." -Cyndi Lauper, Memphis, Dec. 2010 - Cyndi Lauper


"I've been Tracy Nelson fan since the 60's. She is a real blues singer with a whole lotta soul."
-Tommy Castro - Tommy Castro


Discography

I. ALBUMS

PRESTIGE

Tracy Nelson Deep Are The Roots (1965)

Side One: Motherless Child Blues; Long Old Road; Startin' For Chicago; Baby Please Don't Go; Oh My Babe; Ramblin' Man. Side Two: Candy Man; Grieving Hearted Blues; Black Cat Hoot Owl Blues; House of the Rising Sun; Jesus Met the Woman at the Well; Trust No Man.

UNITED ARTISTS

Revolution Soundtrack (1968)

Tracy / Mother Earth doing Revolution and Stranger in My Home Town, plus Quicksilver, & Steve Miller Band.

MERCURY

Mother Earth Living With The Animals (1968)
Side One: Marvel Group (RP St. John); Mother Earth; I Did My Part; Liv. w/Animals (RP St. John); Down So Low. Side Two: Cry On; It Won't Be Long; My Love Will Never Die (RP St. John); Goodnight Nelda Grebe; Kingdom of Heaven (RP St. John).

Mother Earth Make a Joyful Noise (1969?)

City Side: Stop the Train (Rev Stallings); What Are You Trying To Do; I Need Your Love So Bad; Soul of the Man; Blues for the Road (Rev Stallings). Country Side: You Win Again; Come On and See (Bob Arthur); Then I'll Be Moving On (RP St. John); I The Fly (RP St. John); I Wanna Be Your Mama Again; Wait, Wait, Wait.

Mother Earth Satisfied (1970?)

Side One: Satisfied; Groovy Way; Get Out of Here; Ruler of My Heart. Side Two: Andy's Song; Take Me In Your Arms / Rock Me A Little While; You WonÕt Be Passing Here No More; This Feeling.

Mother Earth Presents Tracy Nelson Country (1969)

Side One: Sad Situation; I Fall to Pieces; Stay as Sweet as You Are; Stand By Your Man; Blue, Blue Day; That's All Right Mama. Side Two: I CanÕt Go On Loving You; YouÕre Still My Baby; Now YouÕre Gone; Why, Why, Why; IÕm So Lonesome I Could Cry.

WARNER / REPRISE

Mother Earth Bring Me Home (1971)

Side One: Temptation Took Control of Me and I Fell; There Is No End; Soul of Sadness; I'll Be Long Gone; Bring Me Home. Side Two: Tonight the Sky's About to Cry; Seven Bridges Road; Lo and Behold; Deliver Me.

Tracy Nelson / Mother Earth (1972)

Side One: Same Old Thing; I'm That Way; Mother Earth Provides For Me; Tennessee Blues; Lay Down Beside You. Side Two: Someday My Love Will Grow; Homemade Songs; Thinking of You; Memory of Your Smile; I Don't That Kind of Thing Anymore.

COLUMBIA

Tracy Nelson Poor Man's Paradise (1973)

Side One: Whatever I Am; Cruel Wind; When I Need You Most of All; Hate To Say Goodbye. Side Two: You and Me; Jack's Waltz; I Just Can't Seem to Care; Going Back to Tennessee; Poor Man's Paradise.

ATLANTIC

Tracy Nelson (1974)

Side One: Slow Fall; Love Has No Pride; Hold an Old Friend's Hand; Rock Me in Your Cradle; It Takes a Lot to Laugh. . . Train to Cry. Side Two: After the Fire Is Gone; Lean on Me; I Wish Someone Would Care; Lay Me Down Easy; Down So Low.

MCA

Tracy Nelson Sweet Soul Music (1975)

Side One: Sweet Soul Music; Looking For A Sign; Joabim; Nothing I Can't Handle; Baby I Found Out. Side Two: Lies; Same Old Blues; We Just Can't Make It Anymore; I'll Be Your Baby Tonight; Going [Back] to Tennessee.

Tracy Nelson Time Is On My Side (1976)

Side One: I've Never Loved You More; Let the Memory Fade; An Arm and a Leg; You Just Can't Forget Her (Can You Fool); Couldn't Do Nothin' Right. Side Two: Anything You Want; Time Is On My Side; The Woman In Your Heart; I Could Have Been Your Best Friend; Sudden Changes.

AUDIO DIRECTIONS

Tracy Nelson Doin' It My Way (1978)

Side One: Lies; I Could Have Been Your Best Friend; Time is on My Side; Temptation Took Control. Side Two: I'll be Long Gone; Pity the Fool; Going Back to Tennessee; Down So Low.

FLYING FISH

Tracy Nelson Homemade Songs (1978)

Side One: God's Song; I've Been There Before; Ice Man; Tightrope. Side Two: You Don't Need to Move a Mountain; She's Taking My Part; Friends of a Kind; Sounds of the City; Suddenly.

Tracy Nelson Come See About Me (1980)

Side One: Come See About Me; Done Got Over; Holiday; It's Growing; Walk Away. Side Two: Tears; Hold On, I'm Coming; See-Saw; River's Invitation; You're My World.

II. COMPACT DISCS

ROUNDER

Tracy Nelson In the Here And Now (1993)

Tracy Nelson I Feel So Good (1995)

Tracy Nelson Move On (1996)

Tracy Nelson, Marcia Ball, Irma Thomas Sing It! (1998)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FLYING FISH (Reissue)

Tracy Nelson Homemade Songs/ Come See About Me (1992)

III. MISCELLANY

Fish Tree Water Blues Compilation for the Earth Justice League
Scotty Moore / DJ Fontana All the King's Men (Sweetfish 1997)

Circle Be Unbroken Group Album (as "Stacey Belson")

SINGLES

After the Fire Is Gone (Atlantic, 1974; with Willie Nelson)

Harmonies with Bobby Charles on Secrets (Rice 'n' Gravy, no date)

Duet with Larry Ballard on Sad Situation (Capitol, 1977).

Photos

Bio

“Tracy Nelson isn’t so much a singer as she is a force field — a blues practitioner of tremendous vocal power and emotional range.” —Alanna Nash, Entertainment Weekly

“ . . . a bad white girl . . .” —Etta James, from her autobiography, Rage To Live

She has one of the signature voices of her generation. That natural gift has always guided Tracy Nelson’s soul; indeed allowed her to both write and seek out the deeper songs regardless of niche or genre. A fierce singer of truth, a fountain of the deepest heartache, she is an ultimate communicator and has regularly destroyed audiences across decades of performing. She is one of the few female singers who has had hit records in both blues and country genres, performing with everyone from Muddy Waters to Willie Nelson to Marcia Ball and Irma Thomas, with Grammy® nominations for both her country and blues efforts. John Swenson, writing in Rolling Stone, asserted, “Tracy Nelson proves that the human voice is the most expressive instrument in creation.” With Victim of the Blues (April 19 street date on Delta Groove Music), her 26th album in just over five decades, she has circled fully, back to the original music from South Side Chicago that mesmerized her teenaged mind in the mid-1960s.

“Several years ago,” Nelson reveals now, “I was driving with a friend across Montana, tooling down I-90 hauling a 1962 Bambi II Airstream trailer, the one that looks like a toaster. We were making a trip to Hebron, North Dakota where my grandfather homesteaded and built up a 2000+ acre ranch which he sold in the early ’60s.” The current owners were about to tear down the old claim shack and she wanted to go back there one last time. The car windows were down and national blues DJ Bill Wax was on their XM Satellite Radio — the great Otis Spann’s “One More Mile,” from his 1964 Prestige album, rolled out of the truck speakers. “It had always been a song I wanted to do” Nelson recalls, “and that started me thinking about all the great Chicago blues songs and artists I had heard in my formative years, especially Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. This was around the time I made my first record, Deep Are the Roots.” She thought too of just a few years ago when she was touring nationally as part of a well-known Chicago blues revue, playing a lot of blues festivals. “The music I heard back in the day in Chicago and what I was hearing from the current crop of blues acts bore little relation to each other.”

From that memorable day in the Badlands hearing “One More Mile,” she decided it was time to make a record she says, with “some of those fine old songs and be as true and authentic to the style as a Norwegian white girl (is that redundant?) from Wisconsin could manage it.” This new album, Victim of the Blues, is a hand-picked collection of songs, most written by Nelson’s early heroes: Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Percy Mayfield, Lightning Hopkins, Joe Tex and Howlin’ Wolf. She has chosen 11 songs of the day, ones that were spilling out of AM radios from second-story apartments, rolled-down car windows, and live from darkened clubs with exotic names like El Macambo.

The album kicks off with a rollicking Wolf tune, “You Be Mine,” propelled by piano man Jimmy Pugh (Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker, Etta James) and tough guitarist Mike Henderson (The Bluebloods), with slapping doghouse bass from Byron House (Robert Plant’s Band of Joy) consummately conjuring Willie Dixon, as Tracy Nelson’s voice soars. One contemporary song, “Lead a Horse to Water,” Nelson notes, “is by a wonderful singer/songwriter named Earl Thomas, who should have been born in that era.” The snaky, shimmery Pops Staples sound from guitarist Henderson along with the gospel background vocals (Vicki Carrico, Reba Russell, John Cowan, Terry Tucker and Nick Nixon) would make Mavis grin.

A pair of Jimmy Reed (“the great Chicago blues communicator” —Robert Santelli) classics follows: “Shoot Him” pops like a wry firecracker, complete with rimshot/gunshot from drummer John Gardner (Earl Scruggs, The Dixie Chicks, James Taylor) and Henderson’s unexpected (and dismayed) shout. Nelson’s pal and guest singer/piano woman Marcia Ball jumps in on the action too. And on “It’s a Sin” Nelson delivers perfect slow-drag vocals. (Lyrics on both are by Mary Reed, Jimmy’s longtime collaborator and wife.)

Women howling never sounded so damn classy in Wolf’s “Howlin’ for My Baby.” Here Nelson is joined by Texan and her fellow Blues Broad, Angela Strehli. “One More Mile,” the Otis Spann song that inspired the whole album, is a true tribute to the Delta/Chicago bluesmen who brought their soul and musical skill to future generations, and could be considered a bookend to Nelson’s 1968 version of her Memphis Slim namesake song, “Mother Earth.” Again, Nelson just tears it up, deeply, cathartically, achingly.

Percy Mayfield’s minor-key masterpiece “Stranger in My Own Hometown” is seductively propulsive thanks to Gardner’s brushes and Pugh