Tracy Nelson A Victim Of The Blues

02/11/2011
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Tracy Nelson's new album Victim Of The Blues will be released by Delta Groove Records on April 19 and features Marcia Ball, Angela Strehli, John Cowan and Jimmy Pugh.

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.

"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 ("Stramger 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.

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