Victim of the Blues
When you’ve been doing something as long as Tracy Nelson has been singing the blues, you get mighty damn good at it. And as listening to her early work with ’60s roots and blues rockers Mother Earth will tell you, she was already good to begin with, indeed. Victim of the Blues is her 26th album, and it’s a corker. It’s a blues record — a REAL blues record, meaning it doesn’t sound like a female Stevie Ray Vaughan or some bland Starbucks crooner. Nope, this is the real deal. Songs from Howlin’ Wolf (“You’ll Be Mine,” or the scorching “Howlin’ for My Baby” with Angela Strehli), or a pair of Jimmy Reed tunes, as well as moments of Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins, or Joe Tex make this record sizzle. Now, you can’t have a good blues record without a great guitarist, and Nelson has one in Bluebloods member Mike Henderson. He has that ’60s Chicago tone down — think Hubert Sumlin — and dishes up a bit of Pop Staples funk to go along with it. This album survived a fire that took her house — now ain’t that the blues? Maybe that’s what makes Victim of the Blues so damn hot.
Tracy Nelson: www.tracynelson.com