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In the Here and Now

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Album Review

Tracy Nelson has always brought a wealth of blues feeling to her work, but being bluesy doesn't necessarily mean that one is actually singing the blues — one can certainly bring the feeling of the blues to rock, R&B, reggae, country, bluegrass, zydeco, or jazz (all of which have been affected by the blues). In fact, Nelson has often showed listeners just how blues-minded rock, soul, or country can be. In the Here and Now, however, isn't just bluesy — it is blues-oriented, and this time, there are plenty of tracks that actually have 12 bars. Nelson, who was 45 when this album came out in 1993, really soars on passionate performances of "Motherless Child Blues" and "Go Down Sunshine" as well as Chicago blues gems like Elmore James' "It Hurts Me Too" and Willie Dixon's "Whatever I Am, You Made Me." And Nelson never sounded more confident than she does on "Please Send Me Someone to Love," which finds her performing a duet with veteran New Orleans soul great Irma Thomas. This Percy Mayfield classic, which was first recorded in 1950, is one of those standards that has been beaten to death over the years — as great as the song is, there is such a thing as overkill. But Nelson and Thomas manage to make the tune sound fresh and vital, which is impressive because their 1993 version was recorded 43 years after the original version. Nelson, in fact, was only two years old when Mayfield first recorded "Please Send Me Someone to Love." In the Here and Now is hardly the only Nelson CD that is worth owning, but it is safe to say that it is among the strongest albums that she provided in the '90s.


Born: 27 December 1947 in Madison, WI

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A very versatile and talented vocalist, Tracy Nelson is better known for her role as lead singer of Mother Earth. The Nashville sextet had three albums in a country-rock vein make the charts in the late '60s and early '70s. But Nelson is just as capable in soul, R&B, and blues, though she hasn't released many records in that style. Her albums for Flying Fish were more indicative of her eclecticism, but her R&B and blues roots are really evident on her 1993 release In the Here and Now and 1995's I...
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In the Here and Now, Tracy Nelson
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