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September 22, 2017


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Tracy Nelson
Live From Cell Block D (Memphis International Records)

By: Mark A. Lawrence the IV

The thick bawdy voice of Tracy Nelson has a feel like well-aged wine, that is no doubt the result of a full life. A voice at home as much in church on Sunday morning as in the smoke haze of a juke joint. Her performance of "God Will" is the true blue gospel of the Bible belt, as thought provoking as it is encouraging, sung with such moving presence you can only stand back in awe. "Got a New Truck" is a fun rocking number that pushes up the tempo, transitioning well into "Tennessee Blues" a honky-tonk flavored number. This live album resumes a practice of performing for prison inmates, which produced some awesome albums by greats such as Johnny Cash and B.B. King. By doing this you could say that Nelson is taking the next literal step of reaching out to people, something that music dose emotionally. This is a strong album with Nelson singing some gritty blues with her powerhouse of a church voice blowing the roof off of "Mother Earth" a song strongly braced by the vicious guitar of Sam Stafford. Truly this album can rank with the other great prison recordings and is a great CD to pick up. Rating: B+
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