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Nellie "Tiger" Travis - I'm Going Out Tonight

Benevolent Blues

10 tracks

Ms. Travis is a blues lady with an attitude and this CD let's us hear all about it. She sings with a gritty charm that is a throwback to famous blues women of yesteryear, and yet she also approaches her music in a modern way. She sings with a street-smart sense of a woman who knows that life is hard an what it takes to be successful in life. A protege of Koko Taylor, she does not copy Koko but puts her own spin on the Chicago blues scene and is one of the stalwart females keeping the blues alive in Chicago.

The CD was produced by Max V who also plays lead guitar on the CD. The sound is clean and natural, never overdone. Travis' vocals are up to the task throughout. She can burn when a fire is needed to be lit and she can take it down when she needs to. Dujuan Austin is on drums and Kenny Hampton plays bass. roosevelt Purfoy adds depth on keyboards. Precious Taylor is on backing vocal and Yuko Kido does the harp work. There are four other artists who fill also in here and there.

The title track is a gutsy Chicago blues where Nellie give it her all about going out and having fun and telling her man that if he isn't there she's still going to have a great time. Max V and Purifoy trade guitar licks and some mean piano work here, and Kido's harp chimes in appropriately to add to the mix. Nellie wrote this one and Dylann Deanna wrote the following song and two other tracks. "Tornado Wrapped in Fire" follows the tile track, a funky number where Travis sings about how powerful her feelings are, and how that is good news if you are the object of her desire. The guitar and keys are sweet here, as are Travis' vocals. "Grab a Tiger by the Tale" and "Ain't Gonna Raise No Grown Ass Man" are the other two by Deanna and they are also pretty darn good. The first is sort of a theme song for Nellie and the latter is a great story about how her man changed from something she thought respectable to essentially being someone she needs to raise like another child. Nellie and the band burn through that one in a funky and fired up style.

Nellie wrote the other six songs (in addition to the title track). They range from a touching tribute to Koko Taylor (simply entitled "Koko") and slow blues like "I Cry the Blues" to big electric stuff like "You Must Be Lovin' Someone Else" and "Born in Mississippi". She winds her way through the songs telling us short stories wrapped up in catchy and effective tunes. This is a nice album of traditional Chicago blues done by a classy lady who knows how to bring it. If you want to hear one of the top female vocalists in Chi-town, then get out to hear her and buy this CD! If you are a fan of updated classic Chicago blues delivered by a vocalist who knows her stuff, you will not be disappointed!!

Reviewer  Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.

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