Search - Mother Earth, Tracy Nelson :: Poor Man's Paradise

Poor Man's Paradise
Mother Earth, Tracy Nelson
Poor Man's Paradise
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

With their roots in blues, country and gospel, Mother Earth came out of Texas in the late 1960s but established themselves in San Francisco with Tracy Nelson's voice as their prime strength. This re-release is available on...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Mother Earth, Tracy Nelson
Title: Poor Man's Paradise
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Acadia Records
Release Date: 6/4/2001
Album Type: Import
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Contemporary Blues, Contemporary Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 805772800823


Album Details
With their roots in blues, country and gospel, Mother Earth came out of Texas in the late 1960s but established themselves in San Francisco with Tracy Nelson's voice as their prime strength. This re-release is available on CD for the first time. Tracy Nelson has recorded several solo albums and her latest release, Ebony & Irony, is available on Evangeline Records.

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CD Reviews

Forgot How Good It Is
James Morris | Jackson Heights, NY United States | 07/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I recently acquired Tracy Nelson's 1973 release POOR MAN'S PARADISE. Anyone who is a Tracy Nelson fan knows that she is the greatest R & B / Roots / Country / Rock singer of the 20th Century, and this album demostrates one of the reasons why she has a reputation as a "singer's singer". He gospel influenced love song WHATEVER I AM YOU MADE ME is my personal favorite of all the songs she recorded in her 36 year 20 album career. Other great tracks include the wistful love song WHEN I NEED YOU MOST OF ALL (with the most gorgeously understated lyrics I've ever heard) and the wonderful JACK'S WALTZ. This album also contains her first (and best) recording of her repertoire staple GOING BACK TO TENNESSEE. Well worth the price of admission; you will find yourself playing these tracks over and over again."
Paradise For Just About Anyone
Gregor von Kallahann | 01/01/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'll have to drag out my ole vinyl to be sure, but I think the sequencing of this record is somewhat altered from the original. Not that it matters much, but I'm pretty sure that on the original Columbia disc, "Whatever I Am, You Made Me" was the initial cut, and the title track closed out the album. I remember because I really liked the flow of the original back then. It seemed like track was better than the last--certainly the mark of a good record in my book. By rights, a tour-de-force number like "Going Back To Tennessee" should likely be the closing number, but lo and behold, there was "Poor Man's Paradise" right after it and THAT seemed an even more appropriate ending. Call it the "encore effect"--if it were a live performance, "Tennesssee" would have ended the set and "Poor Man's" would have been the perfect encore.

No matter, in this day and age, sequencing is always up to the listener and the random play button on one's CD player. There really isn't a weak track on POOR MAN'S PARADISE, so you can scarcely go wrong with this record, no matter how you slice it or how you play it. This was Tracy's last official effort with the group. It had gone through several changes, but at this point they seemed very very comfortable with each other, and even though they were supporting one of the most dynamic singers of the era, there's a looseness and sense of camaraderie that is inviting and kind of comfy for the listener as well.

There was a certain irony in the fact that Tracy Nelson, whose vocals could be so scorching at times, seemed drawn to down-home, kick your shoes off musical settings and tunes. Never the tortured soul that Janis, say, always seemed to be, her most stirring performances seemed to be a kind of revelation, a basically sane and balanced individual momentarily revealing her most private self. Less of a soul baring than a glimpsing. Even at her bluesiest, there's always been an element of reserve and restraint. Which made her all the more intriguing when you think about it.

That restraint is evident on this album. If Columbia was hoping for Janis II when they signed her, they had another think coming. Sure she kicks up her heels grandly on a tune like KoKo Taylor's "Whatever I Am You Made Me," and the aforementioned "Poor Man's Paradise" and "Going Back To Tennessee" are certainly rousers. But the majority of the album is given over to reflective ballads and slow grooves that feature Tracy's vocals at their most sensitive and dignified. It may take a couple of tries to fully fathom the depth of emotion behind tunes like "Cruel Wind," but it's worth the effort. Highly recommended.

The Greatest?
R. Lacy | 01/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"James, while I'll agree that Tracy Nelson is wonderful, the statement that she is the greatest R&B, country, etc. singer is quite a stretch. Great voice and delivery, I'll give you that, but I feel that her strongest suit is her selection of material. This is a great album but it might be just a cut below "Bring Me Home". You should listen to it."