Nellie "Tiger" Travis is a beautiful woman with a soulful voice. Originally hailing from a small town in Mississippi, Travis now calls Chicago home. In her new surroundings, Nellie has chosen to demonstrate her ample vocal talents in the highly competitive Chicago blues scene, performing at venues such as Kingston Mines and Koko Taylor's Celebrity Room.
I Got It Like That is Nellie Travis' second recording, offering eleven new songs covering a variety of musical styles including blues, r+b, jazz and even gospel. Travis' fine vocal work is complimented by a fine backing band that is comprised of such notables as Lonnie Brooks' award winning bass player, Dave "Biscuit" Miller, drummer Patrick Doody and a special appearance by harpman extra ordinaire, Billy Branch. Branch appears on two blues flavored songs on the CD, "Dime & A Quarter" and the slow blues, "It's Over." The combination of Branch's virtuoso harp and Travis' vocals are a marriage made in heaven for blues lovers.
The CD opens with an excellent straight ahead blues entitled, "Oil & Water," one of my personal favorites on the recording. Following a smoldering r+b tune called "I've Got Amnesia," is a second excellent blues tune, "One Man's Woman."
As stated earlier, the two Billy Branch featured tunes on I Got It Like That really kick. "Dime & A Quarter" is a more up tempo blues, followed by, "It's Over," a burning 7+ minute slow blues. "It's Over" is far and away the longest song on the CD, but it is worth every minute with Branch's crying harp and Nellie's sultry vocal presentation. Travis extends herself and demonstrates her versatility on the jazzy "Something Special" and the gospel sounds of "Thank You." On these two fine songs, Travis shows that she is capable of singing just about any style song that lies within her vocal range.
While her stage band has a basic guitar, drums, keyboard setup, the title track on the CD, "I Got It Like That," includes a great horn based sound that adds another dimension to Nellie's sound. Again, thanks to the strength of her vocals, Travis maintains control of the song and is not drowned out by the band.
Among the many things that I liked about I Got It Like That is the fact that the songs do not dwell on the standard blues topics of infidelity, drunkenness, poverty and other sadder topics. I found that, for the most part, the songs were upbeat and positive about relationships and faith, helping to provide a positive message and more upbeat image of the blues.
Nellie "Tiger" Travis would appear to have a bright future ahead of her in the music business, following in the footsteps of Koko Taylor, Etta James and other great female vocalists. I Got It Like That should help to move Nellie to another level, opening a few eyes and ears to her talents along the way. To find out more about Nellie "Tiger" Travis and to pick up a copy of I Got It Like That, check out her website at www.nellietigertravis.com or drop her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I Got It Like That is definitely a CD worth tracking down.
This review is copyright © 2001 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
Click button to join
our mailing list!