Nancy Wenstrom: Inside Story

Nancy Wenstrom
Inside Story
(Nancy Wenstrom)

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Straight from the Bay Area, singer-songwriter Nancy Wenstrom brings us her new 10-song album Inside Story. With a clear-as-a-bell vocal delivery, she swings us first into a single-string electric guitar-led melody love song for her west coast home, “California Love.”

“Vintage Tears,” this one featuring Joel Jaffe’s slide guitar, has Wenstrom bringing her remarkable voice to bear. With Hardy Hemphill’s plaintive harmonic and some subtly placed harmonies by the main lady, we get what I feel is the first killer tune of these ten.

“Dr. Rhythm” is fun; it rocks with Hemphill providing piano, Billy Johnson providing a slight stuttering drum beat, and Wenstrom rockin’ hard. And I so dig the idea of the lyric on “My Remedy,” a confessional piece hidden in an upbeat little slide-led rocker. Wenstrom is perfectly naughty here, and her slide work is just so delicious.

We get a sweet AOR love song with “Lucky Me, Lucky You,” an almost 50’s jazz standard of a tune; unexpected though it is, I just loved it. Billy Truitt’s accordion leads the soundscape of “Arms to Hold You,” with Wenstrom warbling through the sweet lyric and, as always, playing a superb guitar and singing harmony and lead. And I just loved the plucked electric ZZ Top-roil to the last tune here, “Mercedes Ladies.” I’d say out of all the songs on Inside Story, this one shows Wenstrom at her most total control; voice strong and purposeful, the various guitars, lead, rhythms, played with ease and emotion, and a wry little idea of a lyric. Inside Story is a true gem.

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