Nancy Wenstrom Evokes Warm Memories on “Alabama Song”

Alabama Song
Photo: Pat Johnson
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East Bay Area-based Americana/Blues artist Nancy Wenstrom recently unveiled the lyric video for “Alabama Song,” a track from her forthcoming album, Inside Story, via WCM Records.

Alabama Song
Nancy Wenstrom

Talking about the album, Nancy shares, “‘Alabama Song’ is one of 10 newly recorded original songs on my upcoming album, ‘Inside Story.’ Lyrically there seems to be the thread of letting go. I grew up moving a lot due to my father being in the military, and in my adult life, I experienced the transient life as a working musician. Musically, the album contains a deep influence of the blues, folk, and rock n’ roll I was raised on, which inspired me to play the electric guitar and write my own songs.”

Zeroing in on the inspiration for “Alabama Song,” she says, “Playing slide on my Regal resonator guitar in an open tuning was the inspiration for the music and perfect for the feeling of the song’s nostalgic theme. This song was inspired by thoughts of living in Alabama as a teenager and returning for years to visit family and friends. It’s about coming of age and recalling memories of my parents’ house on the lake in a remote part of Alabama.”

Along with Nancy (composer, Regal resonator guitar, vocals), “Alabama Song” features the talents of Joel Jaffe (pedal steel guitar, backing vocals), Marc Levine (bass), Billy Johnson (drums), and Vikki Lee (backing vocals).

While growing up as an “Air Force brat,” Nancy lived in a lot of different places: Nebraska, California, Alabama, Washington D.C., Texas, and the Azores. When she was eight years old, she began piano, followed by guitar at age 12. Later, she attended UC Berkeley, followed by becoming a professional musician.

She’s shared the stage with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, Chris Isaac, Grace Slick, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Norton Buffalo, Maria Muldaur, and Mark Hummel, as well as opening for Huey Lewis, Joe Cocker, and Elvin Bishop. And she’s the lead guitarist for the Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra.

“Alabama Song” opens on twangy, drawling colors flowing into a measured rhythm topped by Nancy’s country-laced timbres. Vikki Lee’s glowing harmonies merge with Nancy’s sumptuous tones, imbuing the lyrics with luscious drifting radiance. The creamy, wistful inflection of the steel guitar imbues the tune with poignant, nostalgic textures.

At once expressive and brimming with tantalizing wisps of recollection, “Alabama Song” conveys warm memories of days gone by.

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