Like Janis Joplin and Bonnie Bramlett, Tracy Nelson was an earthy California mama steeped in soul and blues. In fact, her original band was Bay Area fave Mother Earth, a group basically on life support by the time this platter came out in 1972. Nevertheless, Tracy Nelson Mother Earth smolders with some gutsy vocal performances. Not unlike Mavis Staples, Nelson explores entire universes in her lower register, especially on the wondrous ballad "I Want to Lay Down Beside You." What a babe.