Nancy Wenstrom – “Dr. Rhythm”


“Dr. Rhythm” is a track from Inside Story, the latest album from Nancy Wenstrom. Entrancing vocals speak to the music’s lovely role in escapism. “A little bit of rhythm is all I need,” she croons amidst bluesy piano and guitar riffs. “I’ve talked to Dr. Rhythm, he’s got what I need,” further adds to the adoration for music’s nurturing of the soul, bolstered audibly by tender guitar tones rounding the two-minute turn. The track is one of many strong outputs throughout the album.

Wenstrom was born in Houston, Texas, then living in various places across the United States until eventually settling in the San Francisco area to attend UC Berkeley. In the four decades that followed, Wenstrom became a venerated musician in the Bay Area scene, sharing the stage with artists like Bob Weir, Grace Slick, and Chris Isaak, in addition to opening for acts like Joe Cocker, Huey Lewis, and Elvin Bishop. Wenstrom also has fronted several bands, released eight solo albums, and worked as a session musician and songwriter.

Wenstrom explains more about the album, below:

“Recording for the LP started just before the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 and was finished for release in 2021. I chose the title, Inside Story, because of the shutdown due to the pandemic, but also because the songs are a reflection my own inside story. It starts with the song “California Love” which depicts the early years traveling as a child with my parents and living all over the USA. My love for the California redwoods inspired the album artwork and nature is a reoccurring theme throughout. The songs go on to tell of loves found and lost, the heartache of letting go and moving on, strengths and wisdom gained, and eventually gratitude for the precious gifts received throughout the journey.

Each song was chosen because it was inspired by a pure emotion, be it a struggle, heartfelt love, a longing, or just a simple feeling of delight. I ended with “Mercedes Ladies”, the road trip down the California Coast, another favorite place of mine. I’ll be featuring the track “Dr. Rhythm” as it sums up my belief that music is the best cure for whatever ails you, and is always my go-to for whatever feelings I’m experiencing.

I am grateful to have such a talented line-up of musicians on the album. Joel Jaffe (Huey Lewis, Sheryl Crow) Marc Levine (Barry Manilow), Billy Johnson (Santana), Hardy Hemphill (Shania Twain), Billy Truit (The Kingsmen). They were all perfect for the style of music I, and my co-producer Joel Jaffe, had in mind.

I love and have found my inspiration in rock, blues, country, jazz and great songwriting. I think Americana music is a combination of all these. This album is a reflection of those musicians who have inspired and taught me throughout the years, and continue to do so. I hope it inspires you as well.”

Stream Inside Story:

“Dr. Rhythm” and other memorable tracks released in August can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of November 2021’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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