Tracy Chapman - vocals, guitar
Singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman released her debut album approximately a year prior to this concert. "Fast Car," the album's first single, gained immediate attention and garnered strong sales. Fans of that first album will be delighted with this performance, which contains most of the material from the disc - stripped down to the essence, with just Chapman's acoustic guitar and soulful voice. It is hard to believe that these songs were the work of a young artist, not to mention from a debut album.
Chapman's strong convictions are relayed in the lyrics of every song in this set, and they paint a vivid picture of the struggles that young people - particularly those of color - were experiencing in the late 1980s. Her messages obviously resonated strongly, as the album would soon go multi-platinum and win four Grammy Awards.
Highlights of this set include penetrating solo acoustic versions of "Fast Car" and "Talking 'Bout A Revolution," but also superb stripped down renditions of lesser known material such as "Mountains O' Things," a vivid portrait of material obsession.
Two songs that would be included on Chapman's sophomore album, Crossroads, are also featured here; "Subcity" and "All That You Have Is Your Soul" prove that Chapman had much more to offer beyond her debut efforts. Chapman's socially conscious songwriting would have a significant impact on countless other female songwriters, including Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole and Jewel.