In 2000 Odetta released a marvelous comeback album entitled Blues Everywhere I Go that was nominated for a Grammy Award. Her recent follow-up album, Lookin For A Home: Thanks to Leadbelly, is every bit as good, perhaps even better. A tight band has gotten even tighter and Odetta’s comfort level with these musicians is something to behold. Odetta has a remarkably expressive creativity as a vocal interpreter of the blues. Her phrasing extends syllables and words, pulling them up short, using spaces and silences, pitch and volume like an accomplished jazz musician. On Lookin For A Home, she reinterprets blues and popular music standards, such as "Goodnight Irene," "Rock Island Line," "Easy Rider," and "Midnight Special" in her laid back, unpredictable style. Much credit should also go to her band for intuitively sharing the spirit of Odetta’s approach. Her rapport with this band is uncanny, musicians and singer nudging and inspiring each other every step along the way. In short, Odetta and her band have recorded two extraordinary albums; it is difficult to imagine what this group of talented musicians will do next, but I do suspect it will be well worth the wait. Highly recommended.
Goodnight Irene; You Don
Odetta, vocals; Seth Farber, piano and organ; Mike Merritt, acoustic bass; Jimmy
Vivino, guitars and banjo; Shawn Felton or Richard Crooks, drums; James
Saporito, percussion; Fred Koella, violin and mandolin; Clarence