Blues singers have always been scarce, maybe that's why they are so special. It requires real-life experience, intense commitment and a profound sense of emotion to interpret this music, which represents so much for so many. After paying dues in her hometown of Oakland, blues singer Terrie Odabi finally steps into the national spotlight and tells her story on My Blue Soul. Backed by some of the Bay Area's finest players, and with Kid Anderson handling production duties, this record is an exposition of contemporary blues with a vintage texture.
Odabi is not only blessed with a tremendous voice, but is a gifted songwriter as well, composing all but two of thirteen tracks. She comes out firing with "Gentrification Blues," a barn burning jump number which brings to mind the illustrious Muddy Waters working the mojo. "Live My Life," is poignant tale of a woman who has gone through hell and high-water tribulations, and now it's appreciation time. Bringing it way down, "Will You Still Love Me," divulges that love can be hard work, but worth it. Jealousy and its ensuing confusion is confronted with the soul attitude of "He Wouldn't Let Go," and the blaring horns define "Born To Die," a rocking declaration of finality. She testifies and counts her blessings that "Life Is Good," and takes back control after mistreatment on "How Dare You."
The two covers, Big Mama Thornton's eternal "Ball and Chain," and the spiritual "Wade In the Water," are heavyweight numbers that demand authenticity and conviction in the interpretation. Odabi handles them with the care and reverence that they deserve, while drenching them in rejuvenation and renascence. Special note here to the background singers/choir on the latter song, for they add the sacred element required. "I Bet You Think," calls out cheaters with a warning and a funky backbeat, but then all is forgiven with "When You Love Me," accompanied solely by two sensuous guitars. She winds up the record with the positive message "Hold Up The Light, a rousing revival of faith and guidance for all.
Oakland, was home to various blues labels owned by Bob Geddins from the 1940-50's which signed and recorded several influential acts. West Oakland has 7th Street, a historical hotbed of nightspots back when Slim Jenkins opened up his supper club in 1933, presenting major artists of the day. Etta James (an Odabi influence) came out of the nearby Fillmore District in San Francisco in the 1950's. This serves as a back story as to why Terrie Odabi is so important to the music of the Bay Area, as she continues this legacy. Releasing "Evolution of the Blues," in 2014, after years in the business, and now My Blue Soul, will hopefully give her momentum and well-deserved recognition. She has chosen to be a blues singer, that is what makes her so special.
Track Listing: Gentrification Blues; Live My Life; Will You Still Love Me; He WOuldn’t Let
Go; Born To Die; Life Is So Good; How Dare You; Ball and Chain; Bet You
think I Don’t Know; I Can’t Keep; Wade In The Water; When You Love
Me; Hold Up the Light.
Personnel: Terrie Odabi: lead vocals; Kid Anderson: guitar, organ (1, 3, 9), bass (2,
7, 10); Derrick Martin: drums; Kirk Crumpler: bass; Ken Cook: clavinet,
piano; Terry Hiatt: guitar (1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 11); Khalil Doankanthony:
guitar (2, 7); Lorenzo Hawkins: organ (2, 7, 10); Ken Cook: Fender
Rhodes, piano, clavinet; Willis Hickerson Jr.: organ (4, 5, 8, 13); Leon
Joyce Jr.: drums (4, 6, 11); Martin Windstead: percussion (7); AJ
Crawdaddy: rhythm guitar (12); Alison Bailey Streich: violin (13); Nancy
Wright: sax; Manny Angel: trumpet; Faris Jarrah: trombone; Lisa
Leuschner Anderson: backing vocals; Courtney Knott: backing vocals;
Niecey Robinson: backing vocals.
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