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Blues Everywhere I Go
     

Blues Everywhere I Go

by Odetta
 
Folk singer, activist, actress, and mentor to four generations of dedicated performers, Odetta is back with her first studio recording in more than a decade. The remarkable BLUES EVERYWHERE I GO seethes with vitality and truth. On the title cut Odetta sounds as born to the blues as Ma Rainey,strutting through the hard times with sassy high spirits. And when Odetta

Overview

Folk singer, activist, actress, and mentor to four generations of dedicated performers, Odetta is back with her first studio recording in more than a decade. The remarkable BLUES EVERYWHERE I GO seethes with vitality and truth. On the title cut Odetta sounds as born to the blues as Ma Rainey,strutting through the hard times with sassy high spirits. And when Odetta gets down, she does it with the èlan of a tragic heroine, infusing "Dink's Blues" with deep loneliness without screaming or crying over a man just out of her reach. And on Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love," which features Dr. John sharing vocals, Odetta reaches up to the high notes with the fragility found in spirituals. The pièce de rèsistance, though, is an Odetta mainstay, "Careless Love." Here she simply tells the story of a pregnant woman abandoned by her lover, her straightforward delivery capturing the universality of the situation. Odetta then deepens the woman's feelings and redeems her from victimization by segueing into a bracing version of "St. Louis Blues," tipping her hat to the "Empress of the Blues," Bessie Smith. By paying tribute to Smith, Rainey, and blues matriarchs Victoria Spivey, Sippie Wallace, and Memphis Minnie, Odetta reminds the listener of a time when women ruled the blues -- proving that everything old can be new again.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Philip Van Vleck
This is Odetta's first studio release in over a decade, but time doesn't appear to have affected her interpretive skills or the range and quality of her voice, which remains one of the most remarkable instruments in American folk and blues music to date. The 15 tracks on Blues Everywhere I Go tell what Odetta calls "the other side" of the African-American blues story. Most of the tunes were written by artists like Sipie Wallace, Huddie Ledbetter, Big Bill Broonzy, Victoria Spivey and Thelma Lowe. These songwriters had a good deal to say about the daily situation of African-Americans in the South during the early part of the 20th century. The lyrics concern lost love, unemployment, homelessness, and hard times -- no knives, no guns, no chasin' women, no double-entendre lyrics in this collection. Instead, tunes like "Homeless Blues," "Unemployment Blues," "W.P.A. Blues," "Dink's Blues," and Percy Mayfield's "Send Me Someone to Love" dominate this album. Odetta's vocals are uniformly wonderful, as are her backing musicians. Although most of these songs are long-time blues standards, the arrangements are very contemporary and electrified. It may not be the style of blues project some expect, but obviously this artist still has a few surprises in her repertoire.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/28/1999
Label:
M.C. Records
UPC:
0607735003827
catalogNumber:
38
Rank:
95883

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Odetta   Primary Artist

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