- Released: January 26, 1999
- Label: Vanguard Records
Dirty Linen - 6-7/99, p.68
"...spellbinding and powerful. Odetta delivers, and her soul-searching renditions of classic work songs haven't lost their shine..."
- 1.Midnight Speical
- 2.Cotton Fields
- 3.Special Delivery Blues
- 4.Rambling Round Your City
- 5.Cool Waters
- 6.Down On Me
- 7.I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain / Water Boy
- 8.Special Delivery Blues
- 9.Saro Jane
- 10.Battle Hymn Of The Republic
- 11.If I Had A Hammer
- 12.Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
- 13.Meetin' At The Building
- 14.No More Auction Block For Me
- 15.Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
- 16.Spoken Introduction: He Had A Long Chain On
- 17.Another Man Done Gone
- 18.He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
- 19.Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor
- 20.Livin' With The Blues
- 21.Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
- 22.House Of The Rising Son
Personnel includes: Odetta (vocals, guitar); Bill Lee (acoustic bass).
Recorded in New York, New York and live at Carnegie Hall, New York, New York in 1963. Includes liner notes by Samuel Charters.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Odetta began recording in the mid-'50s but her best known work (and easiest to find) is from her early-'60s stay with Vanguard Records, the period that this introductory compilation is drawn from, and these clear, uncluttered and focused tracks make a fine introduction to this dedicated singer. Odetta, like so many other great American singers, discovered her voice in church, but she also has a background in theater, so when the folk revival hit with commercial force in the '60s, she knew exactly how to present her traditional material in concert for the greatest dramatic effect, a trait that made her a striking figure on the scene. These recordings brim with sincerity and power and underscore the fact that Odetta, much like Harry Belafonte before her, works the artful end of folk song, interpreting to theatric taste rather than reproducing a facsimile of the source material. She remains a riveting and intellectually fulfilling performer, all of which comes through in this anthology. ~ Steve Leggett