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The Best of the M.C. Records 1999-2005

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Album Review

When Odetta began recording for M.C. Records in 1999, she was 68 years old and had not made a new studio album in more than a decade. The result was a late-career renaissance, as she turned out a blues LP (Blues Everywhere I Go), an album of Leadbelly songs (Looking for a Home, Thanks to Leadbelly), a Grammy-nominated live holiday collection (Gonna Let It Shine), and a set of spirituals (Shout Sister Shout, A Tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe). She even found time to guest on labelmate Pinetop Perkins' Ladies Man. All these records are sampled for Acadia's compilation The Best of the M.C. Records Years 1999-2005, a 17-track summary of the label affiliation. It's apparent from the opening track, "Blues Everywhere I Go," that Odetta was not going to stick to her acoustic folk style, as she fronts a traditional blues band. Elsewhere, her collaborations with guests Dr. John ("Please Send Me Someone to Love"), Perkins ("Trouble in Mind"), and Henry Butler (who plays piano on "New Orleans," aka "House of the Rising Sun") produce felicitous results, but she is just as effective on her own. Her music was always a mixture of folk, blues, and spiritual styles; at this point, as much as 50 years into her career, she was still in good voice and was leaning more toward the blues and spiritual sides of her music.


Born: 31 December 1930 in Birmingham, AL

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the strongest voices in the folk revival and the civil rights movement, Odetta was born on New Year's Eve 1930 in Birmingham, AL. By the time she was six years old, she had moved with her younger sister and mother to Los Angeles. She showed a keen interest in music from the time she was a child, and when she was about ten years old, somewhere between church and school, her singing voice was discovered. Odetta's mother began saving money to pay for voice lessons for her, but was advised to...
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