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The Best of the Vanguard Years

Album: The Best of the Vanguard Years
# Song Title   Time
1)    Midnight Special
2)    Cotton Fields
3)    Special Delivery Blues
4)    Rambling Round Your City
5)    Cool Water
6)    Down On Me
7)    I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain/Water Boy: I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain / Water Boy
8)    Sara Jane
9)    Battle Hymn Of The Republic
10)    If I Had A Hammer
11)    Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
12)    Meetin' At The Building
13)    No More Auction Block For Me
14)    Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
15)    Spoken Introduction: He Had A Long Chain On
16)    Another Man Done Gone
17)    He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
18)    Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor
19)    Livin' With The Blues
20)    Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
21)    House Of The Rising Sun
22)    House of the Rising Son
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • 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
Professional Reviews
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..."
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