Personnel: Judy Roderick (vocals, guitar); Artie Traum, Dick Weissman (guitar); Paul Griffin (piano); Russ Savakus (bass); Ted Sommer (drums).
Includes original release and new liner notes by Lawrence Cohn and Dick Weissman.
This 1965 recording, Roderick's second, reveals her as an early exponent of the swinging, jazzy feel that artists like Fred Neil and Tim Hardin would soon add to folk music. Unlike Neil and Hardin, though, Roderick was a dyed-in-the-wool folk/blues singer, interpreting works from America's rich musical tradition instead of crafting new material informed by that tradition. There's a clarity and purity to Roderick's voice, but her inventive phrasing and subtle timbral manipulations place her in a different class from more strident contemporaries like Joan Baez. Though WOMAN BLUE is presented in an acoustic folk format, Roderick is as much a blues singer as a folkie, the feminine counterpart of someone like Dave Van Ronk (who contributes to this reissue's liner notes). Not one to overstate her case, Roderick keeps the mood low-key (but not mellow) throughout the album, using restraint and understatement as powerful tools.
Uncut (p.122) - 5 stars out of 5 - "[W]ith a pure voice and intuitive, inventive phrasing, he's a virtually unique stylist among far better know folk songstresses."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.110) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Somehow reminiscent of both Karen Dalton's folksy rasp and Joan Baez's crystalline soprano, Roderick's voice is compelling on acoustic tracks..."