Among the genres I included in my list was folk music, another musical form rooted deeply in America. Today’s artist comes with historical significance as well as a great sound. Odetta was a key musical figure in the civil rights movement, and her voice carried great weight during the difficult 1950s and 1960s. Today’s album, “Odetta Sings Folk Songs”, is the 6th rated folk album of all time on nme.com.
Folk music tends to affect me in one of two ways. The best of it takes me to a happy place, hopefully with lots of sunshine, open space, and fresh air. In contrast, I typically struggle with some of the more brooding and down-tempo tunes, when I suddenly feel the urge to turn into Bluto Blutarsky on the stairway. This album has a little bit of both, but the good songs far outweigh the others, and in many ways, this album exceeded my expectations as much as anyone I have listened to so far. It was probably mandatory to include her take on Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind”, and her version of the gospel classic “This Little Light of Mine” was a great surprise. My favorite song on the album was the lead track, “900 Miles”, which has a blues feel as much as it is folk in structure. Her original composition “Maybe She Go” has a soft island feel that makes it an easy add to my beach playlist.
Like I said, I can’t say I loved every song on this album, but I can probably say that about most albums. I’m definitely better for spending a night on the road listening to Odetta, and I look forward to expanding my view of folk music and all music with each new day.