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Looking for a Home


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Audio CD, August 28, 2001
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 28, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: M.C. Records
  • ASIN: B00005N6QB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,777 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Goodnight Irene
2. You Don't Know My Mind
3. MOther's Blues
4. When I Was A Cowboy
5. In The Pines
6. How Long
7. Bourgeois Blues
8. Alabama Bound/Boll Weevil
9. Roberta
10. New Orleans
11. Jim Crow Blues
12. Rock Island Line
13. Julie Anne Johnson/Who Black Buck
14. Easy Rider
15. Midnight Special

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

In case you haven't noticed, the glorious voice of Odetta still rings true at the turn of the century. Following her acclaimed 1999 comeback Blues Everywhere I Go, the remarkable folk-revival veteran offers this engaging and inspired homage to Leadbelly, who passed away just as Odetta was beginning her own storied career. Clearly, Odetta admires the diversity of Huddie Ledbetter's repertoire, as she herself has made her living interpreting everything from folk ballads and 12-bar blues standards to protest songs, work songs, children's songs, and gospel. What makes this project so successful are the creative and wholly original arrangements she gives these tunes. "Goodnight Irene" and "Rock Island" are reinvented as funky piano-driven slices of New Orleans blues-boogie, with Odetta's languid phrasing perfectly contrasting the underlying rhythms, while "In the Pines" is reborn in a gospel vein with Henry Butler on piano. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (on violin) and Kim Wilson (on harp) have guest spots, but Odetta commands the show throughout, understanding and inhabiting these songs as only she can, and clearly conveying their pain, bitterness, and world-weariness. --Marc Greilsamer

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Her blues album in 99 was a good comeback and is a fine CD; you can play it while you do other things, or you can sit down and enter into it with her. But if you put this CD on, forget about anything else. It will knock your breath out, knock you to your knees, whap you upside the head, make you laugh, make you cry, and demand 100% of your attention. Most singers quit before they reach 73. Odetta has just reached the height of her power. When she was in her forties and fifties, she was merely the strongest voice in the world; now she has achieved what the Japanese call YUGEN: maturity, the full flower perfected, the absolute mastery of one who has carried greatness in her bones and has practiced her art for about fifty years. She wails, moans, laughs, rocks, and quavers. She's sexy and compelling. Her timing is genius. Her pauses are rapt, wrenching. And her passion is infectious. "In the Pines" is so far down, it makes all our lives feel up; when she confides, "I love Irene, God knows I do," it's like a sacred trust. And when she belts out the boll weevil song, you can't help laughing out loud. If you only buy one Odetta CD in your life, buy this one. If you're an Odetta fan, you probably already did, but if you didn't, get ready. Fasten your seatbelts. She enters a whole new dimension on this CD, and she'll take you with her, if you have the soul for it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Lee Cleven on June 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Odetta has created a fantastic album of songs by the famous Leadbelly. Pete Seeger is quoted on the back stating that he first heard Odetta sing a song by C.W. Leadbetter and he has waited 50 years for her to do an album of his songs. He is thrilled with this album and so am I. Odetta has improved with age. Her voice is brilliant in delivering her unique renditions of these songs. She has lost none of her vocal strength; on the contrary, I prefer her recent works over her Vanguard albums. She has a back-up band and like her previous release on MC Records, "Blues Everywhere I Go", there is a feeling of intimacy as if one is there in person hearing this great artist. I recommend this album without a bit of hesitation. I have asked independently run CD shops to carry this album and "Blues Everywhere I Go". Odetta is truly an American Treasure and I hope there will be more albums of this caliber from her. She is better than she has ever been and that is quite a feat for an artist who is, and always has been, brilliant. This is an album to really sit and listen to and it leaves the listener wanting more. "Looking For A Home" is a true work of art due to the genius of Odetta. This is a must have for anyone who loves folk/blues music. Thank You, Thank You, Odetta!!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Odetta has been known as the "Female Leadbelly" for her frequent interpretations of his songs. This CD finds her doing a collection of Leadbelly's songs that come straight out of her heart. The performances are emotional and evocative. The band is excellent and plays rich, swaying grooves to back up Odetta's signature vocal style. If you are a fan of the blues, the CD is a MUST HAVE for your collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alfred Johnson on December 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I have been listening to and occasionally attending concerts by the recently departed Odetta for over forty years and she, despite her various illnesses in her latter years was still able to bring that big strong voice to her work as she did when I first heard her. A big strong strumming guitar added to the pleasure. And on this album some helpful and thoughtful backup work by her band members. Odetta was the consummate female interpreter of the old ballads that denoted the struggle of blacks and other at work and play in slavery times and later in wage slavery times. Religious sentiments about a better life in the hereafter because this life so is hell are also interwoven into some these ballads. It is hard today to get the full impact of that genre but I always noticed that audiences still responded to her gentle prodding to sing along.

There is an old expression-"What goes around, comes around". Nothing profound in that but it does point out that Odetta was very aware of her roots, of her debts to earlier black singers and influences and of the need to pay back those debts. The last part of her career included efforts in that direction, a prime example being this cover tribute to the legendary country blues singer and performer Leadbelly. On the face of it the storied rough and ready life of an old time rural country blues singer caught up in a violent and unforgiving world that included a southern prison and the rather proper upbringing of a modern city-bred and educated woman would not seem a match that makes musical sense. However, go back to the beginning of this paragraph and the part about roots and debts. That, my friends is the link, the eternal binding.
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