Exploring Life, Music and Song
“The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta. I heard a record of hers in a record store....[That album was] just something vital and personal. I learned all the songs on that record." - Bob Dylan
The great singer, actress and human rights activist, Odetta, was one of the most beloved and influential figures in the American folk and blues revival. On this rare and intimate conversation with Ysaye M. Barnwell (Sweet Honey in the Rock), she shares the history, songs and singing technique that she acquired during a lifetime of experience.
Aspiring singers will be fascinated by Odetta's thoughts on vocal style and technique, how she warms up for a concert, her process in choosing her repertoire and how she approaches a song's lyrics. You'll learn how she used her influential guitar strumming style to build a rhythmic foundation for her songs.
Odetta reminisces with Ysaye about her early classical vocal training, her days in musical theater, her introduction to folk music and important musical influences. You'll hear her sing powerful a capella renditions of Motherless Child, Lay My Burden Down, and True Believer. With her guitar, she performs the lyrical Water is Wide/Gift of Heaven medley, Sittin' Here in Limbo, Hit or Miss and Cool Water.