Movin' It On

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...This is Odetta's first recorded work in nearly 12 years. If you've taken this folk icon for granted and feel guilty about it, this in-concert performance is as good a place as any to make up for lost time. What separates Odetta from the usual claustrophobic smugness of Old World folkiedom is her rich alto, swooping into a nasally upper falsetto, only to come crashing down into a growling bottom. It's a thrilling thing to listen to, especially when she really pulls out the stops and lets it wander up and down the scale in a blues yodel. The a cappella "Lowlands," a tale of forced labor and racism, bears this out. From a soothing croon to a rumbling roar she plays with notes, clipping them, crushing consonants, and stretching each syllable to the breaking point...