Thursday, July 25, 2013

Another Song: Odetta, Motherless Children

by Justin (@justasstrazdin)

You know when you go to a discount superstore and they have a bin full of crappy DVD's for a dollar, but some of them have two movies packed onto the same disc, and they have little to do with each other, save for being kickass action movies from the same era? If you are like me, you typically buy it, take it home, watch both movies in one sitting, and never look back.

Odetta may have left this traditional song on the platter titled "Motherless Children," but soon after it starts, she jumps into the traditional "This Train," which was covered widely by folk artists thanks to the Lomax's. Who knew that two songs could sound the same musically?

Odetta's arrangement is fierce throughout the combo song, weaving between sounding powerful, yet at times, wary, while handling the dark subject matter and religious undertones so naturally that it's a shame that she is left out of a lot of conversations about the Folk Revival that was so critical to American music.

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