Odetta - Gonna Let It Shine A Concert For The Holidays (CD)
On this Grammy nominated CD with special guest The Holmes Brothers, the incomparable folk and blues great, the late Odetta, the national treasure who marched with Dr. King, performed for Presidents Kennedy and Clinton, and inspired a young Bob Dylan, gives a superlative live performance on her CD Gonna Let It Shine: A Concert for the Holidays, a collection of spirituals.
Recorded live in the music hall at New York City's Fordham University, the influential public radio station WFUV sponsored the evening's concert and the station's music director Rita Houston, hosted the show. The Holmes Brothers and pianist Seth Farber support Odetta on the 16 tracks, most of which are from the African American Christmas song tradition, with additional selections from the spirituals and prison song repertoire.
Jazz/blues/gospel maven Odetta weaves great songs like "This Little Light of Mine," "Down by the Riverside," "Somebody Talking 'Bout Jesus" and even "The Midnight Special" into a powerful Christmas narrative. - David Hinkley – Daily News, New York
The celebrated folk singer applies those gorgeous pipes to a gospel-soul telling of the Christmas story with as much spirit as you could ask for. Listeners will find it hard not to get caught up in the joy of the moment. - Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
In this holiday concert at Fordham University, Odetta opens by reading a Marianne Williamson poem, "Our Deepest Fear." She then explodes by pressing her booming voice through carols, spirituals, freedom anthems and even Leadbelly's "Midnight Special." She's joined by the fervent Holmes Brothers on a few tracks, and though this CD is not limited to Christmas, it's impressive. - Steve Morse, Boston Globe