Contemporary Black folksingers influenced by Odetta
August 3, 2020 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Apart from Rhiannon Giddens and Tracy Chapman, who are some contemporary Black folk singers who are influenced by Odetta?

I’m working on a profile of Odetta to promote her biography. My editor has asked me to interview a contemporary folksinger about Odetta’s influence and significance. The two Black folksingers mentioned in her biography as having been influenced by her were Rhiannon Giddens and Tracy Chapman, but I’m not sure I’d be able to interview either of them by my deadline (next Friday). Who else could I speak to about Odetta?
posted by pxe2000 to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This article offers a couple of good names (scroll down): Allison Russell, Liane La Havas...
posted by Miko at 5:15 PM on August 3, 2020

Best answer: Not sure if she'd class herself as "influenced," but Kaia Kater has talked about seeing Odetta as a kid.
posted by peppercorn at 5:37 PM on August 3, 2020

Best answer: I haven't seen anything from her about explicit influences, but perhaps Quiana Parler from Ranky Tanky?
posted by kbuxton at 6:30 PM on August 3, 2020

Best answer: There's an album called Songs of Our Native Daughters, which features mostly the people mentioned here. The only name not mentioned here from that album is Amythyst Kiah, who I'd never heard of before, but is really cool and absolutely belongs in this list.

FWIW, the top track for her on Spotify is a recent release that starts w/ a dood singing, which threw me off, but there's a 2013 album called Dig that I'm currently really...ahem...digging!
posted by nosila at 6:05 AM on August 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, one more! Check out Leyla McCalla.
posted by nosila at 6:08 AM on August 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Valerie June
Toshi Reagon (maybe?)

I have pr contacts for both if you want.
posted by mermaidcafe at 11:52 PM on August 4, 2020

I really enjoyed hearing Adia Victoria interviewed by Anne Litt for Morning Becomes Eclectic late last year. I don't recall whether she specifically mentioned Odetta as an influence, but she definitely talked about drawing inspiration from the blues, and also the particular place of women in what we consider the musical canon.
posted by sigmagalator at 4:03 PM on August 5, 2020

Leyla McCalla is so fantastic, both musically and as a person. I hired her for a benefit show once, and talked to her a little while we carried in her equipment.
posted by umbú at 5:39 AM on August 8, 2020

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