Vinyl Me, Please April Unboxing – Odetta ‘Odetta and the Blues’
Good things comes in 12 inch packages. Delivering limited edition vinyl pressings of new and classic albums directly to your doorstep, VMP operates under a simple philosophy: The Album Lives! With a carefully curated catalog of new and hard to find releases, the subscription service is more than just a record club, it’s a lifestyle choice for folks who wish Record Store Day could happen every month… in their living room.
Here’s how it works. You send Vinyl Me, Please some of your hard-earned money (a 3-month membership will set you back about $119) and they send you one carefully selected album they feel is Essential to any record collection. Yes, it really is as easy as it sounds. You even get FREE SHIPPING. Each custom pressing (often on colored vinyl!) also comes with killer extras like original artwork and informative listening companion booklet.
You’ll have membership privileges in the VMP store too, which means you can grab a copy of previous VMP selections from the archives – including their recent Classics release of Dave Van Ronk’s Folksinger – or choose from a slate of super-limited releases pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please. The store is open, and Team VMP are dropping fresh new selections to their stock every single week. Do not miss out.
Word to the wise, while the store is open to the public, most of the more covet-worthy stock is only available to subscribers. Members are privy to reduced “Members Pricing” as well, so joining the club definitely has its rewards. If you’re peckish about relinquishing control of your record collection to complete strangers, know that VMP’s Swaps Program is in full effect. That means you can flip any VMP pick you’re not interested in for a past featured album from any track (including Essentials, Country, Classics, and Rap/Hip Hop). My advice? Don’t overthink it. Do your turntable a favor and sign up today.
What’s on tap for April? A little bluesy, jazz-tinged classic from legendary folk singer Odetta. Here’s a look.
For The Love Of Vinyl, Please DO NOT BEND
As you may or may not know, this month’s Essentials pick is actually Sublime’s self-titled 1996 release. It was undoubtedly one of the biggest hits released of the the late-1990s. And most of us probably know the words to half of the songs on Sublime by heart because, well, they’re still getting regular airplay almost 3 decades after they were released.
If you’re still singing along to “What I Got” every time it hits the radio, there’s little question you’ll be exceedingly happy with Vinyl Me, Please’s pressing. I personally don’t need those songs in my life at this stage, and I simply couldn’t justify adding Sublime to my collection. So yeah, it was swaps-villa all the way for me. While I’m typically hyper-specific when I’m swapping a VMP pick, I decided to have a little fun this month and go in blinder than usual, picking both an artist, and an album I’ve never heard before. And I’m happy to say I could not be more bowled over by Odetta and the Blues.
As for the songbird of title, Odetta is none other than Odetta Holmes, who’s widely regarded as one of the greatest folks singers that ever walked the Earth. As such, it’s sort of odd that she’d be putting out an album of blues standards. But what’s even odder about her 1962 release Odetta and the Blues is that it isn’t exactly a straight blues album either, reveling far more often in the realm of jazz and ragtime.
That’s not to say the deeply emotive, story-centric song craft of the folk and blues scene’s aren’t prevalent throughout Odetta and the Blues. They’re present in spades, in fact, with Odetta’s booming vocals bringing staggering levels of passion, pain, and unbridled pleasure to all 12 tracks here, most of which are re-worked versions of folk, blues, and jazz staples.
Accompanied by a first-rate backing band stacked with notable jazz names of the day, Odetta transforms those songs from time-honored classics into then modern day marvels with style, substance, and swing to burn. If you’re like me, and are coming to Odetta with fresh, open ears, I can assure you you’ll be absolutely floored by what you hear throughout Odetta and the Blues. Suffice it to say, that’s all contingent on you tracking down a copy of this album for yourself. And this pressing from Vinyl Me, Please is quite likely the best you’ll be able to get your hands on in the open market. Don’t miss out.
That cover photo of Odetta smiling away between takes might be considered a spoiler, ’cause you can hear that joy and passion in every song she belts out on Odetta and the Blues. Check the back cover for a little history on the singer, and the album.
Be sure to peep that official Vinyl Me, Please Classics foil stamp in the top corner as well.
And for confirmation of this pressing being Classics worthy, the info on the hype sticker makes it more than clear.
Hard as it is to believe, the OBI-strip confirms Odetta and the Blues is the 71st Vinyl Me, Please Classics selection to date. Flip it over for a brief excerpt from this month’s listening companion booklet.
Of course, you could also just flip through that book yourself, as Susannah Young takes a deep dive into the legendary career of Odetta, and explains why Odetta and the Blues is an important little outlier in her beloved back catalogue.
As for the wax, Classics has never messed with any sort of color ways, and they presumably never will. So gaze upon this black beauty with the requisite awe.
As you can tell from the chandelier’s reflection there, it’s about as glossy as a disc can get.
How’s it sound? What can I say about this one except that it sings bolder, brighter, and bluesier with each and every spin.
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I’ve spent a good portion of my life seeking out music, and musicians from every genre, and all corners of the globe. So I’m not trying to brag when I say I don’t have too many blindspots. But Odetta was absolutely one of them. And I cannot emphasize enough how blown away I am by Vinyl Me, Please’s pressing of Odetta and the Blues. Suffice it to say, discoveries like this are why the service, and more specifically the VMP Classics track are absolutely essential for any music lovers who never tire of finding something new.
A big THANK YOU to our friends at Vinyl Me, Please for sponsoring this subscription. Don’t forget to check out the Vinyl Me, Please website and sign up to get some choice wax delivered right to your door each and every month! Be sure to check back next month to see what vinyl treasure Team VMP sends our way!