Odetta Hartman
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Odetta Hartman

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Folk Singer/Songwriter




"Two Boots Pizza Pioneers' Daughter to Release Album"

EAST VILLAGE — At a mere 4 months old, Odetta Hartman's path in life already started to reveal itself.
"She was singing in the back of cab," said Hartman's mother, Doris Kornish, who started the East Village institution Two Boots Pizza 25 years ago with Odetta's father, Phil Hartman.
Growing up, Hartman didn't realize the influence of her parents' pizza shop, which fostered local artists for decades — but the singer songwriter, now 22, said she sees the early influences in her first four-song album "Tally Marks" which is set to be released this July.
"It was a gathering place where everyone could listen to music and eat funky food," said the songstress, who grew up with performances by local legends such as Phoebe Legere, labeled by some as the original Lady Gaga.
Hartman and her other two siblings — all three are classically trained violinists — absorbed the creative atmosphere like sponges at the original store on Avenue A, according to their father.
"She was exposed to a lot of music there," said Phil Hartman, who recently helped fund a program that places historical plaques on significant historical locations.
"All of these fronts are moving now and I am really excited to see what happens next," said Hartman, who spent three days recording her tracks in November last year with the song being mastered only days ago.
Hartman plays mandolin, guitar and violin and is trying her hand at the trumpet and banjo. The four songs bounce from an R&B soul sound to somber pop and country to "an arty kind of singer-songwriter" track, she said.
Embedded in the songs is the experience of an epic road trip Hartman undertook last year from New York through New Orleans and onto California, playing music with a friend in theaters, pubs, cafes and even homes along the way.
"Just hearings people's stories, that is what I loved about it," said Hartman. She kept a journal recording the entire adventure, the characters they met and the music they performed and overheard.
Odetta Hartman, an East Village singer songwriter, will release her first album in July. (Odetta Hartman)
Documenting America's song history is important to the Bard College graduate who confesses to "geeking out" on music research. Her conversation is dotted with references to this country's musical heritage, such as Alan Lomax, an anthologist who travelled the country in 1935 documenting folk songs that might otherwise be lost.
"All of last year I was listening to these grainy, crackly recordings of harmonica players in deep Georgia or some finger-picking slide guitar on a random porch in Florida," said Hartman, of Lomax's recordings that inspired her own road trip.
For the singer songwriter her home hood comes across often in her art. On Monday local director and childhood friend Matt Sukkar shot Hartman's first music video on the stoop of her family home.
The video captures what Hartman and her friends have been doing for years — sitting streetside and making music.
"I have spent a lot of time sitting there playing music, interacting with random strangers," said Hartman.
On a recent late-night stoop session, Hartman marveled at the vibrant mix of people who still fill the streets of the East Village.
"Every single person who walked by smiled at us or said something to us or interacted with us," said Hartman. Over the five hours a smartly dressed, but slightly drunk man asked for the guitar before belting out a Radiohead song, a war veteran recommended tunes and a woman with a “voice like an angel” performed an Adele number.
Despite classic East Village moments like that, Hartman acknowledges the changing neighborhood. Rents are up and artists are out.
"It is not feasible for me to be here financially," said Hartman, who suspects New York City will not always be her home. However, along with other young artists who grew up as East Villagers, the area's creative and progressive heritage will not be dislodged easily.
"I think the kids from the neighborhood have a lot of pride," said Hartman.
"We care about carrying on the legacy."
When released the E.P. will be available on iTunes and from Odetta Hartman's website.
- http://www.dnainfo.com/


Still working on that hot first release.



Odetta Hartman grew up sharing a piano bench with her dad, singing songs from "Oklahoma!" and listening through stacks of Phil Spector '45s. Dancing in the back room, her mother taught her to revere Emmylou, Dolly, Wanda and Lucinda.

For 18 years, she studied classical violin at Third Street Music School in New York City. When her mom came home with a nylon string bartered for $10 off Ave A, she began playing guitar. Jobim, Chopin, and Fela followed. And later: Karen Dalton. Fiona Apple. The White Stripes.

At Bard College, she took classical and jazz voice lessons, played Barber's Violin Concerto with the American Symphony Orchestra, recorded an album with The Sparrows and majored in American Studies. Her senior thesis told the story of some of America's earliest ethnomusicologists -- Alan Lomax, Zora Neale Hurston and Mary Elizabeth Barnicle -- collecting field recordings of secular (blues) music and slave narratives in Florida and Georgia in 1935.

The summer after graduating, she drove the southern route across the country with guitar and musical saw magician, Gryphon Rue, lived in Los Angeles for a spell, and returned home on Amtrak's California Zephyr to record her first solo EP, Tally Marks, in Woodstock, NY.

Now back in the East Village again, assisted by a group of scallywags and scumbags, she organizes art, music and dance revues, plays in a cabaret orchestra, and gigs around town with Her Heroes (at Le Poisson Rouge, Housing Works Bookstore, Bowery Electric, Bowery Ballroom, Glasslands, and more).

Her current live show features the brilliance of her brothers Billy Aukstik (Charles Bradley), Zachary Seman (Spanglish Fly), Leon Hartman (Magic Beans), Doug Berns (EMEFE), and Javier Ramos (EMEFE). In the upcoming months, she plans to release collaborative albums with Young Lungs (Albuquerque), Gunwash (Brooklyn), and Her Heroes (East Village).

trust. creates. peace.