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Maria Muldaur

Discography


  • MARIA MULDAUR - YES WE CAN!

    FEATURING THE WOMEN'S VOICES FOR PEACE CHOIR

    Liner Notes:

    In the past forty-five years of singing and recording, being an interpreter of song, but not a writer, I have most often gravitated towards songs that celebrate the delicate, delicious, sometimes rough and tumble dance between the sexes-(certainly a topic perennially foremost on the minds of humankind ever since Eve took that first bite!). Over the years it has been very gratifying to hear people's stories of how my music has touched them, intersecting with their lives at particular pivotal moments-I've heard all kinds of touching stories, but I must say what I hear the most are stories, (often x-rated!), of how my music has been the Soundtrack to various love affairs, lust affairs, seductions, lost virginities, honeymoons, and yes, I've actually been shown more than a few pictures of children who, as their proud parents tell it, were conceived to my music!-When I hear these stories I just smile and say, "Glad I could be of help!"

    So I was pleasantly amused, but not surprised, when a friend emailed me an article he'd come across in which a well-known music critic declared that "'Midnight At The Oasis' was probably responsible for the conception of more children than any other song of the 1970's". He signed off with "Thought you'd like to see this-Have a great day, Fertility Goddess"-"Goodness!," I thought, "I've been called a "hippie love goddess" before, but never that!" That email came at the very moment I was due to create my thirty-fifth album. After years of being given free artistic rein to produce whatever inspired me, I was in a bit of a quandary. "What is there left to sing about? What is truly on my heart and mind most of all these days? What would a "Fertility Goddess's" Gig be in 2008?"

    My conclusion was deadly serious. What's been weighing on my heart and mind so heavy it hurts, is the sad, deplorable, alarming condition of our Planet today-wars, nuclear proliferation, global climate change, rapid depletion and rape of the Earth's once bountiful resources, genocide, poverty, starvation. The whole litany of the world's ills make it imperative and urgent for us to all WAKE UP and start working together towards a massive healing of the growing imbalance that so-called "modern" society is spinning towards at such a reckless pace. Right now we live in a world so deeply out of balance, the thought occurred to me that if things continue as they are, there will come a time soon when there won't be any people to make romance and babies, and no place to do so either!

    So...what to sing about...? Quite to my own surprise, after all these years of not particularly liking topical songs, I decided to make a protest album! However, the concept quickly morphed into a pro-peace album, because I realized the issues that concern me most, go much deeper than just singing clever songs that "diss" the current leaders in power and the irresponsible, destructive havoc they have wreaked upon our world. They are, after all, just the latest personifications of the age-old, worn out Patriarchal Paradigm of Greed, Power, Oppression, Aggression, War, and the "To the Victor Goes the Spoils" mentality that has created and fueled most of the misery on this planet for millennia. Surely this entire retrograde mindset MUST change if we are to survive as a species at all, but most of us have come to the conclusion that the only thing that will ever transform the prevailing outmoded, moribund paradigm is a peaceful, non-violent spirit of brotherly love and co-operation that must start from within and spread outward `round the world from there. So...I wasn't as interested in songs of angry accusations, as in songs that pose questions like "War-What Is It Good For?," and "Why Can't We Live Together?," and offer positive solutions like "Make A Better World," "Pray For The USA," and "Yes We Can." Most of these songs were written in the 1960's and early '70's, but because we have not evolved (in fact we have de-volved!) I feel it is vitally crucial to voice these messages once again. As Pete Seeger said recently, "If you love your country, you'll find ways to speak up for what is right. Finding the right the songs and singing them over and over again is the right way to start."

    As part of this project I created "The Women's Voices For Peace Choir", inspired in large part by a compelling book by Jean Shinoda Bolen called Urgent Message From Mother (Earth): Gather The Women, Save The World. I enlisted many women-singers, activists, writers, and even an Indian holy woman named Amma (known to her millions of devotees `round the world as "Divine Mother," and in the West as "The Hugging Saint"). Most of these women have boldly and tirelessly been lifting their voices for peace, non-violence, and social justice their whole lives, and their commitment to these causes has been deeply inspiring to me over the years. Now we have all gathered here to lift our voices together in a heartfelt Musical Prayer for Peace. I am humbly grateful for their unanimously positive response and gracious participation in this project.

    I am also deeply grateful to my Brothers in Music-David Torkanowsky, Tony Braunagel, Hutch Hutchinson, and Shane Theriot (known here as "The Free Radicals") for responding so enthusiastically to the concept of this project, going to great lengths to make themselves available, and delivering such inspired, soulful, FUNKY renditions of these songs. It is our hope that our efforts here will inspire minds and hearts and that these songs will become part of the Soundtrack to the Change we must all become part of, a Soundtrack to the creation of a New Paradigm in which we finally recognize that we are all ONE (as Garth Brooks says in "We Shall Be Free"-"There's only one race and that's MANKIND"). We are all linked together, and we must find a way to create Unity, Harmony, Cooperation, and Peace On Earth. "Peace On Earth" must become more than just a sentimental slogan on a Hallmark Christmas card. It's been a prayer in the hearts and minds of most humans since time began, and at this pivotal moment we need to work together to manifest it as Reality. Listen to these songs, turn 'em up LOUD and let's get to work!

    The Time is Now or Never! - Maria Muldaur (with Mindy Giles)

    For more information, visit www.telarc.com

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  • Naughty, Bawdy & Blue on Stony Plain Records

    COMPLETES CLASSIC BLUES WOMEN TRILOGY ON STONY PLAIN. INCLUDES SPECIAL DUET WITH MARIA AND BONNIE RAITT.

    Video clip of One Hour Mama EDMONTON, AB - Stony Plain Records has announced a May 15 release date for Maria Muldaur's new CD, Naughty, Bawdy & Blue, which completes the trilogy of albums the acclaimed singer has released as a tribute to classic women blues singers from the 1920s through the 1940s. Both of Maria's previous albums in this series for Canadian label Stony Plain, which is distributed in the U.S. by Navarre Corporation, were nominated for Grammy Awards: Richland Woman Blues (2001) and Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul (2005).

    Bonnie Raitt makes a special guest appearance on Naughty, Bawdy & Blue singing a duet with Maria on "Separation Blues," a song written by Sippie Wallace, with whom Bonnie toured in the '70s and '80s. Both Maria and Bonnie sang the song with Sippie prior to her death in 1986.

    "How great to hear these classic blues again, done up right by one of my favorite singers and the incredible James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band," says Bonnie Raitt about the new album. "I loved joining in on Sippie Wallace's 'Separation Blues'!"

    Backing Maria Muldaur on most of the album is James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band (who often performed with Sippie Wallace), which provides the perfect accompaniment of instruments (clarinet, sax, trumpet, trombone, tuba, banjo, guitar, piano, bass and drums) to these songs, a sassy mix of blues and jazz. Other guests on the CD include Dave Mathews on piano and Kevin Porter on trombone. Naughty, Bawdy & Blue was produced by Maria Muldaur and Ron Harwood and recorded at Solid Sound in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    In addition to Sippie Wallace, the other blues queens saluted on the album include Bessie Smith ("Empty Bed Blues," "A Good Man Is Hard To Find"), Victoria Spivey ("TB Blues," "One Hour Mama"), Alberta Hunter ("Early Every Morn"), Ma Rainey ("Yonder Come The Blues") and Mamie Smith ("Down Home Blues"), as well as songs made famous by Ethel Waters and Sara Martin, plus another Sippie Wallace classic, "Up the Country Blues."

    As a young girl growing up in New York City's Greenwich Village, these are the songs - and the women - who helped inspire Maria to sing and perform, eventually joining the burgeoning folk scene as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band and later the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. It was also around that time that Maria met Victoria Spivey, who took her under her wing and taught her the finer points of blues singing and performing.

    "These singers presented a more sophisticated, polished and urban blues style compared to the more primitive sound of the Delta blues artists," says Muldaur in the album's liner notes. "Appearing in large theaters, decked out in lavish finery and accompanied by the most accomplished jazz musicians of the day, their music resonated at the crossroads where jazz and blues meet. These women were 'liberated' way before the term was coined; liberated socially, financially and - most of all - sexually from the prevailing confines and mores of the time."

    Naughty, Bawdy & Blue includes extensive recollections from Maria Muldaur on these women singers and their impact on music, as well as individual bios of the women saluted and beautiful watercolor paintings by Rowland Salley of Chris Isaak's band, who also contributed his work to both previous Muldaur albums on Stony Plain.

    Maria Muldaur will tour extensively in support of Naughty, Bawdy & Blue, and is booked by Charlie Ellicott of Ellicott Talent Group

    For more information, visit stonyplainrecords.com

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  • Heart Of Mine - Love Songs Of Bob Dylan ON TELARC RECORDS

    Muldaur showcases this lesser known side of the Dylan legacy on her new Telarc release.

    Vocalist Maria Muldaur is a child of American folk and roots music. Raised in the fertile Greenwich Village scene of the 1960s, she earned her musical stripes alongside some of the most revered folksingers of the period. Among her contemporaries was one Bob Dylan, the balladeer who single-handedly redefined the pop music landscape with a brand of insightful music that transcended its folk roots and left an indelible mark that is evident to this day. In the early days of the Village folk scene, Muldaur and Dylan often played side-by-side in the coffeehouse circuit.

    Muldaur remembers well the "deep, fervent, compassionate and amazingly perceptive" voice that Dylan brought to the many social issues of the early and mid-'60s during his Village heyday. But she insists that there was-and continues to be-more to Dylan's music than commentary, protest and change. "It occurred to me," she says, "that while Dylan is mostly known for his scathing, perceptive, brutally honest and insightful songs of social consciousness, he has in fact, over the years, written many passionate, poignant love songs."

    For more information, visit www.telarc.com

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  • MARIA MULDAUR RETURNS WITH SWEET LOVIN' OL' SOUL (OLD HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED) CD ON STONY PLAIN RECORDS

    August 2 Release Is The Follow-Up To Her Grammy-Nominated Album, Richland Woman Blues

    EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records has announced an August 2 release date for Maria Muldaur's Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul (Old Highway 61 Revisited) the follow-up CD to her 2002 Grammy-nominated album, Richland Woman Blues. The new CD continues Maria's salute to women blues singers such as Memphis Minnie, Bessie Smith and Lucille Bogan. Guests on Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul (Old Highway 61 Revisited) include Taj Mahal, who duets with Maria on two songs: “Ain't What You Used to Have, ” originally recorded by vaudeville/blues duo Butterbeans and Suzy; and “Take A Stand,” a gospel song originally recorded in 1929 by Blind Willie Johnson. Taj also plays guitar and banjo on several tracks. Old friend and fellow blues singer Tracy Nelson joins Maria on the Bessie Smith/Clara Smith duet, “I'm Goin' Back;” and Alvin Youngblood Hart sings with Maria on the Memphis Minnie/Kansas Joe song, “She Put Me Outdoors.” Recent Grammy lifetime achievement award-winning blues pianist Pinetop Perkins performs on “Decent Woman Blues,” a tune originally recorded by Julia Lee. Other guests on the CD include guitarists Del Rey and Steve James, Chris Isaak bassist Rowland Salley (who also painted the album's cover art), pianist Dave Mathews and jug player Fritz Richmond, who played with Maria in one of her first groups, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band.

    “When with the help of my blues loving, blues playing friends, I made Richland Woman Blues, a tribute to the early blues pioneers whose music so deeply influenced and inspired us all, I had no idea that it would be so enthusiastically received by blues fans and critics alike,” says Maria Muldaur in the new CD's liner notes. “The positive response received by Richland Woman Blues proved the point I was trying to make – that almost 100 years later, this soulful, innovative music is as relevant and moving as when it was first created. The blues as an idiom will continue to be vital and relevant because with grace, wisdom, pathos and a good dose of humor, the blues poetically testify to the common feelings and concerns that have always been a part of the human experience and are not likely to change or go away any time soon.”

    Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul (Old Highway 61 Revisited) is being distributed in the U.S. by Navarre Distribution. Maria Muldaur will be touring in support of the new album, including dates at both clubs and festivals throughout the summer and fall. For more information, visit www.stonyplainrecords.com
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  • MARIA MULDAUR EXPLORES THE CHOREOGRAPHY OF LOVE - "Love Wants To Dance"

    For many of us, love is a dance – a series of careful and cautious steps and movements that span a lifetime and embrace a certain degree of risk. Whether the object of our affection is a romantic interest, a family member or a cherished friend, love is the choreography of the heart.

    This popular view of love serves as the foundation for Maria Muldaur's latest Telarc release, Love Wants To Dance. Easygoing and engaging, the album's ten tracks live and breathe in the elusive space between jazz and blues – with various other subtleties tossed in. Whatever the style, the unifying theme throughout the set is that universal force that keeps every human heart beating.

    Muldaur's philosophy behind the record is simple and straightforward. "This album could be the soundtrack to a sweet little tropical vacation," she says. "Intimate moments of love, longing for love, invitations to love and mourning lost love…It's all about love. Anybody got a problem with that?"

    The album opens with the quiet and wistful "The Lies of Handsome Men," an eternally optimistic take on romantic love, despite the often harsh realities that come with it. Equally optimistic is the slightly uptempo followup, "If Dreams Come True," a track that owes its folksy vibe to the counterpoint of guitarist Daniel Caron and violinist Joe Craven.

    Later in the sequence, the sensuous yet vaguely swinging "Moonlight" is reminiscent of Muldaur's 1973 pop hit, "Midnight at the Oasis." She follows with "Lonely Moon," a melancholy invitation to that mysterious and eternal orb in the night sky. Praised for decades as a premier blues singer, Muldaur reconnects to her roots with the classic "I Gotta Right To Sing the Blues," a soulful, torchy ballad enhanced by the deft counterpoint between guitarist Caron and saxophonist Jim Rothermel.

    The last two tracks set up a coda of sorts, beginning with the mournful "The Strongest Stand Alone," followed immediately by the uptempo and optimistic "Every Day's a New Day." The final message is clear: for all the perils associated with love, there's a whole world to be gained by approaching it with an open mind and an open heart.

    Behind Muldaur's trademark sultry vocals is a talented eight-piece crew that boils a wide range of shades and styles down to a well-textured musical backdrop. In addition to the aforementioned Caron, Rothermel and Craven, the studio roster also includes: pianist Chris Burns, bassist Seward McCain, drummer/percussionist Lance Dresser, pedal steel player Bobby Black and keyboardist John Burr.

    Love Wants To Dance, and Maria Muldaur is waiting on the dance floor.

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  • "I'M A WOMAN." A FIRST-EVER CAREER RETROSPECTIVE WITH SPECIAL APPEARANCES BY BONNIE RAITT, CHARLES BROWN AND TAJ MAHAL. Collection Reflects Her Sweeping 30 Year Career, In Stores On May 4th From Shout! Factory

    LOS ANGELES, CA -- "Much like a jazz singer who is adored for their incredible interpretative vocals, Maria Muldaur is unparalleled when it comes to the Americana music she has discovered and made her own throughout her 30-year career. An incredible vocalist and an exquisite song interpreter, Maria Muldaur is at last honored with a retrospective that reveals to the rest of the world why she continues to be a favorite among her peers. I'm A Woman: 30 Years of Maria Muldaur will be in stores on May 4th, from Shout! Factory.

    While most music fans may remember her for 'Midnight At The Oasis,' a massive pop hit in the mid-70s, Muldaur actually spent her career exploring folk, blues, Americana and jazz. She has released 23 albums (including 2001's Grammy-nominated Richland Woman's Blues), performed with Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John and Taj Mahal, and dedicated her life to discovering and rediscovering the roots of American music. Perhaps more than anything, I'm A Woman serves as an anthology of American music, as delivered through the stirring vocals of Maria Muldaur.

    A part of the Greenwich Village folk scene, Muldaur was drawn to the South to get a first-hand lesson in its origins. There, she joined The Even Dozen Jugg Band, which introduced her to the blues, leaving an impact that would last for the rest of her career. Several years later, she released her debut solo album and hit big with 'Midnight At The Oasis.' But 'Midnight' proved to be merely a stop along her incredible musical journey. At different times, she ventured deeply into gospel, classic country, and jazz, immersing herself into each style and surrounding herself with vital teachers.

    I'm A Woman: 30 Years of Maria Muldaur follows Maria's lifelong journey, unleashing her soulful vocals upon each discovery she makes. An amazing survey of musical forms, the 19 songs were carefully chosen by Maria (her personal favorites), representing the breadth of her career as well as an intense musical curiosity. The collection uncovers Muldaur as one of the great female vocalists, and reflects her lifelong study of American music. In fact, Maria's travels have led her to cross paths with many of her American musical legends, each leaving a bit of them with her. Longtime collaborators and fans Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and Charles Brown (making his last recording), appear on several songs on the album, including their interpretations of the classics 'It's A Blessing' and 'Soul Of A Man.' I'm A Woman is proof of Maria's mastery and deep love affair with American musical forms."
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  • "SISTERS & BROTHERS." MARIA MULDAUR, ERIC BIBB AND RORY BLOCK

    "There was a deeply profound way in which our diverse approaches connected and intertwined [on this recording]. It was as if we three were of the same parents and had parted as youngsters, only to return carrying the rewards of our individual journeys. We all opened our musical treasure chests and laid out the contents."-Rory Block, from the liner notes.

    Since the earliest beginnings of the blues in the Mississippi delta, musicians of every generation and every locale have been linked by an unspoken bond that is almost spiritual. While gender, race, geography or personal background may vary from one musician to the next, there is something about their commitment to the blues-a music that speaks to so many universal aspects of the human condition-that unites all of them as family.

    Eric Bibb, Rory Block and Maria Muldaur-three of the most authentic blues musicians of the modern era-are a part of this family. They come together to celebrate their family ties in Sisters & Brothers, a collection of 13 tracks that reach into the various corners of the country blues and folk tradition.

    The album was recorded in an antique timber-frame barn that has been converted into a performing arts space in a small town in Maine called Unity. Inside the barn is a sign that quotes the Old Testament Book of Psalms: "Behold, how good and pleasant for brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity." The resonance of such a musical event shared by such musicians in such a place is hard to ignore, even for the most jaded cynic.

    "Everybody involved in these sessions...was on the same page musically and spiritually," says producer Randy Labbe.

    The sense of unity is evident in the vocal pairings throughout the album. Bibb's cover of Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody" and his own gentle "Give a Little More" are perfect songs about what it takes to be a citizen in the modern world. When he asks each person in the world to give, the compassionate backing vocals of Block and Muldaur affirm his plea for world unity.

    In addition to her fiery acoustic blues, Block shows off her affinity for soul and R&B. Her eloquence in Bill Withers' classic "Lean On Me," with Muldaur's vocals delicately soaring above, is a compelling call to strengthen the chain of brotherhood in the world. Later, these musical sisters sing Block's "Travelin' Woman Blues" with a spirited sense of rapport.

    Muldaur brings a vibrant sensuality and earthy passion to every story she sings. In "Bessie's Advice," she captures subtleties that express volumes of personal wisdom within each note. In the very next track, she and Bibb engage in a playful give-and-take about the "Good Stuff" that unifies personal relationships.

    The three musicians' voices and riffs merge seamlessly in this collection, and for good reason. While their respective careers represent a diverse cross-section of the blues tradition, all three came from the same place. As the son of the young folk singer Leon Bibb, Eric Bibb grew up in the mid-1960s folk music boom that recaptured the essence of country blues from the early 1900s. As a young teen, Rory Block grew up amid the Greenwich Village folk scene which included music at her father's famous sandal shop and Sunday jam sessions in Washington Square. At the same time, Muldaur was also making the rounds in the Greenwich Village scene and joining in on nightly jams in various clubs and coffeehouses.

    Truly, this threesome are Sisters & Brothers in the blues tradition. Check out their collaborative effort and be a part of the family.
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  • CLASSIC AMERICANA LIVE: MARIA MULDAUR'S LEGENDARY 1973 & 1975 KSAN-FM CONCERTS

    Sacramento--Here for the first time on record, is songstress Maria Muldaur gloriously live, by virtue of two San Francisco radio concerts from the Boardinghouse in 1973 and the Great American Music Hall in 1975. Set to release on July 29 is Maria Muldaur, CLASSIC LIVE! ( DIG Music).

    Muldaur was a bona fide pop star commanding a national audience from the huge success of her sultry 1974 hit "Midnight At the Oasis"---a fortuitous last choice add-on to her debut solo album, MARIA MULDAUR. The popular power of this song, penned by her guitarist, David Nichtern, enabled her to share her deep love of roots music with a broad-based audience not yet marginalized by radio monopolies or separated by niche programming. There has never been anything formulaic about Muldaur, ne' Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica D'Amato, from New York's Greenwich Village, a diverse mélange of cultures in America if there ever was one.

    Muldaur taught her audience songs that now have come to encompass a whole popular genre called Americana Music-she stands unique in this regard. She did it then--- just as she continues to do now, thirty years later---by carefully selecting her repertoire from the choicest of North American songwriters. They were from the Mississippi Delta, like Skip James and Sleepy John Estes; New Orleans by way of Blue Lu Barker and Mac "Doctor John" Rebbenack, and Appalachian bluegrass country from Dolly Parton, who at that time was known for her glossy cheesecake image rather than her stellar song writing. Muldaur also spotlighted the campy Western swing/jazz of Dan Hicks and was the first major artist to record the deeply felt writing of Canadian Anna McGarrigle, here, "The Work Song," a centerpiece of the entire album.

    Muldaur will now say her voice, then at age 30, was more "a flute than a saxophone." But listen to her dig in on Rebbenack's "Three Dollar Bill," the wonderful Lieber-Stoller romp, " Searchin'", and especially her mighty gospel harmony closers, "As An Eagle Stirreth In Her Nest" and "Travelin' Shoes."

    "It was a love fest back then, in all ways" laughs David Nichtern." Some of the best times, ever! Maria was the Goddess of the Vegetarian Hippie Movement. Everybody wanted to be near her." The camaraderie on stage is evident in their joyous playing, stage patter and the obvious shared love of roots music. Amos Garrett, John Girton, Ellen Kearney and David Nichtern on guitars, Mike Finnegan on Hammond B-3, John Gutcheon on piano, Michael Moore and John Kahn on bass, plus Bobby Mason and the great New Orleans drummer, Earl Palmer are some of the musical gang.

    "This music is not music that was hot for a minute in the 1930s or even the 1960s" says Muldaur about her love of country blues. " At this point it keeps regenerating itself as a vital and very alive art form. Every generation finds it and rediscovers it again. It doesn't just get dusted off from a mildewed cover from the Library of Congress." In fact, the sexy Mississippi John Hurt charmer she introduces here, "Richland Woman Blues," is a song that nearly thirty years later, in 2002, was the title of her brilliant Grammy-nominated album.

    So strap on to this terrific time machine thanks to the legendary KSAN-FM and the Bay Area Music Archives, and get back to what is really going on now, then.

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  • "A Woman Alone with the Blues:...Remembering Peggy Lee" (on Telarc)

    The enchanting chanteuse Maria Muldaur pays respect to the great Peggy Lee, with A Woman Alone With The Blues, devoted to twelve of Lee's great songs. Starting this record with the great classic "Fever," Maria makes this cool, sexy song her own.

    Muldaur says "when producer Randy Labbe called and said he'd like to do a special project with me, his idea was a 'Maria Muldaur does the songs of…' He suggested several songwriters, but I thought about Peggy Lee, who had just passed away. As a longtime fan, I was dismayed that not much notice had been given to her passing. She was such a wonderful and talented songstress whose career had spanned so many decades and so many musical styles and trends. I expressed my feelings to Randy, he agreed, and we decided to make an album that would be a well-deserved tribute to her unique artistry."

    Peggy Lee's recording of "Fever" was one of Muldaur's favorites as far back as the early 1960s. She recalls "playing it often on jukeboxes in various bars in Greenwich Village. One night I decided to play th B-side on the jukebox. It was a song entitled 'I'm a Woman,' done in the same style as 'Fever.' I instantly fell in love with it and played it repeatedly, at least a dozen times! I remember scribbling down all the lyrics on a napkin. When I got home, I picked up the guitar and fooled around with the few blues licks and chords I knew how to play and turned the song into a funky little R&B tune that became, and has remained, my theme song for over forty years."

    Included on A Woman Alone With The Blues, are many other Lee classics including the sultry "Black Coffee," "The Freedom Train," "I Don't Know Enough About You," "Moments Like This," "Winter Weather," "Some Cats Know," "Everything is Moving Too Fast," "Waitin' for the Train To Come In," "A Woman Alone with the Blues," "For Every Man There's a Woman," and "I'm Gonna Go Fishin."
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  • "Animal Crackers In My Soup" (on Music For Little People)

    A long-time children's music advocate, Muldaur has just recorded her third children's album for the Music for Little People (MFLP) label, Animal Crackers In My Soup, performing classic renditions of the songs made popular by Shirley Temple. The two previous albums are Swingin' in the Rain, featuring a superb collection of treasured classics for children and On The Sunny Side, an Indie Award-winning collection of familiar upbeat pop and country classics spanning five decades (Muldaur's first full-length album especially produced for children and families). "As a child, I can remember listening to these treasures on the radio and wanted to share my favorites with today's youngsters," says Muldaur.

    Muldaur has also contributed to several MFLP productions, including, Family Folk Festival (1990), A Child's Celebration of Song (1992), A Child's Celebration of Folk Music (1996), Big Blues (1996) and A Child's Celebration of World Music. Other children's recordings by Muldaur include, American Children (Alacazam!) and Baboons, Butterflies & Me (a Nature Company video).

    Muldaur's artistry expresses a profound love for American music in all its forms and her unique interpretations of pop, blues, jazz and folk music have earned her the respect of both critics and fans. In her early years, Muldaur was best known for her smash pop hit, "Midnight At The Oasis," from her first solo album which went Platinum, securing her a place in the hearts and minds of baby boomers the world over.

    Raised in Greenwich Village amid New York's rich cultural diversity, Muldaur traveled to North Carolina, while still in her teens, to study the fiddle with well-known traditional artist Doc Watson. In high school she formed an all-girl rock 'n' roll band called "The Cashmeres." At twenty-one, she began her professional musical career joining John Sebastian (later of "The Lovin' Spoonful") to form the "Even Dozen Band." Later, as vocalist-violinist, she toured and performed for five years with the "Jim Kweskin Jug Band," recording five albums with the group.

    In 1973, Muldaur released her first solo album, Maria Muldaur, which rocketed up the charts with the hit "Midnight At The Oasis." More albums followed including, Waitress In A Donut Shop, Sweet Harmony, Southern Winds and Open Your Eyes, all showcasing Muldaur's unique and unmistakable blend of jazz, pop, blues and folk styles.

    In the early 80's, Muldaur expressed her life-long passion for traditional American gospel music with the release of Gospel Nights and There Is A Love, produced by T-Bone Burnett. Following these albums, she continued to broaden her scope as a performer and appeared in the touring companies "The Pirates of Penzance" and "Pump Boys & Dinettes." It was during the preparation for "Pirates" that Maria took her first-ever voice lessons. Maintaining the well-loved earthy blues quality, her famous voice soars with incredible ease, range, authority and control. She has also released two critically acclaimed jazz albums, Sweet And Slow and Transbluency, the latter winning the "Pop/Jazz Album of the Year" award by The New York Times.

    In 1992, Muldaur signed with Black Top Records. Louisiana Love Call, recorded in her beloved New Orleans where she began to spend more of her time, came about when American roots music began to experience a gigantic worldwide surge in popularity. The album featured guest appearances by Dr. John, Aaron and Charles Neville, accordionist Zachary Richard and guitar guru Amos Garrett. Instantly embraced by critics and fans alike, the album was hailed as the best album of her career and received the "Best Adult Alternative Album of the Year" award by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors (NAIRD). The follow up album, Meet Me at Midnite, released in 1994, also won wide critical acclaim and was nominated for a W. C. Handy Blues award. Muldaur holds the distinction of being Black Top's best-selling artist to date.

    Muldaur's 1996 album, Fanning the Flames (Telarc), was recorded deep in the bayou country of Louisiana and is steeped in the fervent blues traditions of the South. She recorded two albums in 1998: the children's album Swingin' in the Rain (Music For Little People) and Southland of the Heart (Telarc) which evoked the spirit of the South, what Muldaur calls "the birthplace of all the great American music: jazz, blues and gospel. That music is the main thrust of my whole career and where my soul lives." Her 1999 self-produced album, Meet Me Where They Play The Blues is a smooth and sophisticated album with Maria at the peak of her form. Her 2001 release, Richland Woman Blues (Stony Plain) was nominated for a Grammy® in the "Best Traditional Blues Album" category and for two W. C. Handy awards for "Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist of the Year" and "Best Acoustic Blues Album of the Year." Her guests on the album include Bonnie Raitt, John Sebastian, Taj Mahal, Roy Rogers, Tracy Nelson and Alvin Youngblood Hart.

    Through the years Muldaur's voice has matured beautifully, adding burnished warmth and a husky timbre to the playful, sweet innocence that graced "Midnight At The Oasis." She has matured as an artist and producer and continues to tour extensively throughout the U. S., Canada and Europe with occasional forays to Japan, bringing her eclectic style of American roots music to audiences nearly as diverse as her repertoire. The continuing musical journey of Maria Muldaur only becomes more enriching and significant with each awaited recording.

    A sultry vocalist, Maria Muldaur is making a big splash in the Blues pool, earning a Grammy® nomination this year as well as two W. C. Handy nominations.
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  • Maria Muldaur's "Richland Woman Blues" Celebrates the Birth of the Blues (available in Sept, 2000 on Stony Plain Recording Co)

    A trip to Memphis Minnie's gravesite in Walls, Mississippi several years ago inspired Richland Woman Blues, Maria's second album for Stony Plain Records. On the 25th recording of her wide-ranging career, roots pioneer Maria Muldaur celebrates one of the most profound inspirations of 20th-century American musicóthe early blues of the 1920's and 1930's. On this, her fourth self-produced album, she collaborates with half a dozen of her contemporaries and a member of the next generation, all of whom she considers "keepers of the flame".

    Maria's longtime soul sister, Bonnie Raitt, pays tribute to her slide guitar mentor Mississippi Fred McDowell on McDowell's "It's a Blessing", while John Sebastian, founder of the Lovin' Spoonful, and with Maria, an alumnus of the Even Dozen Jug Band, plays on one of Maria's most-frequently requested tunes, Mississippi John Hurt's Richland Woman Blues.

    Also on the recording, former Mother Earth vocalist Tracy Nelson joins in on a rare Bessie Smith/Clara Smith duet, while Taj Mahal lends his soulful touch to a spirited Blind Willie Johnson number. Maria also teams up with Alvin Youngblood Hart, the new-school blues man from the Bay area, to interpret two duets originally recorded by Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe.

    Maria is backed by ace Canadian guitarist Amos Garrett on a Leadbelly number, and by Bay area slide guitarist and producer Roy Rogers on two more Memphis Minnie tunes. Angela Strehli joins Maria on an old Bessie Smith number to round out the project.

    Background

    Following the W.C. Handy Awards in Memphis several years ago, Stony Plain label head Holger Petersen joined Maria for a little pilgrimage to the Mississippi Delta. "During that trip", Maria says, "I was inspired to do an album of songs by some of the early blues pioneers, especially the women. For me, these early blues pioneers are the most important cultural elders of the 20th century."

    Memphis Minnie, born Lizzie Douglas, recorded more than 200 songs for Columbia, Bluebird, Okeh, Vocalion, and other well-known labels. For more than four decades beginning in the 1920's, she was counted among the most popular and highly regarded artists on the scene. "I first encountered the blues as a teenager", Maria says. "I listened to the women blues singers, and started including several Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey songs in my repertoire. That was also when I first heard Memphis Minnie. Her raw, soulful sound remains one of my main musical inspirations to this day."

    While today's blues scene tends to be dominated by "guitar slingers," female singers figured prominently in the earliest blues recordings. Generally considered the first blues record, Mamie Smith's 1920 rendition of Crazy Blues, for example, inaugurated the blues genre by selling more than 75,000 copies in its first month and one million copies within the year.

    Among those who followed (in addition to Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie and Ma Rainey) were such original blues artists as Victoria Spivey, Sippie Wallace, Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter, Bertha "Chippie" Hill, Blue Lu Barker, Big Mama Thornton, and Koko Taylor.

    Early in her career, Maria was fortunate enough to be able to meet and work with both Victoria Spivey and Sippie Wallace. Among her earliest hits, which included both Richland Woman Blues and Leiber and Stoller's I'm a Woman, was Blue Lu Barker's Don't You Feel My Leg, first recorded on her best-selling 1973 solo album for Warner Brothers. Midnight at the Oasis appeared on the same album, which rose as high as number six, remained on the Billboard charts for almost half a year and helped earn Maria her first platinum record.

    "My voice has gotten stronger and deeper over the years," Maria says, "and I feel like I've just begun to hit my stride, musically and creatively. When I sing these songs now, I'm finally able to feel that I have the right instrument, the depth of experience and the artistic chops to properly celebrate these great pioneering artists and their music."

    "The early blues seem to me even more relevant and powerful today than in the 1960's when so many of the surviving blues artists were being rediscovered, or even the 1920's and 1930's when the original records were being made. This is still a bluesy world and these songs remain timeless and articulate expressions of the human condition and the human spirit.
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  • May, 1999 - Meet Me Where They Play The Blues, Maria Muldaur, (Telarc Records)

    Maria & CharlesThis album is lovingly dedicated to the incomparable, CHARLES BROWN, who was the original inspiration for this project. A sublime and soulful musician,, with a voice like rich, dark melted chocolate that had the ability to soothe and heal the troubled soul, he was one of the truly great innovative giants in American music. He invented a whole style of music called "Club Blues", "West Coast Blues", but most often "Cool Blues" - a blend of elegant, sophisticated Jazz and mellow, soulful blues.

    I had originally planned to record these songs with Charles and chose many of these songs with his unique piano styling in mind. Unfortunately he became too ill to make it into the studio, so we proceeded to record these songs with him as our musical and spiritual mentor and guide. As the project was nearing completion,, however, we got word that Charles was feeling better and really wanted to sing with me.) so we brought the studio to him. By the grace of God, and much to everyone's delight, we were able to record a beautiful duet together. Sadly it was to be the last recording he was to make. I must say that this experience will remain one of the most sweet and treasured moments of my entire musical career.

    We love you Charles and we'll really miss you! Thank you for so many years of exquisitely gorgeous and soulful music.
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  • 1998 - Southland Of The Heart, Maria Muldaur, (Telarc Records)

    This deeply personal record has material culled from a myriad of songwriters, many of whom have contributed tunes to prior Muldaur recordings. The new collection includes its share of the sultry adult love songs and the spirited, gospel-flavored numbers for which Muldaur is known with a mixture of other flavors as well. Recorded in Los Angeles, unlike several of her previous recordings which were made in Louisiana, "Southland Of The Heart" is also a departure from the straight-ahead blues that Muldaur has been known to perform in recent years. "On this album, I was taking somewhat of a chance," explains Muldaur. "As songs started coming in, I kept thinking that I love these songs, but they're not blues; they're bluesy, but they're not the straight ahead blues that I've been doing. Then I thought--these are the songs that are moving me now. They're blues for our times, and they need to be heard."
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  • 1996 - Fanning the Flames, Maria Muldaur, (Telarc Records)

    Maria Muldaur reverts readily to her roots music on Telarc Blues' Fanning the Flames blending raw blues with heartwarming gospel, Memphis-styled and New Orleans musics to yield what she calls "bluesiana". She indeed fans the flames of the Southern folk-blues tradition, igniting twelve tunes with the help of guest artists Johnny Adams, Huey Lewis, Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples.
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  • 1994 - Meet Me At Midnite, Maria Muldaur, (Black Top Records)

    Maria Muldaur's second Black Top release is a sultry, Memphis-minded masterpiece, with southern grit and the universal subject matter of love, spirituality, and passion intact. Produced by John Porter (who's also produced Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Taj Mahal and Bryan Ferry), with piano work from Little Feat's Bill Payne, and backing vocals by Ann Peebles and Tracy Nelson. "There is not a weak track on the disc, and though it's not down home country blues, it is blue enough for anyone. My recommendation." --The Hard Report.
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  • 1994 - Jazzabelle, Maria Muldaur, (Stony Plain Records)

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  • 1992 - Louisiana Love Call, Maria Muldaur, (Black Top Records)

    Joining Maria on her Black Top debut is a stellar cast of musicians including Amos Garrett, Dr. John, Aaron and Charles Neville, and others. This album was Black Top's best seller to date. ". . . a fervent exercise in Crescent City soul that reveals Muldaur's true nature as a blues-and-roots-influenced singer most at home in a relaxed, understated musical context." --John Swenson, Rolling Stone. "...one of the most impressive and substantive debuts in recent memory." --Billboard. With Aaron Neville, Charles Neville, Dr. John, Zachary Richard, Amos Garrett, Cranston Clements, and more.
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  • 1990 - On The Sunnyside, Maria Muldaur, (Music For Little People Records)

    An Indie Award winning collection of familiar upbeat and country classics spanning five decades, Muldaur's first full-length album especially produced for children and families.
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  • 1987 - Live In London, Maria Muldaur, (Making Waves Records)

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  • 1986 - Transblucency, Maria Muldaur, (Uptown Records)

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  • 1984 - Sweet And Slow, Maria Muldaur, (Tudor Records), Reissued On Stony Plain Records

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  • 1982 - There Is A Love, Maria Muldaur, (Myrrh Records)

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  • 1981 - Gospel Nights, Maria Muldaur, (Takoma Records)

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  • 1979 - Open Your Eyes, Maria Muldaur, (Warner Brothers Records)

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  • 1978 - Southern Winds, Maria Muldaur, (Warner Brothers Records)

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  • 1976 - Sweet Harmony, Maria Muldaur, (Warner Brothers Records)

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  • 1974 - Waitress In A Donut Shop, Maria Muldaur, (Warner Brothers Records)

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  • 1973 - Maria Muldaur, Maria Muldaur, (Warner Brothers Records)

    First solo album - rocketed up the charts with the hit "Midnight At The Oasis."
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  • 1971 - Sweet Potatoes, Geoff & Maria Muldaur, (Reprise Records)

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  • 1968 - Pottery Pie, Geoff & Maria Muldaur, (Reprise Records)

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  • 1967 - Garden Of Joy, Jim Kweskin Jug Band, (Reprise Records)

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  • 1966 - The Best Of Jim Kweskin Jug Band, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, (Vanguard Records)

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  • 1965 - See Reverse Side For Title, Jim Kweskin Jug Band, (Vanguard Records)

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  • 1964 - Jug Band Music, Jim Kweskin Jug Band, (Vanguard Records)

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  • 1963 - The Even Dozen Jug Band, The Even Dozen Jug Band, (Vanguard Records)
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