Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Maria Muldaur

Naughty, Bawdy & Blue

2007-05-24

The last several years have seen Maria Muldaur taking on everything from the love songs of Bob Dylan, Heart of Mine, to the Peggy Lee catalog, A Woman Alone with the Blues, as well as torchy jazz, Love Wants to Dance and acoustic roots tunes, Sweet Lovin’ Ol’ Soul and Richland Woman Blues. While this wild stylistic journey would crush many an artist, it’s all in a day’s work for Muldaur who started her career playing old timey fiddle in jug bands and soon found herself on top of the pop world with the massive 1973 hit, "Midnight at the Oasis". After that left field hit, Muldaur slipped out of the mainstream but continued to record disc after disc that mined the great American songbooks of blues, soul, gospel, jazz and ragtime. The early 90’s found her connecting with the blues audience with a pair of releases on the now sadly defunct Black Top label, Meet Me at Midnight and Louisiana Love Call. Having made that connection, she forged full steam ahead on the wide ranging musical journey that brings her full circle on this release by taking a trip back to the free wheeling jazzy blues that first caught her ear during the folk revival that brought many like minded souls into her home stomping grounds of Greenwich Village. Joined by James Dapogny’s Chicago Jazz Band, Muldaur applies her sultry voice to classics by mentor Victoria Spivey, "TB Blues" and "One Hour Mama" as well as blues pioneers such as Maimie Smith, "Down Home Blues", Sippie Wallace, "Up The Country Blues" and "Separation Blues" (where she is joined by Bonnie Raitt), Alberta Hunter, "Early Every Morn", and Ma Rainey, "Yonder Come the Blues". In her capable hands, these well worn tunes remain as sexy and sassy as the title of this disc. Hip hop nation take note: it doesn’t take explicit lyrics or profanity to steam things up. As any blues fan knows a well chosen turn of a phrase or a sly double entendre can be far more naughty and bawdy than telling it straight. Overall, this will likely find more favor amongst blue fans than some of Muldaur’s other musical journeys. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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