Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

JENNI MULDAUR

DEAREST DARLIN'

2009-08-20

Backed by an all star cast including Sean Costello on guitar, Brian Jackson on keys, Lenny Pickett on sax, Catherine Russell, Teddy Thompson and Joseph Arthur on vocals, Jenni Muldaur, daughter of folk and blues icons Geoff and Maria Muldaur, has crafted a disc worthy of her rich linage. With most of the 12 cuts pre-dating the early 60’s you get the sense that Muldaur is channeling the soundtrack of growing up with parents immersed in music and having fun. The mostly upbeat tone of this disc is established from the opening notes of Big Maybelle’s classic, "I’ve Got a Feelin’", which is given a high energy reading that is matched by the jumping swing of Lee Dorsey’s "You’re Breaking Me Up", the girl group rave-up, "You’ve Got Me Uptight" and the rhythmic bounce of the Bo Diddley penned title cut. Vintage rock makes a fun filled appearance on "I’d Rather Live like a Hermit" which has a smoking sax chart straight off from L.A.’s Central Avenue and on the Charlie Rich classic, "There’s Another Place That I Can’t Go" which sounds like a first cousin to Sonny & Cher’s "Beat Goes On". In a different vein but still brimming with energy is the acapella field chant "Hopali". Even though soul numbers like "Just Ain’t No Love" have a percolating groove that leaves the crying to others while Muldaur shakes her tailfeather she can also pull out the Kleenex box as evidenced by "Lost Someone" and gets downright sultry on the bluesy "Just Kiss Me Once" and on the jazzy "Comatose Town". NRBQ’s "Blame it on the World" is somewhat of the odd song out with its popish sound and 70’s vibe. With a vocal style that sounds uncannily like her mother’s early work and occasionally like Rickie Lee Jones, Muldaur imbues every cut with sass, swing and, most importantly, honest emotion. Absolutely terrific from beginning to end. SMITTY

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