30 Years of Maria Muldaur: I'm a Woman

Maria Muldaur

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30 Years of Maria Muldaur: I'm a Woman Review

by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

It would be easy for different sets of fans to remember Maria Muldaur from different places and times. For folk fans, she started out as Maria D'Amato, a singer who belted out "I'm a Woman" and other saucy favorites for the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in the mid-'60s. For pop fans, Muldaur was the singer of the risqué "Midnight at the Oasis," a big hit in 1973. But the two singers can be put together by two words: saucy and risqué. This isn't to suggest that Muldaur couldn't sing pretty love songs like "Louisiana Love Call" or folksy country songs like "My Tennessee Mountain Home" -- only that she made her rep singing about giving "you the shivering fits" in "I'm a Woman" and slipping off to a sand dune in "Oasis." Taking a cursory glance at the 19 selections on 30 Years of Maria Muldaur does little to disavow that rep. There are lively versions of "It Ain't the Meat (It's the Motion)," "Don't You Make Me High (Don't You Feel My Leg)," and "Me and My Chauffeur Blues." It would be a shame, though, if listeners allowed all of this sex appeal to obscure what a fine singer Muldaur is, or to shadow how well she handles the blues and old jazz. There's a lovely version of "Rockin' Chair," on which she's backed by saxophonist Benny Carter, and a nice, bluesy take on "It Feels Like Rain." While 30 Years leans toward Muldaur's work from the early '70s onward, all of her fans will enjoy a retrospective of a long, productive career.

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