Recorded live in Bremen, Germany, Beautiful Isle of Somewhere documents the re-emergence of Geoff Muldaur to the concert stage. After having spent most of the '80s and '90s concentrating on film scores, the business side of music, and computer-related projects, Muldaur returned to the studio and released 1998's acclaimed The Secret Handshake. The success of this disc prompted a small tour of Europe that led him to the Moments club in Bremen, where this intimate solo performance was recorded. With his gentle guitar and beautifully weathered voice, Muldaur moves effortlessly through a comfortable collection of folk-blues standards and originals for a subdued yet appreciative German audience. Songs selected for this set provide a nice variety that crosses through different factions of blues music, with Muldaur's voice easily matching the tone and style of each composition. Unlike some of today's blues singers who lick and trill their way though lyrics, his unadorned vocal work quietly conveys the ghostly character in Walter Davis' "I Can't See Your Face Anymore," while coming vibrantly to life on a rockin' version of Sleepy John Estes' "Drop Down Mama." His pipes get a workout on Vera Hall's "The Wild Ox Moan," a highlight from The Secret Handshake, where he caps off phrases with a tripping falsetto "moan." Even more so in concert than in the studio, Muldaur is able to showcase his mastery and passion for the blues, and this warmly affective performance stands as undeniable proof.
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AllMusic Review by Aaron Latham