Maria Muldaur

Classic Live!

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This live material was taken from two San Francisco concerts, one in 1973 and one from 1975. That's the period, most would agree, when Maria Muldaur was at her peak as a solo artist (she was certainly at her commercial peak by 1975), and as they were broadcast on San Francisco radio at the time, the sound's pretty good, as well. The set list is heavy on songs from her debut album -- yes, the hit "Midnight at the Oasis" is here -- although numbers from her second and third record appear, too. Also sprinkled into the mix is a cover of the Coasters' "Searchin'," Mississippi John Hurt's "Richland Woman" (which she had recorded back in 1967 as part of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band), and "Lover Man (Where Can You Be)," which she wouldn't get around to putting on an album until 1983's Sweet and Slow. With the band including the great Earl Palmer on drums, this is a chance to hear Muldaur with sparer arrangements than she used on her early studio albums. She tackles material by Anna McGarrigle, Dolly Parton, Dr. John, and others with a fair amount of spunk and just occasional bursts of unplanned mike noise and electronic sputters, although the ambience is a little laid-back in a mid-'70s sort of way. Some of her better-known early solo songs (like "I'm a Woman" and "It Ain't the Meat (It's the Motion)") are missed, but fans of her early work will enjoy this.

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