Maria Muldaur (born Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica D'Amato; September 12, 1942)[1][better source needed] is an American folk and blues singer who was part of the American folk music revival in the early 1960s. She recorded the 1973 hit song "Midnight at the Oasis" and has recorded albums in the folk, blues, early jazz, gospel, country, and R&B traditions.[2]

Maria Muldaur
Muldaur in 1969
Muldaur in 1969
Background information
Birth nameMaria Grazia Rosa Domenica D'Amato
Also known asMaria D'Amato
Born (1942-09-12) September 12, 1942 (age 81)
New York City, U.S.
GenresFolk, blues, country
Years active1963–present

She was the wife of musician Geoff Muldaur and is the mother of singer-songwriter Jenni Muldaur.

Biography edit

Muldaur was born in Greenwich Village, New York City, where she attended Hunter College High School.[3]

Muldaur cites as early musical influences classic country music by Kitty Wells, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, Ernest Tubb, and Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys; early rhythm and blues artists like Chuck Willis, Little Richard, Ruth Brown, Fats Domino, and Muddy Waters; Alan Freed "rock 'n' roll" shows; and doo-wop groups such as The Platters and The Five Satins.[4]

Muldaur began her career in the early 1960s as Maria D'Amato, performing with John Sebastian, David Grisman, and Stefan Grossman as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band.[5] She then joined Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band as a featured vocalist and occasional fiddle player.[5] During this time, she was part of the Greenwich Village scene that included Bob Dylan, and some of her recollections of the period, particularly with respect to Dylan, appear in Martin Scorsese's 2005 documentary film No Direction Home.

She married fellow Jug Band member Geoff Muldaur, and after the Kweskin group broke up, the couple produced two albums. She began her solo career when their marriage ended in 1972 but retained her married name.[2]

Her first solo album, Maria Muldaur, released in 1973, contained her hit single "Midnight at the Oasis",[5] which reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. It also peaked at number 21 on the UK Singles Chart.[6] Later that year, she released her second album, Waitress in a Donut Shop.[5] This included a re-recording of "I'm a Woman", the Leiber and Stoller number first associated with Peggy Lee and a standout feature from her Jug Band days. Her version of the song peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was her last Hot 100 hit in the U.S. to date. The title of this album is taken from a line in another song on the album, "Sweetheart", by Ken Burgan.

Muldaur (left) with her band on stage at the 1983 Cambridge Folk Festival, England
Muldaur at the Riverwalk Blues Festival in Fort Lauderdale, 1996

Around this time, Muldaur established a relationship with the Grateful Dead. Opening for some Grateful Dead shows in the summer of 1974, with John Kahn, bassist of the Jerry Garcia Band, eventually earned her a seat in that group as a backing vocalist in the late 1970s. Around the same time Muldaur met and eventually collaborated with bluegrass icon Peter Rowan. The two became close, and she was chosen to be the godmother of his daughter Amanda Rowan. She appeared on Super Jam (1989), the live recording of the German TV series Villa Fantastica, with Brian Auger on piano, Pete York on drums, Dick Morrissey on tenor saxophone, Roy Williams on trombone, Harvey Weston on bass and Zoot Money, also on vocals.[citation needed]

People ask me — why do you do these sexist songs? That's bullshit. That's a valid emotion that's a part of us all.[7]

Around 1980, Muldaur became a Christian and released a live album, Gospel Nights, and a studio album, There Is A Love.[5] In 1983 she returned to secular music with Sweet and Slow, a set informed by vintage jazz and blues.[8]

Muldaur continued to perform, tour, and record after her success in the mid 1970s, including a turn at the Teatro ZinZanni in 2001.[4][9]

Her 2005 release Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul was nominated for both a Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Award) and a Grammy Award in the Traditional Blues category. In 2013, she was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female) category.[10]

In 2003, Muldaur performed at Carnegie Hall in the Tribute to Peggy Lee produced by Richard Barone.[11] In 2018 she performed in Barone's Central Park concert Music & Revolution along with John Sebastian and others from her Greenwich Village days.[12]

In 2019, she received the Trailblazer award at the Americana Music Honors & Awards.

In 2021, Muldaur recorded and released the album Let's Get Happy Together, a 40-minute, 12-track album in collaboration with Tuba Skinny.[13]

Discography edit

Even Dozen Jug Band edit

Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band edit

  • Jug Band Music (1965, credited as Maria D'Amato) (Vanguard, VDS-79163)
  • See Reverse Side for Title (1966, credited as Maria D'Amato) (Vanguard, VDS-79234)
  • Garden of Joy (1967) (Reprise, RS-6266)
  • The Best of Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band (1968, compilation, credited as Maria D'Amato) (Vanguard, VDS-79270)

Geoff & Maria Muldaur edit

  • Pottery Pie (1969) (Reprise, RS-6350)
  • Sweet Potatoes (1972) (Reprise, MS-2073)

Solo edit

Solo discography
Year Album title Label Catalog number US[14] US Blues[15] AUS[16] Notes
1973 Maria Muldaur Reprise MS-2148 #3 #30
1974 Waitress in a Donut Shop Reprise MS-2194 #23 #66
1976 Sweet Harmony Reprise MS-2235 #53
1978 Southern Winds Warner Bros. BSK-3162 #143 #91
1979 Open Your Eyes Warner Bros. BSK-3305 #97
1980 Gospel Nights Takoma TAK-7084 Recorded at McCabe's with The Chambers Brothers
1982 There Is a Love Myrrh MSB-6685
1983 Sweet and Slow Spindrift/Making Waves SPIN-109 With Dr. John, Kenny Barron, and other guest artists.[17] (CD reissue: Stony Plain, SPCD-1183)
1985 Live in London Stony Plain Records/Making Waves SP-1099/SPIN-116 Recorded on 7 September 1984 at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club.
1986 Transblucency Uptown UP-27.25 Recorded 1984–85 with "jazz" septet.
1990 On the Sunny Side Music for Little People/Warner Bros. 42503
1992 Louisiana Love Call Black Top BT-1081 Reissued by Shout! Factory with same part number.
1993 Jazzabelle Stony Plain SPCD-1188
1994 Meet Me at Midnite Black Top BT-1107 Reissued by Shout! Factory with same part number.
1996 Fanning the Flames Telarc CD-83394 #14 With Johnny Adams, Huey Lewis, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, and other guest artists.
1998 Southland of the Heart Telarc CD-83423
1998 Swingin' in the Rain (Classic Swing Tunes for Kids of All Ages) Music for Little People/Rhino R2-75311
1999 Meet Me Where They Play the Blues Telarc CD-83460 With Charles Brown, Danny Caron, David K. Mathews, and other guest artists.
2000 Maria Muldaur's Music for Lovers Telarc CD-83512 Compilation.
2001 Richland Woman Blues Stony Plain SPCD-1270 #9 With Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Alvin Youngblood Hart, John Sebastian, Roy Rogers, and other guest artists.
2002 Animal Crackers in My Soup (& Other Songs Made Popular by Shirley Temple) Music for Little People/Rhino R2-78179 With Carrie Lyn.
2003 A Woman Alone with the Blues (...Remembering Peggy Lee) Telarc CD-83568 #9
2003 Classic Live! Burnside/DIG Music UPC: 80440 30110 27 Live radio broadcasts from 1973 and 1975.
2004 I'm a Woman: 30 Years of Maria Muldaur Shout! Factory SF-30219 Compilation.
2004 Sisters & Brothers Telarc CD-83588 With Eric Bibb, and Rory Block.
2004 Love Wants to Dance Telarc CD-83609
2005 Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul (Old Highway 61 Revisited) Stony Plain SPCD-1304 #6 With Taj Mahal, Tracy Nelson, Pinetop Perkins, Del Rey, Steve James, and other guest artists).
2006 Heart of Mine: Maria Muldaur Sings Love Songs of Bob Dylan Telarc CD-83643 #1
2006 Songs for the Young at Heart Music for Little People/Earth Beat!/Rhino R2-74541 Compilation.
2007 Naughty, Bawdy & Blue Stony Plain SPCD-1319 #4 With James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band and Bonnie Raitt.
2008 Live in Concert Global Recording Artists UPC: 64641 31264 27
2008 Yes We Can! Telarc CD-83672 #14 With Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Phoebe Snow, Jane Fonda, Holly Near, Odetta, Anne Lamott, Marianne Williamson, Amma, Jean Shinoda Bolen, and the Women's Voices for Peace Choir.
2009 Maria Muldaur & Her Garden of Joy: Good Time Music for Hard Times Stony Plain SPCD-1332 #11
2010 Maria Muldaur's Barnyard Dance: Jug Band Music For Kids Music for Little People/Rhino R2-524467
2010 Christmas at the Oasis (Live at the Rrazz Room) Global Recording Artists UPC: 64641 31287 28
2011 Steady Love Stony Plain SPCD-1346
2012 ...First Came Memphis Minnie... A Loving Tribute Stony Plain SPCD-1358 With Rory Block, Ruthie Foster, Bonnie Raitt, Phoebe Snow, Koko Taylor, and other guest artists.
2018 Don't You Feel My Leg: The Naughty Bawdy Blues of Blue Lu Barker The Last Music Company #10 [18]
2021 Let's Get Happy Together Stony Plain SPCD1429 #4 With Tuba Skinny

Jerry Garcia Band edit

Paul Butterfield's Better Days edit

  • Better Days (1973, Bearsville) – on tracks 5, 7, and 8
  • It All Comes Back (1973, Bearsville) – credited as "vocals", but no specific tracks given

Other contributions edit

References edit

  1. ^ Sullivan, Steve (2017). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings: Volume 3. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 662. ISBN 9781442254497.
  2. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Maria Muldaur— Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  3. ^ Johnston, Laurie (21 March 1977). "Competition Intense Among Intellectually Gifted 6th Graders for Openings at Hunter College High School". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b Digital Interviews (October 2000). "Maria Muldaur interview". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28.
  5. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 884. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 382. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ Heslam, David (1992). The NME Rock 'n' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 276. ISBN 978-0-600-57602-0. CN 5585. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  8. ^ Huey, Steve. "Maria Muldaur: Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  9. ^ Stafford, Matthew (14 March 2001). "Cirque du Supper— Teatro ZinZanni". SF Weekly. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Blues Music Awards Nominees - 2013 - 34th Blues Music Awards". Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  11. ^ " - There'll Be Another Spring: A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee". Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  12. ^ "Richard Barone to Host SummerStage Tribute: 'Music + Revolution: Greenwich Village in the 1960s'".\accessdate=September 7, 2019.
  13. ^ "Maria Muldaur with Tuba Skinny Proclaim 'Let's Get Happy Together' on New Album". American Blues Scene. 2021-03-19. Retrieved 2021-05-28.
  14. ^ "Maria Muldaur Billboard 200 Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 7 January 2023.
  15. ^ "Maria Muldaur Billboard Blues Albums Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 7 January 2023.
  16. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 211. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  17. ^ "Sweet and Slow — Maria Muldaur — Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Maria Muldaur's official web site". Retrieved 9 September 2018.

External links edit