Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Maria Muldaur -- "Steady Love"

Maria Muldaur is an American musical treasure. There are few out there who have as extensive a history--maybe Dr John or Bob Dylan, both of whom have shared a stage with Maria over the years. Maria has now made 38 records, a magnificently broad collection, including a few records of children's music, some Jazz, some Big-Band swing, some Bluegrass, way too few R&B, and some wonderful Gospel. I have loved Maria's music for thirty years--I wish she might have recorded with Ray Charles, and I still hope that she might make some music with Dolly Parton. A wonderful singer, a song stylist, an honest and real voice.

Anyway, this cd marks Maria's return to the music of New Orleans. She sings a beautifyul set of songs with passion and spunk and taste, backed by an "A List" of New Orleans musicians: Dave Torkanowsky on keyboards and musical director, Shane Theriot on guitar, Johnny Allen of the subdudes on bass, drummer Kenny Blevins from John Hiatt’s all-star backing band, The Goners, on drums. There's also an impressive set of guests, including New Orleans traditional jazz’n’funk drummer Shannon Powell, local guitar ace Cranston Clements, an appearance on slide guitar by Rick Vito, an appearance by "Mighty" Mike Schermer on guitar, backing vocals by daughter Jenni Muldaur, Jolinda Kiki Phillips and Yolanda Windsay, and horns by Jimmy Carpenter and Ian Smith, all wrapped together in the final mix by veteran producer (and multi-Grammy winner) John Porter.

Especially notable on this disc are Maria's covers of Bobby Charles' "Why Are People Like That?" and Henry Glover's "Rain Down Tears." Either of those are, alone, worth the cost of the entire cd. And no other singer I know could cover Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Somebody To Love" and make it live and cry like she does here.

An A+ project all the way. You can buy this cd at http://www.stonyplainrecords.com

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