Maria Muldaur - lead vocals, fiddle; Amos Garrett - guitar, vocals; John Girton - guitar, saxophone, clarinet, vocals; Ellen Kearney - guitar, vocals; Mike Finnigan - keyboards, vocals; Michael Moore - bass; Earl Palmer - drums; Guest: Dickey Betts - guitar
This is a wonderful exercise in American song styles by a woman with one of the sweetest voices in contemporary music, Maria Muldaur. Recorded in 1976 at New York's Bottom Line club for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, Muldaur was a big deal in the music biz, having recently come off her platinum, Top 10 album, Maria Muldaur, but she was no newcomer to the scene; Muldaur had already been a performing and recording for a decade and half when this show was recorded.
Muldaur had assembled a stellar cast of musicians for this tour, launched to promote her current album at the time, Sweet Harmony, including Amos Garrett on guitar; Mike Finnegan on keyboards (who had played with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Crosby Stills Nash & Young, in addition to having a solo deal on Columbia Records); and legendary New Orleans session drummer, Earl Palmer, who had been the rhythm behind hundreds of hit records dating back to the early sides of Little Richard and Fats Domino. She even turns the stage over to Finnegan, who does a convincing blues vocal on "Part Time Love," which also features special guest, Allman Brothers guitarist, Dickey Betts.
She opens with the Leiber-Stoller standard, "I'm A Woman," and keeps her fans happy with a set that includes "My Tennessee Mountain Home," "We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye" (originally cut by the Boswell Sisters decades earlier), and "Rockin' Chair," a Hoagy Carmichael classic that Muldaur had cut for Waitress In A Donut Shop with the in-studio support of the 75 year-old Carmichael himself. She closes with an energized version of "As An Eagle Stireth In Her Nest," a gospel tune originally recorded by The Staple Singers.
Although she had a Top 10 hit with her 1973 mellow pop hit, "Midnight At The Oasis," Maria Muldaur has kept her musical focus on the historical genres of rural blues and roots music. Born and raised in Greenwich Village, New York, Maria D'Amato (her maiden name) ran away from home at 17 and ended up around the corner from her house where she became a nanny to an eccentric married couple that had a massive blues and jazz record collection. Whenever she was in the home alone or after the kids had been put to sleep she delved into everything from Leadbelly to Jimmie Rogers. Eventually, she befriended an unknown folk singer named Bob Dylan, and gravitated to the growing McDougal Street music scene. She formed a jug band with the then-unknown John Sebastian, and from there, went to the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, with whom she recorded for Warner-Reprise and met her future husband, Geoff. After making two records as a duo, Geoff and Maria separated and pursued individual paths, and Maria's solo career took off shortly thereafter.
Maria Muldaur continues to write, record and tour, and has remained focused on traditional country/folk and blues music.