Maria Muldaur ‘Maria Muldaur’

maria 

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Midnight At The Oasis” by Maria Muldaur

You either loved it…or you completely loathed it, but there’s no doubt that if you were around in 1974, you could not avoid Maria Muldaur’s “Midnight At The Oasis.” Today’s Song Of The Day was released on Muldaur’s eponymously titled first solo album which soared all the way to the #3 position on the Billboard charts on the wings of this David Nichtern-penned top-ten single. Yet, most people don’t know much about Maria Muldaur before she sent her camel to bed in back in 1973.

Muldaur’s maiden name was Maria D’Amato and she got her start performing as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band alongside future Lovin’ Spoonful member John Sebastian, David Grisman and Stefan Grossman. The Jug Band was part of the same Greenwich Village folk scene that spawned Fred Neil, Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan. D’Amato then went on to join the Jim Kweskin Jug Band where she met her future husband Geoff Muldaur. After Kweskin’s outfit split up, Geoff and Maria went on to release two marvelous down-home old-timey albums for Reprise records. The first one called Pottery Pie was released in 1968, and a second called Sweet Potatoes followed in 1971.

Muldaur went solo after their marriage split up in 1972 and released her first album the following year. On the album, Muldaur wraps her precious pipes around the songs of Dolly Parton (“My Tennessee Mountain Home”), Dr. John (“Three Dollar Bill”) and Jimmie Rodgers (“Any Old Time”). It was also a springboard for several then-unknown songwriters including Wendy Waldman whose “Vaudeville Man” and “Mad Mad Me” were both included, as well as Kate McGarrigle’s wonderful “Work Song.”

Producers Joe Boyd and Lenny Waronker assembled a who’s who of the current rock and jazz scene for backing support on the album, including Clarence White, Ry Cooder, David Lindley, David Grisman, Dr. John, Jim Dickinson, Spooner Oldham, Chris Ethridge, Klaus Voorman, Freebo, Ray Brown, Dave Holland, Jim Keltner, Bettye LaVette and Jim Gordon. But it was the lyrical and languid guitar solo of the great Amos Garrett (who also played on the Geoff & Maria records) that lights up the album’s signature song.

During the late 70s, Muldaur sang backing vocals with The Jerry Garcia Band. She’s released over 30 albums over the years and continues to release folk and gospel albums to this day.

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Track listing

  1. “Any Old Time” (Jimmie Rodgers) – 3:45
  2. “Midnight at the Oasis” (David Nichtern) – 3:49
  3. “My Tennessee Mountain Home” (Dolly Parton) – 3:32
  4. “I Never Did Sing You a Love Song” (Nichtern) – 2:49
  5. “The Work Song” (Kate McGarrigle) – 4:04
  6. “Don’t You Feel My Leg (Don’t You Get Me High)” (Blue Lu Barker, Danny Barker, J. Mayo Williams) – 2:48
  7. “Walkin’ One and Only” (Dan Hicks) – 2:47
  8. “Long Hard Climb” (Ron Davies) – 3:03
  9. “Three Dollar Bill” (Mac Rebennack) – 3:58
  10. “Vaudeville Man” (Wendy Waldman) – 2:41
  11. “Mad Mad Me” (Wendy Waldman) – 3:13

Personnel

  • Maria Muldaur – vocals
  • Clarence White – acoustic guitar (“My Tennessee Home,” “The Work Song”)
  • Bill Keith – banjo (“Work Song”, “Vaudeville Man”), steel guitar (“Long Hard Climb,” “I Never Did Sing You A Love Song”)
  • Ry Cooder – acoustic guitar (“Any Old Time”)
  • David Lindley – Hawaiian guitar (“Any Old Time”)
  • Andrew Gold – acoustic guitar (“Vaudeville Man”)
  • David Nichtern – acoustic (“Long Hard Climb,” “I Never Did Sing You A Love Song,” “My Tennessee Home,” “The Work Song,” “Walkin’ One and Only,” “Midnight At The Oasis” & electric guitar (“Long Hard Climb”), producer (“Mad Mad Me”)
  • David Grisman – mandolin (“My Tennessee Home”)
  • Dr. John – keyboards (“Vaudeville Man’, “Don’t You Feel My Leg” & “Three Dollar Bill”), horn arrangements (“Vaudeville Man,” “Don’t You Feel My Leg,” “Three Dollar Bill”)
  • Jim Dickinson – piano (“Any Old Time”)
  • Mark T. Jordan – piano (“The Work Song”, “Midnight At The Oasis”)
  • Spooner Oldham – piano (“”Long Hard Climb,” “I Never Did Sing You A Love Song”)
  • Greg Prestopino – piano (“Mad Mad Me”), background vocals (“The Work Song”, “My Tennessee Home”), voices (“Midnight At The Oasis”)
  • James Gordon – organ (“Three Dollar Bill”), clarinet (“Vaudeville Man”)
  • Chris Ethridge – bass (“Long Hard Climb,” “I Never Did Sing You A Love Song,” “My Tennessee Home,” “The Work Song”)
  • Klaus Voormann – bass (“Vaudeville Man,” “Don’t You Feel My Leg”)
  • Ray Brown – bass (“Walkin’ One and Only”)
  • Dave Holland – bowed bass (“Mad Mad Me”)
  • Jimmy Calhoun – bass (“Three Dollar Bill”)
  • Tommy McClure – bass (“Any Old Time”)
  • Freebo – bass (“Midnight At The Oasis”)
  • Amos Garrett – bass, guitar, vocals, guitar solo (“Midnight at the Oasis”)
  • Jim Keltner – drums (all but 4 tracks)
  • Ed Shaughnessy – drums (“Walkin’ One and Only”)
  • John Boudreaux – drums (“Three Dollar Bill”)
  • Jim Gordon – drums (“Midnight At The Oasis”)
  • Chris Parker – drums (“Mad Mad Me”)
  • Jerry Jumonville – alto horn, horn arrangements (“Vaudeville Man,” “Don’t You Feel My Leg,” “Three Dollar Bill”)
  • Artie Butler – alto horn, horn arrangements (“The Work Song”)
  • Nick DeCaro – accordion (“I Never Did Sing You A Love Song”), string arrangements (“Long Hard Climb,” “I Never Did Sing You A Love Song,” “Midnight At The Oasis”)

Here is Eric Berman’s Song of the Day

Posted by Larry Carta


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