Maria Muldaur: Meet Me Where They Play The Blues

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Bob Dole ought to ditch the Viagra and buy Maria Muldaur's latest CD. Muldaur's new one is hotter than Tabasco sauce and a hell of a lot cheaper than those blue pills.

Former pop songstress Muldaur has reconstituted herself as a blues singer while retaining the sexually charged persona that she created with the 1974 hit "Midnight at the Oasis." On Meet Me Where they Play the Blues, Muldaur tackles a subgenre that meshes perfectly with her silky voice and worldly wise style: the jazz-blues hybrid variously known as cool blues or urban blues.

Meet Me was originally intended as a duet album with Charles Brown, the elegant master of the cool blues, but Brown fell ill before the sessions took place. The master bluesman recovered enough to record one track with Muldaur, "Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You," which turned out to be his last recorded work. Sadly Brown passed away of heart failure in January.

Meet Me is a sophisticated blend of Brown's piano-based slow blues, lustful late-night blues, and gospel. The melancholy tunes "All to Myself Alone" and "The Promised Land" most successfully capture Brown's laid-back style, and Muldaur's singing is impeccable on both. On the smoldering tracks "Soothe Me," "I Wanna Be Loved," and "We Can Let It Happen Tonight," Muldaur coos and croons like a bluesy Mae West while a classy combo expertly embellishes her lusty overtures. Credit San Francisco piano-man David Mathews for deftly assuming the instrumental role intended for Brown.

"It Ain't the Meat, it's the Motion" finds Muldaur dabbling in risque swing. This is a song that Muldaur recorded back in the '70s, but it seems a bit out of place on this cool blues collection. More successful is John Hiatt's soulful classic "It Feels Like Rain," which Muldaur transforms into a steamy love paean. "Blue So Bad" is a funky Louisiana swamp rocker. "Misery and the Blues" features a sublime Dixieland horn section, and owes much to one of Muldaur's chief influences, the great Bessie Smith. The gospel cut "He Don't Have the Blues Anymore" is a rather tepid tribute to Brown and New Orleans' Johnny Adams, another cool blues pioneer who passed away last year.

Though it's a bit uneven, Meet Me Where they Play the Blues has enough oomph to put the thrill back into any relationship. Just dim the lights and place it under your beam, baby.

| Record Label: Telarc Records | Style: Blues


More Articles

Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Holiday On Fire CD/LP/Track Review Holiday On Fire
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Calvins Toboggan CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Silent Light CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read PausaLive CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Live North America 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Live North America 2016
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Hera" CD/LP/Track Review Hera
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Inhuman Wilderness" CD/LP/Track Review Inhuman Wilderness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "Lost at Last" CD/LP/Track Review Lost at Last
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Velcro Bird" CD/LP/Track Review Velcro Bird
by John Eyles
Published: September 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus


Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!