Richland Woman Blues

Richland Woman Blues

by Maria Muldaur



It's been a long, long time since vocalist Maria Muldaur has put out an album as folky as Richland Woman Blues. In the '60s she was associated with the jug band sound, and the '70s brought her pop success with "Midnight at the Oasis." During the '90s, Muldaur turned toward the electric blues, and now she brings it all back home with acoustic covers of deep blues penned by Mississippi John Hurt, Leadbelly, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Rev. Gary Davis, Memphis Minnie, Bessie Smith, and Clara Smith. For her interpretations Muldaur took a host of fellow blues, folk, and pop performers into the studio for the down-home session. Bonnie Raitt joins her on vocals and plays slide guitar on McDowell's gospel tune "It's a Blessing," and the two sound as spirited as if they had just been baptized in the Mississippi. Also in the church pew is Muldaur's duet with Taj Mahal on Blind Willie Johnson's "Soul of a Man." John Sebastian's guitar work on Hurt's "Richland Woman Blues" buoys Muldaur's voice with the mellow sounds of Piedmont picking, while Amos Garrett's 12-string style and David Wilkie's mandocello provide a rough droning for her to moan Leadbelly's woes on "Grasshoppers in My Pillow." Alvin Youngblood Hart plays and sings on two Memphis Minnie numbers, "I'm Goin' Back Home" and "I Got to Move," and Bay Area blues guitar veteran Roy Rogers gives a bounce to Minnie's "Me and My Chauffeur Blues." For material from the '20s and '30s, Muldaur uses only Tower of Power piano alumni Dave Matthews, giving Bessie Smith's "Put It Right Here" and "Lonesome Desert Blues" that old-timey feel. Mother Earth vocalist Tracy Nelson takes over lead vocals on Smith's "Far Away Blues," while Texas singer Angela Strehli duets on "My Man Blues." These cuts with an all-female vocal cast are a vivid reminder of just who owned the blues when it first garnered mass appeal. And Muldaur has just the right mix of grit and glamour to revive the era on Richland Woman Blues.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/15/2001
Label: Stony Plain Music
UPC: 0772532127028
catalogNumber: 1270

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Maria Muldaur   Primary Artist,Vocals
Taj Mahal   Guitar,Vocals
Bonnie Raitt   Vocals
John Sebastian   Guitar
Tracy Nelson   Vocals
Amos Garrett   12-string Guitar
Roly Salley   Bass
Angela Strehli   Vocals
David Wilkie   Mandocello
Alvin Youngblood Hart   Guitar,Vocals
Dave Mathews   Piano

Technical Credits

Maria Muldaur   Producer,Liner Notes
Porter Grainger   Composer
John Jacob   Producer,Engineer
Holger Petersen   Executive Producer
Rowland Salley   Paintings
Dave Wellhausen   Engineer
Mike Dysinger   Engineer

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