Friday, July 15, 2005

Legendary singer performs at Ketch'em Alive

Express Staff Writer

Maria Muldaur

Back in the valley after a couple of years, singer/songwriter, blues and folk legend Maria Muldaur plays Tuesday, July 29, at Ketch'em Alive in the Forest Service Park in Ketchum. With a 42-year career in music, Muldaur continues to be a presence in the industry. She's recorded 32 albums as a solo artist, with her former husband Geoff Muldaur, as part of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and the Even Dozen Jug Band.

After picking up on the world of regional blues and blue grass learned at the feet of the Rev. Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, Son House and blues diva Victoria Spivey, Muldaur left her home in Greenwich Village and headed south.

In North Carolina, Muldaur learned fiddle from Doc Watson and his father-in-law, Gaither Carlton. She attended fiddle conventions, learned clog dancing, and added Appalachian songs to her growing repertoire.

Nowadays, Muldaur's style has developed in new directions. Though she had a Top 10 Pop single with "Midnight At The Oasis," she's always favored roots music. She's played with everyone from Aaron Neville, Dr. John, John Sebastian, Ry Cooder, Jerry Garcia, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt and David Grisman.

Muldaur's new CD, "Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul," will be released in early August, and her current tour promotes it as the follow-up CD to her 2002 Grammy-nominated album, "Richland Woman Blues."

The new CD continues her salute to women blues singers such as Memphis Minnie, Bessie Smith and Lucille Bogan. Guests on the album include Taj Mahal, Tracy Nelson, Alvin Youngblood Hart, blues pianist Pinetop Perkins and jug player Fritz Richmond, who played with her in the Jim Kweskin Jug Band.

"This music will continue to be vital and relevant because with grace, wisdom, pathos and a good dose of humor, the blues poetically testify to the common feelings and concerns that have always been a part of the human experience," she said in interview with the website Blues Matters. "They're not likely to change or go away any time soon."

The valley-based band 812 opens the show at Ketch 'em Alive at 7 p.m. with their version of lively rock 'n' roll. Muldaur takes the stage at the free show at 7:30 p.m. Picnics, chairs and blankets are all welcome.

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