From the sweet to the salacious to the poignant, Maria Muldaur's eponymous, strong debut features savvy studio vets, talented guests, strong tunes, and Muldaur's lissome pipes. The outstanding players include Ry Cooder, David Grisman, Clarence White, and Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John. A tasteful guitar solo by the underrated Amos Garrett elevates the charming surprise hit single "Midnight at the Oasis." Although she later gravitated to jazz and gospel, Muldaur's first outing is heavy on songs derived from country and blues. A rousing "Work Song," borrowed from Kate & Anna McGarrigle, is only one of several highlights.
Mandolinist Rich DelGrosso, Guitarist Mary Flower and multi-instrumentalist Martin Grosswendt have earned steady streams of praise for their outstanding string skills. Combined, these three have earned nine Blues Music Award nominations and enjoyed rave reviews and top festival slots all over the world. And they do strum, pick and bow up a storm together as the Ragpicker String Band – but it's their tight trio harmonies that especially dazzle. The acoustic dream team summons the spirits of everyone from the Mississippi Sheiks and Blind Boy Fuller to Jim Kweskin and R. Crumb as their voices and fingers fly through the mists back to the golden prewar age of folk-blues.
This film by Murray Lerner is a cinematic synthesis of four Newport Folk Festivals in which the art of folk music is pictured in transition during its most crucial years. Performers include Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Georgia Sea Singers, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Donovan, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Ed Young Fife & Drum Corps, Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band with Mel Lyman, Sacred Harp Singers, Blue Ridge Mountain Dancers, Tex Logan & The Lilly Brothers, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Odetta, Fred McDowell, Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, Swan Silvertones, STaple Singers, Freedom Singers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Howling Wolf.