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.
While at Cambridge, MA, Maria Muldaur joined the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and began an affair with singer Geoff Muldaur; the couple eventually married and had a daughter, Jenni, who would later become a singer in her own right. When the Kweskin band broke up in 1968, the couple stayed with their label (Reprise) and began recording together as Geoff & Maria Muldaur. They moved to Woodstock, NY, to take advantage of the burgeoning music scene there and issued two albums – 1970's Pottery Pie and 1971's Sweet Potatoes – before Geoff departed in 1972 to form Better Days with Paul Butterfield, a move that signaled not only the end of the couple's musical partnership, but their marriage as well.