Though Maria Muldaur made her mark on the pop charts with her big hit, "Midnight at the Oasis," her real legacy instead is the long line of impressive and eclectic roots music recordings that followed. Now celebrating her 70th birthday, she remains an impressive singer and interpreter of rich, deep veins of American music.
Maria D'Amato was born in Greenwich Village and started her career in the '60s with the Even Dozen Jug Band (whose members included John Sebastian, Stefan Grossman and David Grisman). Her first breakthrough came with another Jug Band, one led by Jim Kweskin. It was there she first did one of her signature songs, "I'm A Woman," and met husband Geoff Muldaur. After the Kweskin group broke up, she and Geoff did two albums together, Pottery Pie and Sweet Potatoes, before she did her self-titled solo debut, featuring "Midnight," in 1973.
A short clip featuring Muldaur with the Jug Band in the late '60s:
A live version of "Midnight at the Oasis" on the Midnight Special:
Muldaur followed with dozens of albums that explored music of Louisiana, the songs of Bob Dylan, children's music, and a wide range of jazz, blues, gospel, and R&B. She's been nominated for multiple Blues Music and Grammy awards and last fall produced and appeared on her 40th album, First Came Memphis Minnie, a tribute to that female blues pioneer. This year she has been touring with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band 50th Anniversary Reunion and also with the acclaimed sacred steel group, the Campbell Brothers.
A more recent live performance here featuring the J.J. Cale song "Cajun Moon":
Join us throughout September at the Crossroads for the music of Maria Muldaur - from her early work with the Kweskin Jug Band to her most recent album.