Maria Muldaur (born Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica D’Amato; September 12, 1943 in Greenwich Village, New York) is a folk–blues singer who was part of the American folk music revival in the early 1960s. She recorded the 1974 hit song “Midnight at the Oasis“, and continues to record albums in the folk traditions. Muldaur grew up in New York City, where she attended Hunter College High School.
Muldaur began her career in the early 1960s as Maria D’Amato, performing with John Sebastian, David Grisman, and Stefan Grossman as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band. She then joined Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band as a featured vocalist and occasional violinist. During this time, she was part of the Greenwich Village scene that included Bob Dylan, and some of her recollections of the period, particularly with respect to Dylan, appear in Martin Scorsese‘s 2005 documentary film, No Direction Home. She married fellow Jug Band member Geoff Muldaur, and after the Kweskin outfit broke up the two of them produced two albums. She began her solo career when their marriage ended in 1972, but retained her married name.
Her first solo album Maria Muldaur,” released in 1973, contained her hit single “Midnight at the Oasis” which reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. Later that year, she released her second album Waitress In A Donut Shop. This included a re-recording of “I’m a Woman“, the Leiber and Stoller number first associated with Peggy Lee and a standout feature from her Jug Band days. The title of this album is taken from a line in another song on the album, “Sweetheart” by Dan Hicks, whose “Walking One And Only” appeared on her first album.
Maria Muldaur singing the 1974 song, “Midnight At The Oasis”
Around this time, Muldaur established a relationship with Grateful Dead and their family. Opening for some Grateful Dead shows in the summer of 1974, with John Kahn, bassist of the Jerry Garcia Band, would eventually earn her a seat in that group in the late 1970s, as a backing vocalist.
More recently, Muldaur appeared on Super Jam (1989), the live recording of the German TV series Villa Fantastica with Brian Auger on piano, Pete York on drums, Dick Morrissey on tenor saxophone, Roy Williams on trombone, Harvey Weston on bass and Zoot Money, also on vocals.
Great Clip of Maria singing, “Cajun Moon”
I saw Maria Muldaur not too long ago at “Biscuits & Blues” in San Francisco. She was terrific! Of course the only song she would have preferred not to sing, was the one that rocketed her to success -“Midnight At The Oasis.” She saved it for last and finally took us over the top! She was gracious and even allowed anyone who wanted to stay for the second show to do so. She said that after one show together, we were “like family.” Maria does one of the best versions I’ve ever heard of the Billie Holiday classic, “Love Man” and a great version of Duke Ellington’s, “Prelude To A Kiss.”
Source: wikipedia, YouTube, imdb.com
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