Maria Muldaur: First Came Memphis Minnie

Album review
Maria Muldaur: First Came Memphis Minnie

Maria Muldaur

First Came Memphis Minnie

Label: Stony Plain
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

Louisiana-born singer, guitarist, and songwriter Memphis Minnie blazed a trail for generations of blueswomen before her death in 1973. Blues diva Maria Muldaur is one of them. As a teen growing up in Greenwich Village at the epicenter of the 60s folk and blues revival, Muldaur had been introduced to Minnie’s music through the blues singer Victoria Spivey, then in her 70s. Spivey took the aspiring jug-band singer home to spin scratchy 78s in search of a song that would suit Muldaur’s young voice. The winner: Minnie’s version of Lucille Bogan’s risqué Depression-era song “Tricks Ain’t Walkin’,” which appears on this tribute (with accompaniment by guitarist Del Rey and mandolinist Dave Earl). Muldaur delivers this and seven other songs of survival and seduction with a sassy, sexy growl. The album also features five powerful tracks by Bonnie Raitt, Phoebe Snow, Rory Block, Koko Taylor, and Ruthie Foster (the posthumous Snow and Taylor tracks are previously released; both singers had expressed interest in the project before their deaths). Backed with sparse acoustic arrangements by blues guitarists Roy Rogers, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Steve James, as well as Chris Isaak bassist Roly Salley, Muldaur has seldom sounded better. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Maria Muldaur
  • CD

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