Maria Muldaur Biography

Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica d’Amato, 12 September 1943, Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, USA. Her name was changed to Muldaur when she married Geoff Muldaur, with whom she performed in the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Although her mother was fond of classical music, Muldaur grew up liking blues and big band sounds. Joining the thriving Greenwich Village music scene in the 60s, she played in the Even Dozen Jug Band alongside John Sebastian, Stefan Grossman, Joshua Rifkin and Steve Katz. After leaving them she joined Kweskin, remaining with him until the band splintered at the end of the 60s. She then completed two albums with her husband before they were divorced in 1972. Maria Muldaur, her first solo effort, went platinum in the USA. It contained the classic single ‘Midnight At The Oasis’, which featured an excellent guitar solo by Amos Garrett. The album reached number 3 in the US charts in 1974, with the single making the US Top 10. A follow-up, ‘I’m A Woman’, made the US Top 20 in 1975.

Muldaur toured America the same year, and shortly after played in Europe for the first time. The US Top 30 album, Waitress In A Donut Shop, featured the songs of contemporary writers such as Kate And Anna McGarrigle, and with the assistance of musicians including Garrett and J.J. Cale, saw Muldaur embarking on a more jazz-orientated direction. With sales of her records in decline, she was dropped by WEA Records, and subsequently concentrated on recording for smaller labels such as Takoma, Spindrift, Making Waves and the Christian label Myrrh, for whom she released 1982’s There Is A Love. Muldaur has never been able to match the success of ‘Midnight At The Oasis’, but her soulful style of blues tinged with jazz is still in demand. During the late 90s and new millennium she enjoyed a critical renaissance, recording several albums for Telarc Records and latterly, with Stony Plain achieving considerable commercial sucess.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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