JazzTimes - 12/96, p.113
"Maria Muldaur...sings with a smoldering, passionate quality on FANNING THE FLAMES. Those who remember Maria for her '70s pop hit 'Midnight At The Oasis' will be surprised by the soulful intensity she delivers throughout this excellent offering..."
Personnel: Maria Muldaur, Johnny Adams, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples (vocals); Sonny Landreth (slide & steel guitars); Cranston Clements (guitar); Huey Lewis (harmonica); Dave Torkanowsky (piano, Wurlitzer piano, Hammond B-3 organ, Fender Rhodes); Hutch Hutchinson (bass); Steve Potts (drums); Bill Summers (congas, tambourine, cabasa, shaker, udu, clay drum, chain, handsand, bongo); Benita Arterberry, Lady Bianca, Lucy Anna Burnett, Don Bryant, Jon Cleary, Charlene Howard, Jennie Muldaur, Tracy Nelson, Charles Neville, Ann Peeples, Alisa Yarbrough (background vocals).
Producers: John Snyder, Maria Muldaur, Elane Martone.
Principally recorded at Dockside Studios, Maurice, Louisiana on December 7-9, January 24-29 and February 20-22, 1996.
For those who only know of Muldaur through her 1974 hit "Midnight at the Oasis," please scratch that from memory. This lady can flat out sing! Although the CD insert art suggests a "pops orchestra" recording, don't let it mislead you; Muldaur belts out gritty blues and gospel and soulful R&B as very few can. She appropriately terms this musical gumbo "bluesiana." A crack band was assembled featuring longtime Muldaur guitarist Cranston Clements, Dave Torkanowsky on keyboards, and Hutch Hutchinson on bass. Guest singer Johnny Adams joins Muldaur on "Trust in Me," but the two really hit stride as they swap vocal licks on the boogie number "Heaven on Earth." Muldaur and gospel singer Mavis Staples spend themselves emotionally on the mournful duet "Well, Well, Well," accompanied by Clements and guest Sonny Landreth on slide and National steel guitars; rarely has a Bob Dylan song sounded as sweet and alive. ~ Dave Sleger