Richland Woman Blues

It's not such a long way from "Midnight at the Oasis" to Richland Woman Blues, at least not for Maria Muldaur.

It's not such a long way from "Midnight at the Oasis" to Richland Woman Blues, at least not for Maria Muldaur. Nowadays, many years after "Midnight," her lilting voice has the fortitude and soul of a natural woman, and the song selection on this set reflects the depth of her blues connection. Working with an assortment of superb musicians—including Bonnie Raitt, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Roy Rogers, and Taj Mahal—Muldaur roasts 14 blues chestnuts. Minimal instrumentation and maximum feel are the rules here. Her duets with Raitt on "It's a Blessing" and Angela Strehli on "My Man Blues" are particularly sweet. So, too, are her cover of "Lonesome Desert Blues" (with Dave Matthews on piano) and her purely righteous duet with Mahal on the Blind Willie Johnson tune "Soul of a Man." Muldaur has given these old tunes a new lustre.—PVV