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Garden of Joy

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Editors’ Notes

Few singers dig into an old-timely tune with as much gusto as Maria Muldaur. Garden of Joy continues in the pre-World War II jazz/blues mode that Muldaur has favored in recent years, this time returning to her jug band roots by rendering a batch of steamy, hip-swaying tunes with the aid of some old friends. John Sebastian, David Grisman and Taj Mahal help summon up the rollicking ambiance of Maria’s 1960s stints with the Even Dozen Jug Band and Jim Kweskin’s legendary combo. Chugging banjos, agile fiddles and tinkling mandolins achieve an antique funkiness on “Shake Hands and Tell Me Goodbye,” “I Ain’t Gonna Marry” and the title tune. Dan Hicks contributes his sly tune “The Diplomat” and turns in a droll duet performance with Maria on a medley of “Life’s Too Short” and “When Elephants Roost in Bamboo Trees.” Biting commentary on today’s economy is offered in “Bank Failure Blues” and “The Panic is On.” Muldaur’s vocals have grown huskier with time, but her queenly mastery of vintage material hasn’t changed one whit.

Biography

Born: September 12, 1943 in Greenwich Village, New York, NY

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known for her seductive '70s pop staple "Midnight at the Oasis," Maria Muldaur has since become an acclaimed interpreter of just about every stripe of American roots music: blues, early jazz, gospel, folk, country, R&B, and so on. While these influences were certainly present on her more pop-oriented '70s recordings (as befitting her Greenwich Village folkie past), Muldaur came into her own as a true roots music stylist during the '90s, when she developed a particular fascination with the...
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