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Sweet Potatoes

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Album Review

In the midst of leaving the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and beginning the juggernaut that would be the solo career of Maria Muldaur, the happily singing and swinging couple made several sides which made expert use of a loose-knit group of players who had grown into masters of the folk revival arts. At times the choice of material on this album is unfortunately lazy; "Havana Moon" was a song that not even Chuck Berry himself could complete without boredom setting in, and the efforts here don't pay off much better. At the same time, the players here really don't need much more than the most basic framework from which to jump off and they are hard at it, pushing the music forward with a sense of purpose that inevitably helped it earn its hard-fought respectability. As a whole, Sweet Potatoes is something of a masterwork, rich and revealing, possessing the contagious enthusiasm of young musicians finding a personal voice in the rich traditions of the past as well as the relaxed sophistication that develops when these players are no longer novices. The Geoff and Maria Muldaur combination, when it was working, was also very special, a challenging partnership that also was something of an inviting nucleus to the players with the talent to be drawn into the fold. This album contains some of the better playing of harmonica man Paul Butterfield, removed from the hyper-drive excess of his blues bands. "Kneein' Me" and "Cordelia" are among the song highlights.

Biography

Born: 1945 in Pelham, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

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

Guitarist Geoff Muldaur, one of many artists to emerge from the folk, blues, and folk-rock scenes centered in Cambridge and Woodstock, was already a well-known blues performer at the time he met up with old-time folk enthusiast Jim Kweskin. Sharing the bill at a 1963 concert in Boston, the two shared many musical interests, and when Kweskin was approached by Vanguard Records, he brought Muldaur into his group the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. This association led to many successful albums and marriage to...
Full Bio
Sweet Potatoes, Geoff Muldaur
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