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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Showing posts with label Dan Hicks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dan Hicks. Show all posts

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Last Music Company artist: Bill Kirchen - The Proper Years - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Proper Years, from Bill Kirchen and it's strong. I'm certain that most readers know Bill but if not, he was the guitar fingers of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. That being known, you can expect that deep throaty telecaster guitar sound and rich country roots. Opening with Hammer of the Honky-Tonk  Gods, a swangin' country rocker with Kirchen on lead guitar and vocal, backed by Nick Lowe on bass, Geraint Watkins on bass, Austin de Lone on keys, Robert Trehorne on drums, Danny Levin on fiddle and Cindy Cashdoller and David Berzansky on steel guitar. Great opener. Working Man is a cool, country flavored track with solid 2 stepping beat. With great lead vocal and a really great bass background vocal among the others, this track is a standout. Remake of 60's pop hit, Devil In A Blue Dress, has a real bluesy feel with solid backing vocals by Sarah Carroll. Trish Anderson and Suzannah Espie. Kirchen puts on his best R&B vocal and slinky blues riffs. Acoustic rag, One More Day has a great light feel with stellar acoustic guitar riffs and fiddle (by Danny Levin). Excellent! A grungy rocker, Man in the Bottom of the Well features Elvis Costello and some really gritty guitar playing by Kirchen. This song is terrific! Commander Cody joins on I Don't Work That Cheap which is another terrific track with hints of Dylan and the Lost Planet Airmen. Very nice. On Disc 2, Kircher teams up with fleet fingered Dan Hicks on Word To The Wise. Cool lyrics, a great upbeat tempo and of course strong acoustic guitar riffs make for a great side 2 opener. Contemporary blues vocal legend, Maria Muldaur teams up with Kirchen on shuffle, Ain't Got No Time For the Blues. Breaking back to pure country and western on Tell Me The Reason. The is a great track with Kirchen on lead guitar and vocal, Jack O'Dell on drums and Paul Riley on bass and featuring Austin de Lone on piano. Really nice! Truck Stop At The End Of The World is a solid trucker song with classic Kirchen guitar riffs and a driving rock beat. Another classic and one from the Commander Cody songbook, Hot Rod Lincoln has great tempo and of course clever lyrics that accentuate the guitar riffs by Kirchen. Kirchen goes on to run classic country, Americana and rock riffs from the past. Cool flashback through music time. Country rocker, Oxblood has a really great feel with Butch Hancock on vocal with Kirchen who plays baritone guitar on this one. Balancing out the band is Gurf Morlix on guitar, David Carroll on bass, Rick Richards on drums and Austin de Lone on piano. Wrapping the release is Dylan's classic, The Times They Are A-Changin'. This is a complete album with few stones unturned. Well rounded with rock, Americana, blues and country, a lot of something for everyone.



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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Walkin' One & Only - Maria Muldaur with Dan Hicks


Maria Muldaur (born September 12, 1943) is a folk-blues singer who was part of the American folk music revival in the early 1960s. She recorded the 1974 hit song "Midnight at the Oasis," and continues to record albums in the folk traditions.
Muldaur was born Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica D'Amato in Greenwich Village, New York City, where she attended Hunter College High School.


Muldaur began her career in the early 1960s as Maria D'Amato, performing with John Sebastian, David Grisman, and Stefan Grossman as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band. She then joined Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band as a featured vocalist and occasional violinist. During this time, she was part of the Greenwich Village scene that included Bob Dylan, and some of her recollections of the period, particularly with respect to Dylan, appear in Martin Scorsese's 2005 documentary film, No Direction Home. She married fellow Jug Band member Geoff Muldaur, and after the Kweskin outfit broke up the two of them produced two albums. She began her solo career when their marriage ended in 1972, but retained her married name.

Her first solo album Maria Muldaur, released in 1973, contained her hit single "Midnight at the Oasis", which reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. It also peaked at number 21 in the UK Singles Chart. Later that year, she released her second album Waitress In A Donut Shop. This included a re-recording of "I'm a Woman", the Leiber and Stoller number first associated with Peggy Lee and a standout feature from her Jug Band days. The title of this album is taken from a line in another song on the album, "Sweetheart" by Ken Burgan.

Around this time, Muldaur established a relationship with the Grateful Dead. Opening for some Grateful Dead shows in the summer of 1974 with John Kahn, bassist of the Jerry Garcia Band, which would eventually earn her a seat in that group as a backing vocalist in the late 1970s.

Muldaur appeared on Super Jam (1989), the live recording of the German TV series Villa Fantastica with Brian Auger on piano, Pete York on drums, Dick Morrissey on tenor saxophone, Roy Williams on trombone, Harvey Weston on bass and Zoot Money, also on vocals.
Muldaur performing at the 1996 Riverwalk Blues Festival

Muldaur continued to perform, tour, and record after her success in the mid-1970s, including a turn at the Teatro ZinZanni in 2001.

Her 2005 release Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul was nominated for both a W.C. Handy Award and a Grammy award in the Traditional Blues Category
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