Maria Muldaur – Live at the Uni-Mensa, Bremen, Germany (1979)

MMFrontCover1Maria Muldaur is best known for her 1974 mega-hit “Midnight at the Oasis,” which received several Grammy nominations, and enshrined her forever in the hearts of Baby Boomers everywhere; but despite her considerable pop music success, her 50-year career could best be described a long and adventurous odyssey through the various forms of American Roots Music. During the folk revival of the early ’60s, she began exploring and singing early Blues, Bluegrass and Appalachian “Old Timey” Music, beginning her recording career in 1963 with the Even Dozen Jug Band and shortly thereafter, joining the very popular Jim Kweskin Jug Band, touring and recording with them throughout the ’60s.

Her critically acclaimed 2001 Stony Plain Records release, Richland Woman Blues, was nominated for a Grammy and by the Blues Foundation as Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year, as was the follow up to that album, Sweet Lovin’ Ol’ Soul. In 2011 Maria released Steady Love, a contemporary electric Blues album that reflects the kind of music she loves to perform live – what she calls “Bluesiana Music” – her own brand of New Orleans-flavored Blues, R&B and “Swamp Funk.”

From folk to blues to the Grateful Dead… that’s the First Lady of American Roots Music for you.

And this is a rare und brilliant radio show from Germany … Listen and enjoy !

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Personnel:
Rick Alegria (drums)
John Gurton (guitar)
Charles Magarian (bass)
Maria Muldaur (vocals, fiddle)
Jim Rothermel (saxophone, harmonica)
Rick Schaefer (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Brickyard Blues (Toussaint) 4.12
02. Heart Of Fire (Henderson&Jones) 4.17
03. It Ain’t The Meat, It’s The Motion  (Glover/Mann) 3.16
04. My Tennessee Mountain Home (Parton) 3.38
05. Wheelers And Dealers (Frishberg) 7.28
06. Lover Man (Davis/Sherman/Ramirez)  5.01
07. That’s The Way Love Is (Malone) 4.31
08. Clean-up Woman (Reid/Clarke) 5.38
09. Cajun Moon (Cale) 5.09
10. Walkin’ One And Only (Hicks) 3.18
11. Midnight At The Oasis (Nichtern) 4.52
12. Standin’ (Raitt) 2:58

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12 Cellists Of The Berlin Philharmonic – The Beatles In Classics (1983)

OriginalFrontCover1This disc may be easier to find in the classical section (this reviewer found it filed under “McCartney” as a composer), but it’s worth the search. There have been lots of attempts at applying serious classical virtuosity to the Beatles’ music, but The Beatles In Classics is one of the strangest and most delightful. The 12 cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic (which does not have a “pops” offshoot, or do any repertory deemed beneath it, including a lot of American music and most British music), who arguably are among the greatest cello players in the world by virtue of the orchestra in which they rate their positions, have recorded a dozen Beatles tunes in arrangements exclusively for cellos. The results are about as charming as they are unusual — the uninitiated will be surprised by the many and varied instrumental voices that the cellists evince in their jaunty rendition of “Yellow Submarine”; similarly, “Let It Be” shows off internal nuances that are only suggested in the Beatles’ original; and “Something” sounds so natural that one might almost think that it was written with the cello in mind. “The Fool on the Hill” gets the most ornate treatment, the primary melody blooming in all manner of directions that sustain and extend the basic line of the song; some of what’s here gets dangerously close to modern movie music, “Michelle” getting a barely recognizable introduction before the familiar melody of the song — twisted a bit in the lower registers and stretched out on the accents as well — appears.

CelloSubmarine“Help” is perhaps the most unexpected track here, however, the players approaching it in a manner that’s lean and lyrical, and maintains the original’s tempo as well as elements of the vocal harmonies. Ballads, rockers, psychedelic, or pop, the producers recognized few boundaries in preparing this album.

OriginalBackCoverThis 1983 recording was among the earlier digital recordings ever released commercially, but it suffers from none of the problems of low volume and weak presence that frequently marred digital releases of that period — evidently the producers here weren’t afraid to pump up the volume (how loud could a cello get?), and the result is a clear, sharp recording that captures every nuance off the performances. If there is a flaw in the concept, it’s that the producers didn’t choose the most obvious of the Beatles’ songs, “I Am the Walrus,” which already has swooping cellos in its arrangement.  (by Bruce Eder)

12CellistsPersonnel:
Jörg Baumann
Ottomar Borwitzky
Jan Diesselhorst
Eberhard Finke
Klaus Häussler
Christoph Kapler
Heinrich Majowski
Peter Steiner
Götz Teutsch
Alexander Wedow
Rudolf Weinsheimer
Gerhard Woschny

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Tracklist:
01. Yellow Submarine 3.02
02. Let It Be 3.43
03. Something 3.30
04. The Fool On The Hill 3.49
05. Help 3.34
06. Yesterday 2.46
07. Michelle 4.25
08. A Hard Day’s Night 4.35
09. Norwegian Wood 2.47
10. Here, There And Everywhere 2.22
11. Can’t Buy Me Love 2.56
12. Hey Jude 3.49

All songs written by Lenneon/McCartney except 03: written by George Harrison

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