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Maria Muldaur: Richland Woman Blues

Maria Muldaur celebrates the blues of the 1920s and 1930s on Richland Woman Blues. Inspired by a trip to Memphis Minnie’s gravesite in Walls, Miss., Maria’s third album for Stony Plain features special guests John Sebastian on guitar on Mississippi John Hurt’s title track, guitarist Amos Garrett on Leadbelly’s “Grasshoppers in My Pillow” and guitarist Roy Rogers on two Memphis Minnie tunes, “Me and My Chauffeur Blues” and “In My Girlish Days.” Taj Mahal joins Muldaur on Blind Willie Johnson’s “Soul of a Man,” Bonnie Raitt joins her on a stirring rendition of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “It’s a Blessing” and Alvin Youngblood Hart appears on two other Memphis Minnie tunes, “I’m Goin’ Back Home” and “I Got to Move.” Other highlights on this sparse, revealing and profoundly moving collection of early blues include a heart-wrenching vocal duet between Maria and Tracy Nelson on “Far Away Blues,” accompanied by Dave Matthews on piano, and a searing duet between Maria and Angela Strehli on Bessie Smith’s “My Man Blues.” A must for roots blues fans.

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