Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Maria Muldaur- Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You

Maria's moved on.

I have tremendous respect for every musician who keeps working long after his or her "moment" has passed. In many cases- Bryan Ferry, Sonny Rollins, Solomon Burke, Charlie Rich and Bettye LaVette come to mind- some of the artists' best work arrived decades after the hits quit coming. Maria Muldaur plays a modest bar in my town tonight. I've seen her perform in similar venues; she's fantastic. Here she is forty years ago. I wonder how many people in that coffeehouse expected Muldaur would still be on the road in 2007. I suspect that she's not motivated by money; Muldaur seems to be in it for all the right reasons. On the excellent 1983 release Sweet and Low, Muldaur is backed by two separate bands. One's headed up by Dr. John. Kenny Barron leads Seldon Powell, Ben Riley and Michael Moore on the standard heard here.

The new R. Kelly is flying off of retail store shelves today.

I saw Shrek the Third over the weekend. My favorite bit may have been seeing a warring Snow White roaring Zep's "Immigrant Song." Damien Rice's "9 Crimes" is also featured.

Kansas City Click: Go see Maria Muldaur at Knuckleheads.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bettye LaVette was supposed to be a "big star" but it didn't happen. She was the first of the native Detroit folks to have a national hit. This, after hanging out with future Motown stars, most of whom lived within hailing distance from her home.

The funny thing is that Bettye was so young, 16, that she didn't have the right management and no one who could help her make the right decisions. After her manager got killed, folks in Detroit told her to "get a release from your contract." Jerry Wexler, at Atlantic tried to talk her out of it, but to no avail. He had plans to put LaVette with a new song writing team Hal David and Burt Bacharach, but LaVette had never heard of them and wouldn't be persuaded.

Returning to Detroit, there was nothing. Just think, she had just walked out on an Atlantic Records contract! Now, she was recording on a small local label called Lupine along with The Falcons, Eddie Floyd and a female group called The Primettes, later The Supremes.

I think that when she won a big singing contest in NY over thousands who entered, her confidence was renewed. She continued to record for many labels, even appeared on Broadway in "Bubbling Brown Sugar" and was associated with the show for about nine years. After Diana Ross left Motown, they called Bettye to record an album.

She always felt that something would "happen" and thank God, it has. She's having the time of her life with this new success. Thankfully, she's always taken good care of herself.

She's knocking them dead all over the world and success is finally hers. But where is television? These shows (Leno, Oprah, etc.) should be falling over themselves to get Bettye. Instead, they are bringing in the likes of Joss Stone and Amy Winehouse, who haven't paid any dues. What's up with that? Oh, I get it: the USA.