Naughty, Bawdy and Blue

Naughty, Bawdy and Blue

by Maria Muldaur
     
 
The third in an awesome trilogy of albums in tribute to the towering female blues singers of yore, Maria Muldaur's Naughty, Bawdy & Blue reinvigorates timeless tunes originally etched into immortality by the likes of Bessie Smith, Sippie Wallace, Victoria Spivey, Ethel Waters, Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, and others. In a bit of a different tack than she employed

Overview

The third in an awesome trilogy of albums in tribute to the towering female blues singers of yore, Maria Muldaur's Naughty, Bawdy & Blue reinvigorates timeless tunes originally etched into immortality by the likes of Bessie Smith, Sippie Wallace, Victoria Spivey, Ethel Waters, Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, and others. In a bit of a different tack than she employed on Richland Woman Blues (2001) and Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul (2005), Muldaur enlists the estimable James Dapogny-led Chicago Jazz Band to add a little Dixieland flair and some small-band jazz flourishes to the proceedings. The result is a trip back in time to the smoke-filled speakeasies of the '20s and '30s. Against a sonic backdrop rich in trombone, trumpet, sax, clarinet, tuba, banjo, guitar, piano, bass, and drums, the husky-voiced red-hot mama wails Sippie's "Separation Blues" (joined by Bonnie Raitt), moans a remorse-filled "Empty Bed Blues" as if channeling Bessie, coos her way naughtily through the lubricious, double-entendre classic "Handy Man," and swaggers seductively through a mess of lascivious suggestiveness in Spivey's steady-rolling "One-Hour Mama." No longer the waif-voiced temptress of "Midnight at the Oasis," Muldaur now belts out the blues with the gravitas that comes from having lived for a while. Great songs, great fun, and indisputably great interpretive singing.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Maria Muldaur's trilogy of old-timey blues and jazz releases for the Stony Plain imprint (she simultaneously records more contemporary music for the Telarc label) concludes with this appropriately titled set. Much is made in the liner notes of the veteran jazz/blues/pop/gospel singer being mentored in her early jugband years by no less of an icon than Victoria Spivey, so it seems Muldaur feels this tribute to the style and material of Spivey and other "classic blues queens" of the '20s and '30s is a sort of closure. It is also a history lesson, with detailed booklet information, some of it written by Muldaur, providing fascinating capsule biographies of the women whose music is covered here. Muldaur sure has the pipes and integrity for this approach, alternatively playful, sexy and downtrodden, and these dozen tracks find her inspired both by the strong, occasionally humorous material and the superb backing musicians in James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band. There is no attempt to modernize these classic vaudeville and Dixieland era tunes; rather the intent is to be true to the original style with acoustic backing played in, and with, the spirit that made them so popular in their day. Muldaur invigorates the incessant double entendres that surely caused lecherous grins when listeners heard Bessie Smith's "Empty Bed Blues" or Spivey's "One Hour Mama" for the first time. Bonnie Raitt swings by for a cameo on Sippie Wallace's "Separation Blues," graciously not stealing the spotlight, but using her presence to pay tribute to one of her own inspirations. Other blues women covered here are Mamie Smith, Ma Rainey and Alberta Hunter. Muldaur's versions aren't simply covers, they reinvigorate the material, keeping the focus on the lyrics while Dapogny's group swings along. It's a fun, frisky and enlightening ride from a vocalist who has always promoted this music mixed in with her other styles, and an album that leaves the listener anticipating a follow-up.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/15/2007
Label:
Stony Plain Music
UPC:
0772532131926
catalogNumber:
1319
Rank:
63844

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Maria Muldaur   Primary Artist,Vocals
Rod MacDonald   Banjo,Guitar
Bonnie Raitt   Vocals
James Dapogny   Piano,Leader
Kim Cusack   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Jon-Erik Kellso   Trumpet
Kurt Krahnke   Bass
Kevin Porter   Trombone
Pete Siers   Drums
Russ Whitman   Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band   Musician
David Matthews   Piano
Chris Frazer Smith   Trombone,Tuba
Dave Mathews   Piano
Chris Smith   Trombone
Russ Whitman   Baritone Saxophone

Technical Credits

Alberta Hunter   Composer
Mamie Smith   Composer
Victoria Spivey   Composer
Sippie Wallace   Composer
Eubie Blake   Composer
James Dapogny   Arranger
Perry Bradford   Composer
Maria Muldaur   Producer,Audio Production
Andy Razaf   Composer
J.C. Johnson   Composer
John Penney   Liner Notes
Holger Petersen   Executive Producer
Rowland Salley   Paintings
Ron Harwood   Producer,Liner Notes,Executive Producer,Audio Production
Ryan Hertz   Liner Notes
Eric Wojahn   Engineer
Megan Acio   Graphic Design
Geoffrey Parsons   Composer

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