Maria Muldaur: Don’t You Feel My Leg – The Naughty Bawdy Blues of Blue Lu Barker

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Everyone forgets now that the hit “Midnight At The Oasis”, which established Maria Muldaur in 1973 was a bit of an oddball on an album that majored on Dr John, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and Dolly Parton material, and also the Barkers’ and J. Mayo Williams’ mildly salacious “Don’t You Feel My Leg”.

In 2016 the Danny Barker Festival invited her to put on a tribute to Blue Lu. This album was the result. What was presumably an entertaining concert set is a bit . . . much as a CD experience. Relentless bawdry is hard to maintain with any conviction and Maria doesn’t leave a fellow any time for a restorative ciggy and walk round the block. By the time we get to “Don’t You Feel My Leg”, I felt like I’d spent the night round at Fenella Fielding’s.

Delightful to hear Herlin Riley beating out crisp square fours and there’s no doubt that the band get into the spirit of the thing with considerable enthusiasm. The authentic feel wasn’t hurt by permission for Chris Adkins to use one of Danny B’s old guitars. Bill Wyman gets an unexplained thanks, but of course it could be another Bill. Not my favourite Maria album – that still has to be Waitress in a Donut Shop, the sequel to her debut – but it’ll be catnip to her fans and for admirers of Blue Lu.

Discography
Georgia Grind; Leave My Man Alone; Loan Me Your Husband; Scat Skunk; Now You’re Down in the Alley; Here’s a Little Girl from Jacksonville; Nix on Those Lush Heads; Bow Legged Daddy; Trombone Man Blues; A Little Bird Told Me; Handy Andy; Don’t You Feel My Leg (45.40)
Maria Muldaur (v); Kevin Louis (t on 2, 3, 6-8, 10-12); Duke Heitger (t on 1, 4, 9, 12); Eric Trolsen (tb on 2, 3, 6-8, 10-12); Roderick Paulin (sax, cl on 2, 3, 6-8, 10-12); Tom Fischer (sax, cl on 1, 4, 9, 12); Charlie Halloran (tb on 1, 4, 9, 12); David Tarkanowsky (p, MD); Chris Adkins (g); Roland Guerin (b); Herlin Riley (d, pc). New Orleans, LA, June & July 2018.
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