CD Geoff Muldaur and the Texas Sheiks [Digipak] (CD 6234794),
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Geoff Muldaur and the Texas Sheiks [Digipak]

  • 1. World Is Going Wrong, The
    2. All by Myself
    3. Poor Boy
    4. Fan It
    5. Hard Time Killin' Floor
    6. Sweet to Mama
    7. Don't Sell It, Don't Give It Away
    8. Cairo
    9. Under the Chicken Tree
    10. Please, Baby
    11. Blues in the Bottle
    12. Right Now Blues
    13. Travellin' Riverside
    14. Yellow Dog Blues
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 045

  • Credits
    ProducerGeoff Muldaur; Bruce Hughes
    EngineerStuart Sullivan

    Personnel: Geoff Muldaur (vocals, guitar, kazoo, background vocals); Johnny Nicholas (vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, drums, background vocals); Bruce Hughes (vocals, guitar, upright bass, background vocals); Stephen Bruton (guitar, mandolin); Cindy Cashdollar (slide guitar, steel guitar, National guitar, dobro); Suzy Thompson (fiddle, accordion, background vocals); Floyd Domino (piano).
    Audio Mixers: Matthew Schultz; Stuart Sullivan.
    Liner Note Authors: Geoff Muldaur; T-Bone Burnett.
    Recording information: Wire Recording, Austin TX.
    Editor: Carl Sealove.
    Muldaur's unique tone and phrasing are instantly recognizable, and like many musicians who came of age during the 1960s folk revival, he was making roots music before the term was invented. He's a fine blues singer and an inventive interpreter of folk, pop, ragtime, and jug band music, to name just a few of the genres he's put his stamp on. In 2008 his longtime friend Stephen Bruton, favorite guitarist of artists like Kris Kristofferson and Bonnie Raitt learned he had terminal cancer. Muldaur asked Bruton to join him in the studio for a project he was recording, a roots music super session that was going to explore the intersection of folk, blues, country, swing, ragtime, jug band, and mountain music. That said, it's ragtime and jug band music that most informs Muldaur's arrangements. Big Bill Broonzy's "All by Myself" gets a rollicking treatment with Muldaur's boozy lead vocal and tasty solos from Bruton's guitar, Cindy Cashdollar's dobro, and Floyd Domino's piano. "Fan It," a tune made popular by Bob Wills, features a saucy vocal from special guest Jim Kweskin, solid fiddle work by Suzy Thompson, and Cashdollar's jazzy pedal steel. "Sweet to Mama" harks back to the sound of early African-American string bands. Muldaur moans the blues and plays banjo with barebones backing by Thompson's fiddle and Bruce Hughes on standup bass. The surrealistic "Under the Chicken Tree" blends jug band, cowboy, and Hawaiian pop with a playful vocal from Kweskin, Muldaur on kazoo, Johnny Nicholas on mandolin, Cashdollar's dobro, and Kweskin playing banjo. "Blues in the Bottle" was one of the first tunes cut by the Kweskin Jug Band and Kweskin reprises his role from that early session with Bruton on mandolin, Cashdollar's dobro, Thompson's fiddle and Hughes on standup bass adding a big jazzy vibe to the take. Burton adds mandolin to the sinister blues numbers that end the set. "Travelin' Riverside" is a grim Robert Johnson (is there any other kind?) tune with Cashdollar's foreboding dobro and Nicholas' tortured guitar adding to the menacing atmosphere. W.C. Handy's "Yellow Dog Blues" gets an instrumental arrangement that suggests swing, ragtime and jug band music to take things out on a high note, Thompson's fiddle wailing like a preacher possessed by the Holy Spirit. Bruton passed shortly after these sessions, but the music lives on, sounding like a loose, freewheeling, front porch gathering of longtime friends. It's a fitting tribute to Bruton and another feather in Muldaur's cap, an excellent addition to his already impressive body of work. ~ j. poet

  • Critic Reviews
    Living Blues (pp.36-37) - "The instrumental work here is top rate, and the solos and fills by Thompson and Cashdollar in particular impart buoyancy to the ensemble sound, which has a freewheeling character."
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