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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maria Muldaur's excellent tribute to Memphis Minnie, 22 Jan. 2013
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G. E. Harrison (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: First Came Memphis Minnie (Audio CD)
This is Maria Muldaur's tribute to her blues hero Memphis Minnie and features several previously released tracks by Maria accompanied by Alvin Youngblood Hart, Roy Rogers, Del Rey and Steve James . In addition, completely new recordings by Bonnie Raitt, Rory Block and Ruthie Foster are included, together with older Memphis Minnie tracks recorded by Koko Taylor and Phoebe Snow.

Maria has been in the business since the 60s and has returned to her blues roots for her last couple of albums, with age only adding to the authenticity of her voice, which also has a nice swing on many of the songs. Maria's tracks are all nice acoustic blues with excellent guitar accompaniment from the opening "Me and my Chauffeur" (perhaps Minnie's most famous song) to "Crazy cryin' blues" with Alvin Youngblood Hart's excellent sinuous guitar.

As a big fan of both Bonnie Raitt and Steve Freund it was great to hear them both playing together on "Ain't nothing but rambling", which sounds as though it could have come off Bonnie's first LP all those years ago, could we have a whole album by these two please? (Although Minnie was buried in an unmarked grave in 1973, Bonnie Raitt paid for a headstone to be erected in 1996.) Rory Block and Ruthie Foster are both great singer/guitarists and for me their tracks were among the highlights here. I also really liked Phoebe Snow's subtle version of "In my girlish days" and it was nice to finish the collection with the different sound of Koko Taylor's full-band Chicago blues version of "Black rat swing".

I salute Maria for putting this record together, she could have easily recorded all the songs herself and still have come out with a worthwhile tribute record. However, by bravely including other artists she has delivered a much more varied and interesting record. My only criticism is that I would have liked to have seen a Jo Ann Kelly track included as she is probably Memphis Minnie's most prominent modern disciple. I'd also have liked to hear Annie Raines playing a bit of harp on the acoustic tracks for a bit of variety and authenticity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MARIA CELEBRATES MINNIE, 21 May 2013
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This review is from: First Came Memphis Minnie (Audio CD)
THIS IS NOT A MARIA MULDAUR SOLO ALBUM, IT IS A TRIBUTE ALBUM ORGANISED BY MARIA AND SHE IS THE MAIN FEATURED ARTIST ALONG WITH SUCH NAMES AS RUTHIE FOSTER , BONNIE RAITT AND KOKO TAYLOR. AS WITH ALL SUCH ALBUMS YOU GET THE GOOD WITH THE BAD BUT WITH THIS ALBUM EVEN THE WORST TRACKS ARE NOT THAT BAD AND THE BEST ARE GREAT PARTICULARLY'BLACK RAT SWING' BY KOKO TAYLOR AND 'ME AND MY CHAUFFER BLUES' BY MARIA MULDAUR. ONE PROVISO TO THIS ALBUM IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE BLUES THEN THIS IS NOT FOR YOU.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Down home blues at it's best, 18 May 2014
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This review is from: First Came Memphis Minnie (Audio CD)
This is a great Blues album, the voices are excellent so is the recording. Much overlooked, Memphis Minnie's songs bring back the feeling of the early blues years and it is such a pleasure to hear female voices in a male dominated genre.
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First Came Memphis Minnie
First Came Memphis Minnie by Maria Muldaur (Audio CD - 2012)
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