Q (12/93, p.140) - 3 Stars - Good - "...[WAITRESS] inhabits similar territory to the '70s albums of Ry Cooder--unself-consciously examining the roots of Americana, rock 'n' roll, blues, country and jazz..."
Personnel includes: Maria Muldaur (vocals).
Additional personnel: Mac Rebennack, Linda Ronstadt, Kate & Anna McGarrigle.
On WAITRESS IN A DONUT SHOP, Maria Muldaur expands the stylistic range of her first two albums to include a stronger jazz influence, most notably in the nightclub swing of tracks such as "Squeeze Me" and "Sweetheart." Elsewhere, backed alternately by small ensembles of session players, horns, auxiliary percussion, and added orchestrations, the singer draws on different genres with skill and aplomb, including folk that dabbles in ethnic flavor ("Gringo En Mexico"), bluegrass ("Honey Babe Blues"), and gospel ("Travelin' Shoes").
As with her previous work, Muldaur's texturally rich, flexible voice, which can alternate between earthy blues and high, clear ballads, is the focal point here, sounding equally at home in any of the record's style-switching contexts. Also impressive is Muldaur's fluency with a witty lyric, as in the giggle-inducing "It Ain't The Meat, It's the Motion" and the only semi-tongue-in-cheek empowerment country shuffle of "I'm a Woman." Songwriting contributions from the McGarrigle sisters and guest appearances by Amos Garrett and J.J. Cale help make WAITRESS IN A DONUT SHOP another in Muldaur's fine string of recordings.