Album Remarks & Appraisals:
2008 release. Maria Muldaur's roots are in the Folk revival of the early '60s, a time when figures like Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan were making bold statements about the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other burning issues of the day. More than four decades later, in the face of political and social issues in which the stakes are equally high, Muldaur assembles a group of legendary female performers to lend their voices in a critical examination of where we are as a nation and where we're going. The guest list includes Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, Phoebe Snow, Odetta and Jane Fonda.
Dirty Linen (pp.58-59) - "Muldaur's voice has taken on a road-weary huskiness that suits the music well, reminiscent of the gospel strains of Mavis Staples, that lend an authority missing in her previous work."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "A grower, the album plugs into the energy of her earlier works and is a startling artistic left turn for Muldaur."
Personnel: Maria Muldaur (vocals, fiddle); Jean Shinoda Bolen, Anne Lamott, Marianne Williamson, Holly Near, Kimberly Bass, Jane Fonda, Jenni Muldaur, Linda Tillery, Joan Baez, Phoebe Snow, Bonnie Raitt (vocals); Shane Theriot (guitar, slide guitar); Joel Jaffe (slide guitar, lap steel guitar); Eric Thompson (banjo); Suzy Thompson (fiddle); David Torkanowsky (keyboards); James "Hutch" Hutchinson (bass guitar); Tony Braunagel (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Joel Jaffe.
Liner Note Authors: Mindy Giles; Maria Muldaur.
Recording information: Palmyra Studios, Palmer, TX; Rythmatic Studios, NY; Studio D Recording, Inc., Sausalito, CA.
Photographer: Alan Mercer.
Arranger: David Torkanowsky.
Her voice has deepened a bit from the days of her 1970s hits like "Midnight at the Oasis," but, 30 years down the road, Maria Muldaur's sound is as rich and soulful as ever. This 2008 release, featuring the Women's Voice for Peace Choir, centers on the themes of saving the environment, ending international conflicts, and living peacefully. The track list balances protest chestnuts (Edwin Starr's "War," Bob Dylan's "Masters of War") with stirring and uplifting hymns of hope (Allen Toussaint's rousing title track, Garth Brooks's "We Shall Be Free"), and includes appearances by some unlikely background singers: self-help gurus Marianne Williamson and Amma, actor Jane Fonda, and writers Anne Lamott and Jean Shinoda Bolen, as well as folk singers Holly Near and Joan Baez.