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Maria Muldaur: "I Sing Music I Love"

To me there are no musical boundaries, Marie Muldaur told me last week. "I sing what I want and I dare anyone to stop me. I've always done what I wanted to do and I made a good living at it."

Muldaur is on the fifth week of a successful tour that comes to the Bellows Falls Opera House on Saturday, November 14. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30.

Muldaur is certainly best known to most people for her huge hit single from 1974,"Midnight at the Oasis," a sexy, sassy single with a memorable Amos Garret guitar solo that reached the #6 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 that year.

The fact that in the early 70's Muldaur was a dark-haired beauty with a serious babe-factor going for her didn't hurt album sales either. In fact, her photo has graced many of her album covers. "Midnight at the Oasis" has gone on to be one of the most played songs of the 70's era, and probably still gets airplay on dozens of radio stations every day.

But, if all you know about Maria Muldaur is that one song, then you really know nothing about her. It's something of an aberration in a career that, since the release of that song, has included 35 albums, an average of one every year.

Muldaur says that the huge commercial success of "Oasis," along with the follow-up single, "I'm a Woman," and the success of the two albums they were on, was a "happy accident."

"I never had commercial aspirations," she said. "I just sing music I love."

Born and raised in New York City's Greenwich Village, music she loved in the early 60's included jug band music, and she was in the two most influential American jug bands of the era, The Even Dozen Jug Band and Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band. Between them the two bands released six albums and spawned important careers for John Sebastian (the Lovin' Spoonful), David Grisman, Stefan Grossman, Kweskin, and Geoff Muldaur, who would become Maria's husband and musical collaborator on two other albums. They would divorce in 1972, and Maria would embark on her long and prolific solo career.

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