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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Sounding Old School Blues, October 14, 2012
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For those expecting the usual stale covers of classic blues songs, look elsewhere. This is a great set with all the performers playing with a lot of soul. Although the songs here could easily have turned into a vocalist showcase for this Memphis Minnie tribute, it didn't. It has great guitar and musical accompaniment all throughout this album and has a great mix and good sounding production values.

Maria Muldaur starts the album and is featured on quite a few other tracks. She sings boldly and with great bluesy soul on all her songs. The first track, 'Me and My Chauffeur Blues' kicks off the sexual inuendo-fest and has a great rambling feel with Roy Rogers laying down a bouncing groove. The second track features a great duet with Bonnie Raitt & Steve Freund. Even though he does not sing, the guitars are the ones doing some great harmonizing.

Maria Muldaur returns with Alvin Youngblood Hart on 'I'm Going Back Home' and is one of the better tracks on the album. The other track they do together, 'Crazy Cryin' Blues' has a great old school classic blues feel and is another highlight. Full of Soul. As is the song, 'I'm Sailing', where Maria belts one out from the gut. This is another song with a great band backing her, even if it is not credited... too bad.

Rory Blocks, 'When You Love Me' is a good slide guitar version of the track. It makes it slippery as she handles the guitar very well. Easily the most old school song has Phoebe Snow singing, ' In My Girlish Days'. It starts to pick up nicely and still carries that improvised feel when getting going towards the middle and end of the song.

The three songs Maria does with Del Rey and Steve James are all varied... from the dixieland feel of 'Long As I Can See You Smile' to the country blues tinges on 'Tricks Ain't Walkin'', which is another one of my favorites. Another great soulful duet is to be found on 'She Put Me Outdoors', which has them singing / arguing over some great delta-blues style guitar picking. Great musicianship is found throughout these tracks.

Ruthie Foster doesn't let her fans down with a great, soulful sound with more of that great bouncing acoustic guitar. My only wish is that there was more Ruthie included on this disc. The most rollicking track is saved for the finale, where Koko Taylor is joined by electric slide guitar, piano, and has the most band-oriented feel on an album that is filled with mostly basic acoustic guitar filled songs. This ending is another one of the better songs on this album that has quite a few great blues moments.

And after a little searching, the reason all the music is so well done... Guitar great David Bromberg & Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin doin' some slide-work are the uncredited musicians filling in the seams. If soulful, slightly-boogified blues classics done with a nod towards the old-timers is what you like, this is an album for you.

addendum...
there seems to be a weird edit, or mistake, at the beginning of 'Lookin' The World Over'.
It seems like it is a weird cut in the MP'3, but there is something going on at the end of the first sung line.
Anyone else catch this? Thanks...

KC
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maria Muldaur's excellent tribute to Memphis Minnie, January 22, 2013
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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 guitarist 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, it was Bonnie Raitt who 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 track from the UK's Jo Ann Kelly 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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First Came Memphis Millie, November 8, 2012
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This review is from: First Came Memphis Minnie (Audio CD)
I was a little disappointed that many tracks had been previously released and I had them already...but all in all a worth while project.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music!, February 8, 2013
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This review is from: First Came Memphis Minnie (Audio CD)
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! This is much more than we expected! Kept me rockin', not wanting to get out of the car. If you like the blues, buy this one. It's a classic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection, April 10, 2013
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Like most anthologies, the artists differ so the four stars reflects the fact that one likes some better than others. It is excellent and I really liked the various approaches to her work. If you like blues including front-porch arrangements you will like this one...really tasty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like The Blues and you like the modern women interpreters, then this album is for you., March 28, 2013
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This review is from: First Came Memphis Minnie (Audio CD)
Fabulous artists. The Rory Block tune is worth the whole collection,never mind that Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Raitt and Ruthie Foster
are all superstars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tribute, February 7, 2013
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Presumably you are reading this because you enjoy listening to the blues and have some interest in blues history. If so, you will likely find this collection to be delightful. The selection of tunes, the musicianship, and the high production value combine to make a very listenable, extremely satisfying whole. A fitting tribute to a blues legend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a tribute!, January 13, 2013
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This review is from: First Came Memphis Minnie (Audio CD)
Maria did something really special choosing each of these great artists and keeping these songs alive.. Phoebe Snow was amazing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I did good!, January 21, 2014
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This review is from: First Came Memphis Minnie (Audio CD)
My wife is an avid blues listener. I bought this as a present for her. She was pleasantly surprised. She really likes the music. I'd say I did good!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing CD, real music, October 21, 2013
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This review is from: First Came Memphis Minnie (Audio CD)
This is a must have for anyone that enjoys real music made by real musicians.
The vocals are great and the musicians on this disc are so talented.
Learning about Memphis Minnnie and her songs and life are an added bonus to buying this CD.

I like this CD a lot
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First Came Memphis Minnie
First Came Memphis Minnie by Maria Muldaur (Audio CD - 2012)
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