As a long time, full time Muldaur fan, there are parts of this review that were hard for me to write, but here goes:
I can't help but feel that this whole package was slapped together for whatever reason and unceremoniously thrown into the ether. Certainly, though unfortunately, there is no huge market demand. So with the lady herself listed as one of three executive producers, why such chintzy artwork and packaging? As an avowed Dylan fan, why are a third of the twelve Dylan titles listed incorrectly? (ie: Buckets of Tears is "Buckets of Love". The crooning Moonlight from Love and Theft is known here as "Meet Me in The Moonlite")
Essentially an uninspiring recording of her noteworthy Heart of Mine—The Love Songs of Bob Dylan Muldaur and her road cronies—guitarist Craig Cafall, drummer Dave Tucker—are joined by guitarist Dave Caron and other guests and go low key and predictable on the first several selections. The set only starts to simmer as Caron's guitar takes JJ Cale's Cajun Moon to new heights. Golden Loom, a collector's outtake from Dylan's Desire era gypsy sprawl, roils on a loping groove while the languid I'll Be Your Baby Tonight would put anyone in the mood.
But the mood is seriously broken with an embarrassing Midnight at The Oasis, the hit she has seriously outgrown but insists on performing because her audience demands it. Maria should stop for a moment and consider where Dylan and his music would be if, as his audience demanded, he never went electric or kept writing songs like Blowin' in The Wind. In her defense, it is true he has taken to playing Like A Rolling Stone and All Along The Watchtower virtually every night, but if you've heard some of the performances (and I have, either live or bootlegged) you would agree it's not in his best interest artistically to do so. A rollicking You Ain't Goin' Nowhere listed here as "Ride Me High" closes this baffling, ultimately unsatisfying set.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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