# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Maria Muldaur with Tuba Skinny - Let’s Get Happy Together

  by Nicky Crewe

published: 29 / 7 / 2021

Maria Muldaur with Tuba Skinny - Let’s Get Happy Together
Label: Stony plain
Format: CD


Return to her roots for Maria Muldaur with this new album, a collaboration with Tuba Skinny, a young group of musicians who share her enthusiasm for 1920s and ‘30s New Orleans Jazz and Blues

A chance encounter in a Woodstock clothes shop, where Tuba Skinny’s CD was playing led to Maria Muldaur’s discovery of this young group of musicians, now living in New Orleans and dedicated to playing the classic jazz and blues of the early part of the twentieth century. For Muldaur the appeal wasn’t just their repertoire but their approach. They were playing with reverence, skill and an authenticity that seemed to channel that bygone era. Having spent sixty years following this kind of music, she knew she had found something special and made a connection with them the next time she visited New Orleans. In January 2020 she was invited to do a showcase at the International Folk Alliance and asked Tuba Skinny to play with her. Her old friend Holger Petersen liked what he heard and asked to record them together. ‘Let’s Get Happy Together’, the title track, was written by Lil Hardin Armstrong. Louis Armstong’s first wife. It sums up the mood of the album, started in February 2020 before the pandemic hit and released while it is still part of our everyday lives. The search for material for the album led Muldaur and Tuba Skinny to rediscover and champion songwriters and musicians from the past who had sometimes been overlooked. Songs originally recorded and performed by the Goofus Five, Frankie ‘Half Pint’ Jaxon, Irving Berlin, Dorothy Lamour, Annette Henshaw, Ivy Anderson with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and The Boswell Sisters are included. There are two songs recorded by Valaida Snow, ‘Swing You Sinners’ and ‘Patience and Fortitude]. Louis Armstrong described her as ‘the second best trumpeter in the world’. No prizes for guessing who he thought was the best! There’s a very personal link for Muldaur when she includes ‘Road of Stone’, recorded by Sweet Pea Spivey. She was sister to Victoria Spivey who discovered and mentored Muldaur in her youth. Maria Muldaur was an important part of the 1960s folk scene through her involvement in the Even Dozen Jug Band and the Jim Kweskin jug band. I’ve recently read Joe Boyd’s memoir, ‘White Bicycles’, again where she features both as a friend and as an incredibly talented and beautiful singer. Some reading this will remember her huge solo hit with ‘Midnight at the Oasis’. Her voice may have changed and matured but her passion for this style of American music remains undiminished. There’s a wonderful energy about this collaboration. It’s a great antidote to the restrictions of the last eighteen months. There’s a reminder that it was produced in a pandemic in the before and after sleeve photos, one with everyone unmasked and the other with them sporting a variety of facemasks. You can still see that they are smiling though and this is an album that will put a smile on your face.

Track Listing:-
1 I Like You Best of All
2 Let's Get Happy Together
3 Be Your Natural Self
4 Delta Bound
5 Swing You Sinners
6 He Ain't Got Rhythm
7 Got The South In My Soul
8 I Go For That
9 Patience And Fortitude
10 Some Sweet Day
11 Big City Blues
12 Road of Stone

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