Maria Muldaur plays Hugh's Room Tuesday (September 13). Rating: NNNN
She started out in the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and people in the rock world were hardly prepared for her 1973 solo debut that allowed her alarmingly powerful voice to take centre stage while players like Ry Cooder and Dr. John eagerly played supporting roles. A slide into disco-funk is probably the reason you've never heard of her, but with her follow-up to the solid 2001 set Richland Woman Blues, Muldaur proves that it's a good thing to get back to your roots. Her voice is spot-on, world-hardened and deeply sensual, as she works her way through a marvellous tribute to the ladies who laid the blues groundwork for all to plunder.