Picks and Pans Review: Louisiana Love Call

updated 02/01/1993 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/01/1993 01:00AM

Maria Muldaur

Best remembered for her languorous 1974 hit, "Midnight at the Oasis," Muldaur, 49, has one of those sweet, spicy voices that drenches whatever she sings—be it blues, jazz, folk, gospel or pop—in soulful sensuality. The San Francisco Bay Area resident is in top form on this, her strongest album since Transbluesency in 1986.

Joined by such stars of the Louisiana blues circuit as Dr. John, Aaron and Charles Neville, and accordion player Zachary Richard, Muldaur jumps right into the gumbo with a thumping, bumping celebration of the raucous New Orleans parade beat, "Second Line." Another hot-mama track is "Blues Wave," with its Creedence Clearwater-like swamp boogie beat, nicely followed by the Cajun two-step ditty "Dem Dat Know."

Even when she cools down, there's a pleasurable gutsiness to Muldaur's vocals as exemplified by her two ducts with Dr. John—the coy "Best of Me" and Leon Russell's lusty "Layin' Right Here in Heaven." Only the teasing number "Dun I You Keel M Leg," which she recorded on her 1973 debut album, seems a tad tired.

Now that Bonnie Raitt has achieved Grammy-level recognition, Muldaur may just be the queen of underappreciated white female blues singers. With Louisiana Love Call, she proves again that life does not end at "Midnight." (Black Top)"

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