Maria D'Amato was born in New York City in 1943. During the 60s she was part of the Greenwich Village Folk Scene, being a member of both the Even Dozen Jug Band and Jim Kweskin's Jug Band. It was as a member of the latter that she met Geoff Muldaur, and the two of them married. By 1970 they had moved to Woodstock, and there they recorded two albums together as a duo. They then joined a new group put together by Paul Butterfield, but before the release of Better Days' debut album the Muldaurs had split up. Geoff stayed with Better Days, whilst Maria began a solo career.
Her debut album was released in 1973, and it followed the framework the two duo albums had set up - a quirky and eclectic mix of American roots music styles, with flavours of blues, country, New Orleans jazz and vaudeville, all with a clean production style that gave it a good dose of pop appeal. The songs were all covers, and included numbers by Dolly Parton, Jimmie Rodgers, Kate McGarrigle and Dr John. The album featured a huge number of backing musicians, among them Ry Cooder, Clarence White, David Grisman, Jim Keltner, Chris Ethridge, Jim Dickinson, Dr John, Amos Garrett, Klaus Voormann, Bill Keith, David Lindley, Spooner Oldham and Jim Gordon.
The album was a big success, thanks to one song - David Nichtern's "Midnight At The Oasis" was a surprise hit, and got to #6. It remains today by far her best-known song.
|> Waitress In A Donut Shop (1974)
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