In the mid-Seventies, Maria Muldaur had a fluke top 40 hit with the charming novelty song “ at the Oasis”; as far as I can remember she never hit the top 40 again. But during the ensuing years she has made a good number of wonderful albums...including great discs celebrating the blues, the music of Louisiana, and the immortal Miss Peggy Lee...combining the blues, folk, soul, gospel, and rock & roll into a tasty musical gumbo all her own.
This notion of combining Muldaur’s smoky… sweet, husky, and downright sexy….pipes with Bob Dylan’s poignant, poetic, heartfelt love songs was an inspired one (her record label’s president suggested a collection of Dylan songs after seeing a documentary on the man and Maria came up with the idea of doing Dylan love songs) and it pays off grandly on this delightful little collection.
With the able backing of a crack band, Muldaur puts a bluesy spin on Dylan tunes from different eras…some (a softly-sassy reading of “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”, a sultry “Lay Lady Lay” [recast here as “Lay Baby Lay”], a soulful twist on the oft-covered “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”) perhaps a bit more familiar than others (“Golden Loom”, “To Be Alone with You”)…and makes them smolder, sizzle, lope, swing, and soar with masterful aplomb.
When the celebratory “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”…with Muldaur playing some tasty fiddle…ends you’re surprised at how quickly 49 minutes have passed. Heart of Mine is a very worthy addition to the expansive body of Bob Dylan covers that have been recorded over the years.