Singer Maria Muldaur has kept audiences guessing throughout her decorative career.
You never know what genre the middle-aged singer, who plays JJ’s Oct. 19 and 20, is going to explore next.
Muldaur, who grew up consuming a steady diet of doo-wop, jazz, pop, folk and the blues, has built a diverse and important body of work.
Before embarking on her career, she hosted after-hours parties at her New York City loft and invited old blues singers to play.
Perhaps more than anything, the blues has stuck with her music all through her career.
In the early ‘60s, Muldaur joined the Even Dozen Jug Band, which featured John Sebastian. After that group disbanded, Muldaur moved to Boston where she hooked up with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band.
It was with this group that Muldaur met her husband Geoff Muldaur. After the band broke up in 1968, the Muldaurs continued their professional relationship.
They lived for a time in Woodstock, N.Y., in a community of such hippie musicians as Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan and Paul Butterfield. And the Muldaurs recorded two albums, “Pottery Pie” and “Sweet Potatoes.”
After her husband left her both professionally and personally and joined Paul Butterfield, Maria Muldaur embarked on her own solo career.
Her eponymous debut album yielded the hit by which most people identify her: “Midnight At The Oasis.”
Her second album, “Waitress In A Donut Shop,” generated her other calling-card hit, “I’m A Woman.”
The list of musicians who played on those albums included J.J. Cale, Dr. John, Ry Cooder, Stevie Wonder, James Booker and several other greats.
In the 1980s, Muldaur recorded two jazz albums and two gospel music albums. They sold respectably and received critical acclaim. Also in that decade, Muldaur appeared in the hit Broadway musicals “Pump Boys And Dinettes” and “Pirate Of Penzance.”
She delved into the blues, Louisiana music and R&B; on her 1992 album, “Louisiana Love Call,” which was recorded in Louisiana. Many critics felt this album was her best ever.
The songstress’ love of blues and the Louisiana music she dubs “bluesiana” is evident in her her new album, “Meet Me At Midnight.” The album is another stellar achievement.
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Maria Muldaur Location and time: Oct. 19 and 20, JJ’s at the Sheraton, 8 p.m.> Tickets: $10, available at Street Music, 117 N. Howard, and at the Sheraton Hotel