Search - Geoff Muldaur :: Secret Handshake

Secret Handshake
Geoff Muldaur
Secret Handshake
Genres: Blues, Folk, Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

On his first solo release since 1986, Geoff Muldaur delivers a pleasing collection of American Music. The eight covers and two originals encompass traditional blues, gospel, and folk but come across as truly original due t...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Geoff Muldaur
Title: Secret Handshake
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Hightone Records
Original Release Date: 11/3/1998
Release Date: 11/3/1998
Genres: Blues, Folk, Jazz, Pop
Styles: Contemporary Blues, Contemporary Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 012928809726

On his first solo release since 1986, Geoff Muldaur delivers a pleasing collection of American Music. The eight covers and two originals encompass traditional blues, gospel, and folk but come across as truly original due to Muldaur's soulful and octave-jumping vocals, as well as his production and arranging. The covers are down-home, including compositions by Leadbelly, Vera Hall Ward, and Sleepy John Estes, and his originals are rootsy, especially "I Believe I'll Go Back Home," Muldaur's take on the biblical story of the prodigal son. He even gets downright funky during an extended jam on "Chevrolet/Big Alice," a track featuring David Grisman on mandolin and Canadian guitar virtuoso Amos Garrett on lead guitar. Curl up on the couch with this one and feel it; it gets better with each spin. --Jason Pascal

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CD Reviews

The best modern American folk album of 1998
Jerome Clark | Canby, Minnesota | 12/23/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is truly a golden age of folk recording. The quantity of material, both new and reissued, is without precedent, and on the whole the quality matches the quantity. In fact, there's so much good stuff out there that even the most committed lover of roots music has a hard time keeping up with it. Geoff Muldaur's new disc, however, should not be missed. Along with Lucinda Williams's Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, it is arguably the best modern folk record of 1998. Unlike Williams, however, traditional music is not simply an influence but the meat of his repertoire; there are only two originals here. The rest come from Lead Belly, Vera Hall, Sleepy John Estes, the great gospel composer Albert E. Brumley, Jr., and others. It's risky to take on songs already done by the masters, but even if you've heard the originals, Muldaur is going to leave you profoundly satisfied, fashioning a modern music that is yet suffused with the raw power of true American folk music. Muldaur, who hasn't recorded for something like 20 years, was always a gifted interpreter of country blues, jug-band romps, and hoary pop tunes, but nothing will prepare you for a mature work like this one. Every cut is notable for its creative approach and impassioned performance. Listening to The Secret Handshake, you hear traditional music renewing itself for the 21st Century and sounding better than ever."
Geoff Muldaur-American Treasure
James Otterstrom | Big Bear City, CA United States | 07/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album is devastating proof that there isn't now, nor will there ever be, enough Geoff Muldaur on record. It's been 35 years since Geoff & Maria Muldaur were major components of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Go back and listen to Geoff tear up 'Downtown Blues' with the Kweskin band, and then dig up 'New Orleans Hopscop Blues' from Geoff & Maria's drop-dead 'Pottery Pie' album (if you can find one), also check out 'Minglewood Blues', on 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost' by John Sebastian and the J Band, and another even hotter live version of that song, with the J Band, on the recently released CD,'The Harry Smith Connection'. That's almost all we have of Geoff until now. On this rare solo effort, 'The Secret Handshake', Geoff dumps you right into real folk blues on cut #1, 'Wild Ox Moan', then takes you along on an emotional roller coaster ride of authentic American experience that never lets up until the last note of the melancholic final song 'Just A Little While To Stay Here'. Every song here is exceptional, and some are unforgettable, 'Wild Ox Moan', 'Alberta', 'Got To Find Blind Lemon', 'Chevrolet/Big Alice' and 'Mistreated Mama', come to mind, but the album is an absolute keeper front to back. Geoff, where the hell have you been for the last 20 years? This is what the world needs brother, please, give us more."
wylie spicer | Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada | 12/06/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Geoff Muldaur has one of the most distinctive voices in my collection.But lots of people have distinctive voices......Muldaur also has great people selection and choice of tunes.remember when he was with maria muldaur(Pottery Pie)and then on to the Butterfield Blues Band (If you havent heard Small Town Talk get right over to the Butterfield section and buy the cd that it is on).Then he disappears off my radar til this album where has done it again with great musicians(good old Amos Garrettsurfaces for a tune or two) and great tunes.His new version of Chevrolet will get you moving.Abit like jesse winchester in the religion running through a la gospelish This World is not My own and Short Time to be Here but what a way to get the feeling.If you want more Geoff after you listen to this one go get John Sebastian's new one John Sebastian and the J Band Chasin gus' Ghost where Muldaur turns up on a number of cuts"