Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Geoff & Maria Muldaur

  • Pottery Pie [Reprise, 1970] B
  • Sweet Potatoes [Reprise, 1972] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Pottery Pie [Reprise, 1970]
On side one, the nice tunes from the predictable variety of traditional and contemporary sources are too unfocused to be more than pleasant, but the flip is a modest postfolkie treat. "Me and My Chauffeur Blues" shows off Maria's sexiest moods--coy, melancholy, swoony, demanding, and at the end she and her chauffeur come together--while "Death Letter Blues" shows off Geoff's most haunted blues voice. In between he camps up "Brazil," she strolls through "Georgia on My Mind," and Jim Kweskin asks Mel Lyman for further instructions. B

Sweet Potatoes [Reprise, 1972]
I really like this album, especially when Geoff gets nasty on "I'm Rich" and the sophomoric cheap shot "Kneein' Me," both of which he wrote. But Chuck Berry's "Havana Moon" gives away his limitations. "Havana Moon" simply isn't a very good song--it's only "interesting," as a pop aberration that has nothing to do with the thrust of Berry's music. Muldaur's version works quite well only because it singles out how "interesting" (and obscure) the song is. And too often "interesting" is all he wants to be. B+