Songstress Muldaur brings high-spirited performance to The Upstage in PT

Songstress Muldaur brings high-spirited performance to The Upstage in PT

For a blues musician it might be on the early side — 10:30 a.m. — but Maria Muldaur gets right down to business.

“We’re bringing a combination of good, old blues and high-spirited, high-octane music,” to The Upstage, the singer said in an interview this week.

“I never disappoint my audience,” she added. That means the “big three,” as Muldaur and crew call a particular set of songs, will also be part of the show tonight and Saturday.

Muldaur and her Bluesiana Band — that’s a name she coined — will arrive at 8 p.m. at The Upstage, 923 Washington St. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door for a show she is fully fired up about.

Let’s get the big three dealt with right off. Muldaur still sings her hits “Midnight at the Oasis,” “I’m a Woman” and “Don’t You Feel My Leg” — and no, she is not at all jaded about them.

‘Not spoiled’

“I’m not some spoiled rock star,” Muldaur declared, “who says, ‘Oh, I am just so tired of those.’” In fact, she added, she loves to watch delight flicker across listeners’ faces as she sings:

Heaven’s holdin’ a half moon

shinin’ just for us

let’s slip off to a sand dune

real soon

and kick up a little

dust …

Yes, “Midnight at the Oasis,” a smash some 39 years ago, still transports.

“It’s a little three-minute Rudolph Valentino movie,” said Muldaur. Besides, “it’s a very hiply constructed song. It’s got a chugging groove,” thanks to her then-drummer Jim Gordon.

Muldaur is known in the blues and rock realms as a singer who treats her band members as equals. They’re on a road trip together, across time, genre and countryside, and she is relishing every minute, playing the music of her heroine Memphis Minnie and of her beloved city of New Orleans.

“It’s swamp funk: what I call Bluesiana music,” said the singer, who lives just north of San Francisco.

She’s just begun a seven-week tour that will take her from Seattle and Port Townsend all the way down to Florida and Texas; on it Muldaur is mixing together songs from the brand-new “First Came Memphis Minnie” — her 40th album — and from “Steady Love,” her acclaimed CD from 2011.

Brings show together

Right down the line, Muldaur has distinguished herself in the way she brings a show together.

“Maria Muldaur [is] truly part of the band. She improvised, played as an equal and really heard when a particular player was having a great night,” said Seattle multi-instrumentalist Joel Tepp, who has performed many times with the singer.

“She’d push you, feature you and milk the magic,” Tepp added, “to get the very best out of you and deliver it to the crowd.”

In Port Townsend, a place Muldaur adores, she’ll be with her “power trio, three guys who sound like four.”

They’re Chris Burns, who plays keyboard with one hand and bass with the other; guitarist Craig Caffall and drummer David Tucker.

Special guests

Muldaur also plans to invite local singer Farren O’farren, “my soul sister,” onto the stage tonight and Saturday. O’Farren, she feels, adds a sweet layer to the harmonies.

These fellow blues women, Muldaur added, “really are my sisters.” And those guys in the band? “They are all great singers, too.”

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