Maria Muldaur (born Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica D'Amato; September 12, 1943 in Greenwich Village, New York) is a folk-blues singer who was part of the folk music revival of the early 1960s. Best known to popular music audiences for her 1974 hit song "Midnight at the Oasis", Muldaur continues to record albums that are faithful to the folk movement's traditions.
Muldaur began her career in the early 1960s as Maria D'Amato, performing with John Sebastian, David Grisman, and Stefan Grossman as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band. She then joined Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band as a featured vocalist and occasional violinist. During this time, she was part of the Greenwich Village scene that included Bob Dylan, and some of her recollections of the period, particularly with respect to Dylan, appear in Martin Scorsese's 2005 documentary film, No Direction Home. She married fellow Jug Band member Geoff Muldaur, and after the Kweskin outfit broke up the two of them produced two albums. She began her solo career when their marriage ended in 1972, but retained her married name.
Her first solo album, "Maria Muldaur," released in 1973, contained her hit single, "Midnight at the Oasis," which reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. Later that year, she released her second album, "Waitress In A Donut Shop." This included a re-recording of "I'm a Woman", the Leiber and Stoller number first associated with Peggy Lee and a standout feature from her Jug Band days. The title of this album is taken from a line in another song on the album, "Sweetheart," by Dan Hicks, whose "Walking One And Only" appeared on her first album.
Around this time, Muldaur established a relationship with Grateful Dead and their family. Opening for some Grateful Dead shows in the summer of 1974, with John Kahn, bassist of The Jerry Garcia Band, would eventually earn her a seat in the band, in the late 1970s, as a backing vocalist.
More recently, Muldaur appeared on Super Jam (1989), the live recording of the German TV series Villa Fantastica with Brian Auger on piano, Pete York on drums, Dick Morrissey on tenor saxophone, Roy Williams on trombone, Harvey Weston on bass and Zoot Money, also on vocals.
Muldaur performing at the 1996 Riverwalk Blues Festival
Muldaur has continued to perform, tour, and record since her success in the mid-1970s, including a turn at the Teatro ZinZanni in 2001.
Her 2005 release Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul was nominated for both a W.C. Handy Award and a Grammy award in the Traditional Blues Category.