The Skirball’s Sunset Concerts—FREE Thursday night performances of the best in American and world music—continue this week with a world-premiere collaboration between Maria Muldaur, singer of the megahit “Midnight at the Oasis,” and the rock gospel ensemble The Campbell Brothers. Each week, SkirBlog will feature a preview of the upcoming performer written by a member of our Programs department. Read about the band, view photos and videos … then make your way here on Thursday to watch the show in our magnificent outdoor courtyard. Maria Muldaur and The Campbell Brothers, this Thursday, August 22, at 8:00 p.m.
Nearly anyone familiar with American folk music from the 1960s will think fondly of Maria Muldaur. Since her early days in Jim Kweskin’s Jug Band, Muldaur has been a major voice in American music. She is best-known for “Midnight at the Oasis,” but throughout her career Muldaur has worked with some of the most important names in music including Bob Dylan, John Sebastian, and The Grateful Dead. She has always approached traditional Americana with complete reverence, even when sounds like country and western music were out of fashion, so it comes as little surprise that in recent years she has become one of the leading female voices singing the blues.
I was really excited when I heard a year ago that Muldaur was interested in performing at Skirball as part of a new collaboration with The Campbell Brothers, one of the great Sacred Steel gospel groups. The Campbell Brothers very well might be the first group to bring the electronic steel guitar tradition out of the churches and put it in front of music fans. NPR called their steel-guitar-driven gospel music “every bit as earth-shattering as Robert Johnson’s music was in the 1930s.” They have played with luminaries like the Allman Brothers and Mavis Staples as well as Skirball favorite Bill Frisell. While primarily composed of two generations of Campbells, the group regularly features “big voiced” female singers, so it seems natural that these two great proponents of American music would eventually collaborate. It was Skirball’s excitement that propelled the collaboration to move from concept to reality, and we are thrilled to be able to introduce the new pairing at the 2013 Sunset Concerts. See you there this Thursday!
Watch an interview with Maria Muldaur about her childhood musical influences:
Watch a brief video bio about The Campbell Brothers: