Written by Ronnie Barron
Geoff Muldaur was a singer/songwriter and guitarist. Muldaur started his career in the Sixties with then-wife Maria Muldaur in the folk/blues combo, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band. In the early Seventies, Muldaur played with Paul Butterfield’s Better Days. On the side, Muldaur released a string of solo records, a couple with his wife Maria.
This week the focus is on Muldaur’s 1976 album Motion.
Motion was released on Reprise Records and produced by Trevor Lawrence who started his career as saxophone player performing live and in the studio with legends including Stevie Wonder and The Rolling Stones. In the mid-seventies, Lawrence made the transition to producer/arranger, working with Jimmy Cliff and Harry Nilsson (1941-1994). Lawrence also had a long, successful stint with The Pointer Sisters alongside Richard Perry.
For Muldaur’s Motion, Lawrence went for a slick, blue-eyed soul-style rock and pop with R&B echoes. Among the names appearing on the record were a young and gifted David Foster and the great Mac Rebennack, Jr. aka Dr. John (1941-2019) both on keyboards, Jim Keltner on drums, James Jamerson on bass and wizards of guitar, Jay Graydon and Dean Parks.
Written by singer/songwriter/keyboardist Ronnie Barron (1943-1997), one of the highlights on Motion and its lead single was an up-tempo diddy called “Since I’ve Been With You Baby.” This song was a duet with the phenomenal Bonnie Raitt who was about to explode on the scene with her superior talent. “Since I’ve Been With You Baby” sports a catchy melody with clever chord changes and a strong Philly Sound influence. Barron was part of the New Orleans music scene along with Dr. John and Allen Toussaint (1938-2015), another contributor on the album. “Since I’ve Been With You Baby” was extremely sophisticated and radio-friendly with Foster appearing on clavinet and an ear-candy string arrangement made by Lawrence. Muldaur’s and Raitt’s voices blended well together. The overall result could have been a hit single, but, unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The song and the whole Motion album quickly fell into oblivion. Muldaur was subsequently dropped by Reprise and probably missed his best shot to mainstream success with this record.
As in many similar cases, the quality of Muldaur’s Motion brought a recent reissue of the album by BGO Records. This reissue presents both Motion and its predecessor, Is Having A Good Time, on a single cd. Both albums were extremely enjoyable and held great songs in a variety of styles from R&B to pop, blues and rock delivered by top-notch musicians.
- Lead Vocals: Geoff Muldaur & Bonnie Raitt
- Keyboards: David Foster, Dr. John & Jane Getz
- Guitars: David Wolfert, Dean Parks, Dennis Coffey, Jay Graydon & Jesse Ed Davis
- Bass: Bill Rich, James Jamerson, Klaus Voormann
- Drums: David Kemper, Ed Greene, Jim Keltner & Mike Baird
- Percussion: Bobbye Hall
- Produced & Arranged by Trevor Lawrence