Don’t You Feel My Leg – The Naughty Bawdy Blues of Blu Lou Barker
The Last Music Company
This marks Maria’s 41st album in a distinguished career that has established her as a preeminent and revered interpreter of American roots music – and it is her first studio album in six years.
For this set, Maria pays tribute to the wonderful Blue Lu Barker, the popular vocalist and songwriter of the late ’30s and early ’40s whom Billie Holiday once cited as her biggest influence. Blue Lu and her husband Danny Barker were New Orleans legends.
It was Barker’s “Don’t You Feel My Leg” that made it onto Maria’s 1973 self-titled solo debut album at the suggestion of Dr. John. The album went on to spawn a million-seller hit with “Midnight at The Oasis,” and yet to this day, “Leg” remains her most requested song.
Maria and Blue Lu would later form a friendship that lasted until Blue Lu’s death in 1998. In 2016, Maria was invited to perform a tribute to her old friend in New Orleans. While researching material for the tribute, to Maria’s surprise and delight, she discovered that the Barkers had written and recorded dozens of songs equally naughty, bawdy, witty, and clever as “Don’t You Feel My Leg.”
In my opinion, Maria’s best work has always been her bawdy material and her Gospel offerings. This puts this release among her best ever.