Maria Muldaur

7 Questions for…

We caught up with Maria Muldaur — considered by many the “First Lady of American Roots Music” — just before she left to headline a jazz festival in Borneo and shortly after she’d returned from New Orleans, where she’d finished recording her 39th (she thinks) album, Steady Love, which features a gumbo of New Orleans–flavored blues, R&B, and a “swamp funk” sound she calls “bluesiana.” Muldaur and her Red Hot Bluesiana Band will be at 142 Throckmorton on September 11 to promote the album’s release.

1 Why Marin? I was living in L.A., and right around the time “Midnight at the Oasis” became a huge hit, I fell in love with a handsome, soulful bass player in the Jerry Garcia Band named John Kahn, who lived up here. When he rented a gorgeous house on the top of Mount Tam for us and our two children I loaded my daughter, my dog and all my worldly possessions into a moving van and never looked back.

2 Favorite Marin spots to play? I always love performing at 142 Throckmorton … I like to call it the “Sistine Chapel of Mill Valley.” We also dig playing at good old Rancho Nicasio, which is a great down-home, old-school roadhouse for folks who like to come out, have some great American food and dance — not a yuppie in sight! And then of course the new Palm Ballroom, adjacent to the Seafood Peddler.

3 Do you have a favorite late-night snack spot? In this sleepy little ‘burb? Are you kidding? If we get out of the Throckmorton early enough, the wonderful brothers from Calabria who own Piazza D’Angelo will graciously stay open and make sure we get something to eat.

4 Have you ever ridden a camel? In 1974, when I was chosen to be on the cover of Rolling Stone, the fabulous photographer Annie Leibovitz thought it would be a good idea to photograph me on a camel in the desert. I was 31, wearing denim shorts and a halter top. In the photo I have this look of nonchalance, but I was terrified.

5 What is your favorite drink and where do you like to drink it? Fresh-squeezed orange juice at Mi Pueblo, the supermarket that I call the “Mexican Whole Foods,” in San Rafael. I love that place.

6 What has motherhood taught you about yourself? It’s a lifetime job; it’s not over when the kids turn 18 and leave home. It’s an ongoing relationship. Most important, it teaches you to live for something other than yourself, which, after all, is what we’re all here to learn.

7 What is your beauty secret? [Laughs.] I don’t really have one. But my two secrets to staying healthy and full of energy are that I swim a mile every day, rain or shine, and I don’t dwell on negativity. I strive to focus on devoting my life and energy to serving the highest good of all.