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.
It also peaked at number 21 on the UK Singles Chart. Later that year, she released her second album, Waitress in a Donut Shop. This included a re-recording of “I’m a Woman”, Leiber and Stoller’s number first associated with Peggy Lee, and a notable feature from her Jug Band days. The title of this album is taken from a line in another song on the album, “Sweetheart”, by Ken Burgan.
Around this time, Muldaur established a relationship with the Grateful Dead. Opening some Grateful Dead shows in the summer of 1974, with Jerry Garcia Band bassist John Kahn, eventually landed him a place in that band as a backing vocalist in the late 1970s. same time, Muldaur met and eventually collaborated with bluegrass icon Peter Rowan.