Taj Mahal - Natch'l blues - 1968

Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Bach...and I suppose Pink too.

Taj Mahal - Natch'l blues - 1968

Postby Roland Bru » Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:49 pm

Taj Mahal first came into some prominence in a group called The Rising Sons, that also featured Ry Cooder and was somewhat special (in those days) for being multiracial. After one record they went their separate ways. Funnily both have played with the Rolling Stones. Taj Mahal is featured on the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, a mediocre live album and interesting TV special (also dating from 1968). Ry Cooder guests on several Stones songs in the early 70s.

Taj Mahals' roots lie in the blues, and his guitar playing, singing and mouth harp playing testify to that. I like his warm somewhat relaxed voice, but one could argue that he's not capable of putting the pain in the blues. Like Keb Mo' two decades later it's easy on the ear and a nice way to introduce the blues to your grandmother.

Although it must be a coincidence, I also detect some similarities between Taj Mahal and his (almost) namesake John Mayal, a British bluesman. Mayall is mainly famous for his rootsy approach, as well as a nose for talent: many musicians passed through his group (the Bluesbreakers), including Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor and many others.

Natch'l blues is actually his second solo outing. The first one, simply called Taj Mahal, is in the same vein, and both are heartily recommended. They may not be essential listening, but calling them inessential, or insignificant, would be incorrect as well. This is traditional blues music (less than half the songs are Taj originals), well played by someone who knows what he's doing, both on acoustic and electric guitar.
Roland Bru
 
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