Friday, February 27, 2009
Taj Mahal goes to the Blues Hall of Fame
Taj Mahal the 66 year old bluesman is going to be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, this May. He started his professional career in 1964 by teaming up with Ry Cooder another bluesman who should be inducted. Since 1968 Taj Mahal has produced 25 studio albums, released 8 live albums and 11 packaged compilations, plus receiving nine Grammy Award nominations and winning three. Being a modern era bluesman Taj Mahal's is known for incorporating musical styles front different parts of the world, calypso, reggae, west indian, even Hawaiian rhythms can be heard in his music.
Above he singing the Robert Johnson standard Dust My Broom.
Mahal had a great respect for the early bluesman and when they started getting work again in the late sixties Mahal went out his to make sure that they were not being taken advantage of again. Even Dick Waterman who is credited with reviving the careers of many of the early blues performers felt a bit of Taj Mahals wrath. Waterman had booked Son House to perform at a weekend concert. Standing off stage while House performed Waterman writes that someone grabbed his arm and spun him around. It was a very tall, very serious looking Taj Mahal. I hear what you are Waterman. You take care of the old black men and make sure they get paid. Waterman took it more as a threat than a question or statement of fact.
This is Taj Mahal in 1968 doing Leaving Trunk
And although the video here is just shots of his albums, this is Taj Mahall singing the Stones Honky Tonk Woman from the House of Blues does the Stones CD. This might be my favorite blues recording of all time, it is certainly the best version of Honky Tonk Woman I have ever heard.
So much for my pogge imitation.