Taj MAHAL – Taj's Blues 1968

Taj MAHAL – Taj’s Blues 1968
1992 Issue.

Blues

If you don’t already have this one in your blues collection then you sure will need it soon! Taj’s vocals shine through on this recording. The recording has a very earthy quality and a nice rough edge and is very true to the blues tradition. Taj has a few albums where he wanders stylistically (even into reggae) but this one is pure blues. There are also a lot of good slide guitar and dobro licks here thanks to a few superb guest musicians. The music is sure to please both the blues fan as well as the blues musician
By  Dave.
**
Taj Mahal’s dazzling 1968 debut provides the foundation for this 12-song overview of the bluesman’s early solo years. Tracks like “Leaving Trunk” and “Statesboro Blues” from that first record signaled the arrival of a young black man grounded in tradition yet committed to innovation. Over the next half- dozen years, Taj fulfilled much of that promise. Taj’s Blues eschews his previous island folk experiments in favor of country blues inspired by Sleepy John Estes and Mississippi John Hurt. –Steven Stolder
Check out Taj Mahal. Taj’s Blues is a great listen. Taj Mahal has a talent for capturing a unique sound.
**
One of the most prominent figures in late 20th century blues, singer/multi-instrumentalist Henry St. Clair Fredericks played an enormous role in revitalizing and preserving traditional blues.
His self-titled debut album was recorded in August 1967, and came out just as several established blues stars ventured into psychedelia and rock n’ roll at the insistence of their record companies.
But not Taj Mahal. These arrangements may be updated when compared to what Robert Johnson or Willie McTell did thirty-five years earlier, but it’s still the blues, genuine, mostly acoustic blues, dominated by harp and howling slide guitar.
These lean, stripped-down arrangements were alien to most record producers at the time, and they are part of the reason why this album holds up so well.
The best of these eight songs count among the best, catchiest, grooviest blues I have ever heard, and I have heard a lot!
Taj Mahal vocals are powerful and confident, he has a great sense of timing and melody, and he is backed by a magnificent band which includes lead guitarist Jesse Ed Davis and the multi-talented Ry Cooder.
(A facsimile of the original LP artwork is included, giving their names as “Jessie Edwin Davis” and “Ryland Cooder”. Taj Mahal calls his band “a son of a Texas sharecropper, a Hungarian Jew, a wild-eyed Irishman, and a crazy Swamp Spade!”)

Taj Mahal’s hard-hitting renditions of “Dust My Broom”, “Leaving Trunk” and “Statesboro Blues” are nothing short of magnificent; powerful, strongly rhythmic songs, perfectly arranged. And the nine-minute version of Son House’s “Walkin’ Blues”, which sees Taj Mahal playing both harp and rough, gruff slide guitar, is simply awesome.
The whole record is a compelling amalgam of stylistic and technical achievements, filled with blues influences of the 1920s and 30s, but also making use of stereo sound separation and state-of-the-art recording technology.
One of the best blues LPs of the 60s.
By  Docendo Discimus.
**
01. Leaving Trunk (4:50)
02. Statesboro Blues (2:58)
03. Everybody’s Got To Change Sometime (2:56)
04. Bound to Love Me Some (4:29)
05. Frankie & Albert (4:00)
06. East Bay Woman (9:19)
07. Dust My Broom (4:31)
08. Corinna (3:02)
09. Jellyroll (3:14)
10. Fishin’ Blues (3:09)
11. Sounder MedleyNeeded Time #2Curiosity BluesHorse ShoesNeeded Time #3 (5:28)
12. Country Blues #1 (2:40)
**


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