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The Taj Mahal Trio at Higher Ground

Read "The Taj Mahal Trio at Higher Ground" reviewed by Doug Collette

The Taj Mahal Trio Higher Ground South Burlington, Vermont June 18, 2009

Given the pre-show buzz in the ballroom, it is quite likely Taj Mahal had the Higher Ground crowd in the palm of his hand before he even ambled onstage on June 18th. He didn't take their loyalty for granted, however, or just go through the motions--he only made it look that easy.

More a stylist than an innovator, Taj Mahal has nevertheless ...

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Taj Mahal: Maestro

Read "Maestro" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

With a forty-year track record of recording the blues, Taj Mahal has earned the label of maestro. Now, he celebrates four decades with an album that uses that word as its theme.Born Henry St. Clair Fredricks in 1942, Mahal has mixed a variety of cultural influences in making his music. Although primarily a vocalist, he also plays a variety of instruments, including guitar, banjo and harmonica. The two-time Grammy winner has performed with or opened for Otis Redding, ...

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Taj Mahal: Maestro

Read "Maestro" reviewed by Doug Collette

Maestro is the perfect title for this Taj Mahal album. No matter who the star cameo is on a given track--and there is a famous name on almost every one--it's quite clear that the source of direction (not to mention the original inspiration) comes from Mahal himself. Not surprisingly, the best moments arise in his role as a bandleader.

His own Phantom Blues Band accompanies him on a salty take on “Scratch My Back," the steady ...

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Goin' Up the North Country: Taj Mahal in Vermont

Read "Goin' Up the North Country: Taj Mahal in Vermont" reviewed by Doug Collette

The Taj Mahal Trio Flynn Center for The Performing Arts Burlington, Vermont March 8, 2006

The perfectly unassuming way Taj Mahal came on stage March 8th and began to play without formal introduction set an understated tone for this evening at the Flynn Center. The low-key approach may have undercut the potency of the bluesman's music too, but that may be more of a comment on the times than the show itself.

Mavis ...

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Taj Mahal and Toumani Diabate: Kulanjan

Read "Kulanjan" reviewed by Ronan Abayawickrema

Like the 1997 release Sacred Island, Kulanjan sees Taj Mahal blending the blues with ethnic folk music. While the earlier album explored the music of Hawaii, however, here Taj and the Malian kora player Toumani Diabate seek to reveal the connections between the blues and the music of Western Mali.

And these connections are apparent from the opening cut, a new version of Taj's “Queen Bee". Diabate's kora - plucked, according to the excellent sleeve notes, using a technique similar ...

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Taj Mahal: Blue Light Boogie

Read "Blue Light Boogie" reviewed by Ed Kopp

Blue Light Boogie combines songs Taj Mahal recorded for various multi-artist tribute albums along with some cuts lifted from the bluesman’s ‘90s releases on Private Music. The latter are hardly the best selections Taj recorded for his label, they do demonstrate the eclectic talents and considerable soul of one of America’s best blues talents. Blue Light leans a little too heavily on pop-oriented tracks from Mahal’s 1991 CD “Like Never Before." Fortunately, a great country-blues version of the Stones’ “Honky ...

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Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues Band: Sacred Island

Read "Sacred Island" reviewed by Ed Kopp

Former resident of the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Taj Majal is one of the most versatile bluesmen around, having tackled country blues, R&B, jazz, gospel, reggae and more on his 37 albums. On Sacred Island, Taj teams up with some veteran Hawaiian musicians to blend blues, traditional Hawaiian music and reggae. This is a fine eclectic release on which Mahal's dobro, harp and vocals blend surprisingly well with Hawaiian slack-key guitars, ukelele, and various reed and wind instruments. The latter ...


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