Presented by The New Hope Foundation
Of all the musicians who attempted to modernize blues in the ’60s and early ’70s, Taj Mahal is among the most significant. In an era that often favored the effusions of electric-guitar technicians like Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal revived various blues styles with humor and formalist panache. Born in Harlem in 1942, he made waves with the blues-rock band The Rising Sons before releasing such groundbreaking albums as The Natch’l Blues. His late-’60s records combine high-octane Howlin’ Wolf homages such as “Done Changed My Way of Living” with soul material from William Bell and Homer Banks, as well as an R&B reinterpretation of Gerry Goffin and Carole King’s “Take a Giant Step.” Along the way, he recorded an idiosyncratic version of Dave Dudley’s trucking-mythos hit, “Six Days on the Road,” and he’s kept busy, releasing 2008’s excellent full-length, Maestro.
Mon, May 27 | 10:00 AM