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Taj Mahal Original recording remastered

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Taj Mahal
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, September 5, 2000
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Leaving Trunk 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Statesboro Blues 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Checkin' up on My Baby 4:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Everybody's Got to Change Sometime 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. E Z Rider 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Dust My Broom 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Diving Duck Blues 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Celebrated Walkin' Blues 8:52$0.99  Buy MP3 

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American blues musician Taj Mahal, was born Henry Fredericks in New York in 1942. His music is a mix of blues, Caribbean styles, bluegrass and the music of Hawaii, where he lived for a number of years.

He formed Rising Sons with fellow bluesman Ry Cooder, playing at Whisky a Go Go, which gave him the opportunity to play with blues legends, amongst them Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and ... Read more in Amazon's Taj Mahal Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Taj Mahal + Natch'l Blues + Giant Step/De Ole Folks at Home
Price for all three: $35.60

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 5, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00004XSUW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,424 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Taj Mahal's been chasing the blues around the world for years, but rarely with the passion, energy, and clarity he brought to his first three albums. Taj Mahal, The Natch'l Blues and The Real Thing are the sound of the artist, who was born in 1942, defining himself and his music. On his self-titled 1967 debut, he not only honors the sound of the Delta masters with his driving National steel guitar and hard vocal shout, but ladles in elements of rock and country with the help of guitarists Ry Cooder and the late Jessie Ed Davis. This approach is reinforced and broadened by The Natch'l Blues. What's most striking is Mahal's way of making even the oldest themes sound as if they're part of a new era. Not just through the vigor of his playing--relentlessly propulsive, yet stripped down compared with the six-string ornamentations of the original masters of country blues--but through his singing, which possesses a knowing insouciance distinct to post-Woodstock counterculture hipsters. It's the voice of an informed young man who knows he's offering something deep to an equally hip and receptive audience.

Soon, Mahal turned his multicultural vision of the blues even further outward. The live 1971 set, The Real Thing, finds him still carrying the Mississippi torch, while adding overt elements of jazz and Afro-Caribbean music to its flame. But it's overreaching. His band sounds under-rehearsed, and the arrangements seem more like rough outlines. Nonetheless, these albums set the stage for Mahal's career. (For a condensed version, try the fine The Best of Taj Mahal.) Today, he continues to make fine fusion albums, like 1999's Kulanjan, with Malian kora master Toumani Diabate, and less exciting but still eclectic recordings with his Phantom Blues Band. --Ted Drozdowski

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Kinda like good sex..
Taj Mahal's debut album was a blast of fresh air in the psychedelic jungle that was popular music in 1968.
Gavin B.
This is the album that inspired Duane Allman to play the slide.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Docendo Discimus on January 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
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.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Gavin B. on February 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
It's hard to believe that 40 years have elapsed since Taj Mahal recorded his self-titled album. I can honestly say that Taj's debut album DID change my life because he opened the world of delta blues to me and transformed me from a suburban garage rocker into a fanatical avid collector of worn out 78 rpm of Mississippi blues recorded in the 1920s and 1930s. I learned most of my blues chops on guitar from listening to this album over and over.

Technically this isn't Taj's first album but it's the first album that most music fans heard Taj Mahal on. Both "Giant Step" and "De Ole Folks at Home" were released earlier and combined into a second release after the success of this self titled album.

Taj's album led me to appreciate the significance of blues players like Robert Johnson, who was a forgotten and obscure figure in the world of popular music before Taj Mahal. It was the first time I ever heard anyone play an open tuned guitar in the blues bottleneck style. I remember using a screwdriver and a newly purchased book of open tunings for guitar to imitate Jesse Davis' trademark southern fried guitar sound. A year later everyone from Duane Allman, Eric Clapton to Taj's own session player Ry Cooder had albums out playing bottleneck blues in the vintage style of Robert Johnson.

Nobody, not even John Fahey or Paul Butterfield did more than Taj Mahal to expand the audience for authentic blues to a crossover audience of suburban white kids who were living in the psychedelic renaissance of such great bands as the Doors, Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience when Taj's debut was released.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By N. Wakabayashi on April 17, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This reissue is a good one. The music displayed here is a "roosty" sound that Clapton was seeking after he left the big ol' Marshall sound. Taj, the Band, Dave Mason, Delany & Bonnie..... & the closest he got to it was with the Dominos. Ry Cooder seems to get most of the PR for the guitar work on this album, but the real star is Jesse Ed Davis. He answers Taj's vocals & harps on these tracks from the opening track. While the trend of the day was to play LOUD, the playing of players such as Davis & Robertson was a welcome addition to the music scene. And yes, the Statesboro Blues later influenced a young Duane Allman to pick up a Coricidin bottle....if you are into Taj's "blues" work, this is the place to start.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus on January 4, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Taj's first was one of his best. This is just basic electric blues, powered by the fresh enthusiasm of Taj, Ry Cooder, the now departed Jessie Ed Davis on lead guitar, and other young bucks. The Allman Brothers used Taj's arrangement of "Statesboro Blues" for their live version -- I wonder how many Allmans fans realize that?

This album has the energy, punch and optimism that filled the air in 1967. It fits perfectly with the first, self-titled album by Chicago's Butterfield Blues Band, and with the self-titled album by Chicago's Siegel-Schwall Band released by Wooden Nickel in 1971 (see my review). These albums still sound fresh today!

The only Taj Mahal album I love more than this one is HAPPY JUST TO BE LIKE I AM, from 1971, which has more of a country-blues emphasis, along with an awesome horn section and Taj's first foray into world-music with "West Indian Revelation." It was reissued by Wounded Bird Records in 2009, but now seems to be available only in MP3 form.
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