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Blue Light Boogie

Taj Mahal

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Album Review

Blue Light Boogie is a compilation drawn from Taj Mahal's work for the Private Music label during the '90s, specifically the albums Like Never Before (1991) and Dancing the Blues (1993); there's also an ample and varied helping of covers ranging from traditional, rural blues to rock & roll. It's sort of an odd tactic for a compilation, given that The Best of the Private Years, released a year later, doesn't duplicate any of this material; as a result, that supposedly balanced introduction ends up skewed away from Blue Light Boogie's sources, not featuring any songs from Like Never Before. Still, even if all of this is a ham-handed way for a record company to handle an artist's discography, Blue Light Boogie is overall a pretty decent sampler and an entertaining listen. Just don't expect an introduction to Mahal's '90s recordings that has any sense of completeness.

Biography

Born: 17 May 1942 in New York, NY

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most prominent figures in late 20th century blues, singer/multi-instrumentalist Taj Mahal played an enormous role in revitalizing and preserving traditional acoustic blues. Not content to stay within that realm, Mahal soon broadened his approach, taking a musicologist's interest in a multitude of folk and roots music from around the world — reggae and other Caribbean folk, jazz, gospel, R&B, zydeco, various West African styles, Latin, even Hawaiian. The African-derived heritage...
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