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Phantom Blues

Taj Mahal

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Album Review

An eclectic bluesman would seem to be a contradiction in terms, but Taj Mahal, who has moved through the worlds of folk, rock, and pop to reach his present categorization, fits the description, and here he takes several pop and R&B oldies that came from blues roots — "Ooh Poo Pah Doo," "Lonely Avenue," "What Am I Living For?," "Let the Four Winds Blow" — and returns them to those roots. He also calls in such guest stars as Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt, who have more than a nodding acquaintance with the blues, to assist him. The result is progressive blues hybrid that treats the music not as a source, but as a destination.

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...
Full bio