Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Horse Head Vinyl...Dig and Spin: "Taj Mahal" - Taj Mahal (1968)

Taj Mahal  -----  "Taj Mahal" (1968)
Electric blues, Chicago blues
Debut album. 
On Columbia (early 70s Rei)
8 tracks

Horse Head Vinyl..."Dig and Spin"

Let's face it.  Performing on the infamous "Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus" (1968) didn't hurt none.  And brought some fiery "oomph" to plenty of new ears once the show was finally released.  That's where I first got on the train.

So when I finally stumbled upon Taj Mahal's self-titled debut album earlier this spring, I was reminded of that show and threw down my money.

I'm well aware expectations can throw a listener a nasty curve sometimes, but that was not the case here. Taj Mahal hit that comfortable sweet spot and has become one of my go-to albums when I need a blues-rock fix.

"Taj Mahal" - Taj Mahal (back cover)

Taj sings with joy while working the harp and making his guitar slide on ice. And I'm becoming a bigger fan of Jessie Edwin Davis all the time. He provides lead guitar work. Ry Cooder is everywhere and that's always a good thing. This album feels like they took their shoes off.  Very, very comfortable. Glad I jumped.

Columbia label

FOR CHERRY PICKERS:
"Leaving Trunk"...tasty harmonica and guitar, sure...but man those vocals. Just killer!
"Diving Duck Blues"...Familiar poppin' blues.
"EZ Rider"..."You know, I ain't good-looking, but don't let that deceive you."  Great line and song.

TRACKLIST
A1. "Leaving Trunk" - 4:51
A2. "Statesboro Blues" - 2:59
A3. "Checkin' Up on My Baby" - 4:55
A4. "Everybody's Got to Change Sometime" - 2:57
A5. "EZ Rider" - 3:04
B1. "Dust My Broom" - 2:39
B2. "Diving Duck Blues" - 2:42
B3. "The Celebrated Walkin' Blues" - 8:52

"Leaving Trunk" - Taj Mahal / Self-titled (1968)


PERSONNEL:

  • Taj Mahal - vocals, guitar, harp, slide, arranger
  • Jessie Edwin Davis - lead guitar
  • Ryland P. Cooder - rhythm guitar, mandolin
  • Bill Boatman - rhythm guitar
  • James Thomas - bass
  • Gary Gilmore - bass
  • Sanford Konikoff - drums
  • Charles Blackwell - drums
(btw...my copy is the one that has colorful birds and butterflies scattered about.  I believe original copies have Taj in the front yard jammin' all by his lonesome.)

Rescued from garageman - $15.

Good stuff.


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