A MAN AS WORTHY OF CELEBRATION
AS THAT MAUSOLEUM IN AGRA, INDIA
A great American treasure, Taj Mahal, turns a golden 66-years-old today. Combining blues, honky tonk, African strains, Dixieland, funk and pop since the early 1960s (when he abandoned his studies of agriculture and animal husbandry – no lie – at University of Massachusetts Amherst), Taj is a great melting pot, open bordered and infinitely welcoming. With a blues and folk foundation, he's built a career out of hearing the ancestral strains that run within all stripes of music played in the U.S., reaching past the Stateside edges to visit our various origins around the globe – steel drums from the Caribbean, plinking banjo from Africa, congas from ol' Mexico. While he made his bones commercially with 1969's enduring Giant Step, there are jewels buried throughout his prolific catalog (you're heartily encouraged to check out the ukulele and slack key guitar rich Hanapepe Dream (2003), the rollicking, horn powered Fillmore East live set The Real Thing (1972) and Kulanjan (1999), his collaboration with Toumani Diabaté and a West African sextet). We extend an anniversaire très joyeux to you, Taj. You make us proud to be Americans!
A young Taj Mahal announces "Tomorrow May Not Be Your Day" in this live version on the long defunct TV show Teen Beat.
Here the man joins Widespread Panic for a spot of blues.
Undeniable musical descendent Corey Harris digs into some front porch pickin' with him here.
And pop over HERE to see him pack his "Leavin' Trunk" on The Rolling Stones' Rock & Roll Circus.
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