Taj Mahal – Sénor Blues

Sénor Blues

Taj Mahal is one of those guys you never think about until you hear another great album by him. Listen to this one and you’ll think about him a lot.

The album is a sort of notebook that takes you through the history of American music of this century. There’s killer blues shuffles. There’s uptown blues, la T-Bone Walker. There’s the gospel-flavored church fervor of cuts like “Oh Lord, Things Are Gettin’ Crazy Up Here.” There’s the marvelous jazz of the title cut, a Horace Silver classic, and there’s even a killer version of Hank Williams’ “Mind Your Own Business.”

Through it all, Taj holds court vocally, whether growling, crooning, or even scatting. And the guitar work throughout is excellent. Taj plays dobro for the most part, while the versatile and very talented Johnny Lee Schell handles leads. His playing, while never flashy, is always right on the money. If your interest is good old-fashioned roots music, this one’s for you.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jan. ’98 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.