518. Taj Mahal – “Blue Light Boogie”

The decision of Henry Saint Clair Fredericks to adopt a stage name was understandable.

But perhaps instead of the subcontinent’s most famous mausoleum, he could have chosen “Sidney Opera House” (and passed himself off as the part of Sun House’s clan).  Or got all funky with “M.Pire State” (and hooked up with a partner called “Bill Ding”).

OK, that’s enough silliness.  This is a compilation of (mainly) covers  Mahal recording during the 1990s.

This album is slightly warmer and more engaging than the prior reviewee. But, he still isn’t taking many risks with song choices. I’m not sure the world needed another version of Honky Tonk Women, and he manages to underwhelm with one of my favourite standards (John The Revelator).

He does a better job with Mercedes Benz, and one of the rare Mahal-penned tunes here is by far the most fun – as he gets all excited about big-butted belles on Big Legged Mommas Are Back In Style. I was expected Sir Mix-a-Lot to pop up any time with a bit of this:

Searching around for decent Mahal clips, I stumbled upon a series from back in 1972, of which this is the best:

That’s the sort of stuff I’d like to see from him here.

File under: Not arresting enough

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