517. Taj Mahal – “Señor Blues”

I’m sure I’ve mentioned here more than once that I have a strong preference for the “dirtier” end of the blues music spectrum.

a Album cover Taj Mahal senor blues mind your own business CD reviewBlues should sound raw and dangerous, and if happens to tell of love gone bad or misadventure, all the better.

Taj Mahal doesn’t fit said bill. His recordings (well, certainly this Grammy-winning 1997 set) are slickly produced, and firmly in the jazz-blues domain. He does pick at a guitar better than most, and his vocal stylings ride the groove perfectly, but it is all a little too ‘big band’ and Cosby Show for me to love it.

I feel like a bit of a scrooge in not embracing this album as a classic.  In the end it gets back to my ambivalence to this genre.

Imagine the Commitments fictional setup (without all the pale Irish corniness), and that’s the set-up here.  Too much horns, organ and backing vocals on what are pretty standard ‘interpretations’ from THE songbook (including Mahal’s version of Mr Pitiful).

The best track on here is the least augmented, a sparse cover of a Hank Williams tune Mind your own Business:

More tracks like that might win me over to Mahal’s side of the fence.

File under: ¿dónde está la tierra?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s