Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Maestro

Posted on Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Maestro
Composer: Taj Mahal
Conductor: Taj Mahal
Label: Heads Up
Release Date: 2009-01-21
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

Taj Mahal, according to Maestro’s publicity material, “doesn’t just stand at the crossroads. He is the crossroads,” and it is truly hard to think of anyone else who blends as many musical traditions as the 66-year-old bluesman.

“Dust Me Down” features Taj trading verses with Ben Harper on a down-and-dirty funk rocker, and Jack Johnson drops in for “Further on Down the Road,” a laid-back yet upbeat acoustic number. Ziggy Marley joins the party for “Black Man, Brown Man,” a call for racial unity, while Los Lobos and Taj’s daughter Deva both join in for the reggae-tinged “Never Let You Go.” Taj’s Phantom Blues Band plays on four tunes, including the rousing album closer — a cover of the Willie Dixon/Bo Diddley classic “Diddy Wah Diddy” — for some roadhouse blues at its finest.

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