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Taj Mahal by Taj Mahal
Released: Mar 1968
Label: Columbia/Legacy
Taj Mahal's 1968 self-titled debut covers the broad swath of blues styles that have been a hallmark of his music. With a fully wet harmonica shadowing his fluid, reverential-to-the-old-moves guitar style, Taj Mahal (born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks) crosses up Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell and Elmore James with the effortless accuracy only a true student of the blues could. While the world music touches he later employed aren't here, there are hints of Allman Brothers in "Statesboro Blues," and "Diving Duck Blues" points directly to "Freedom"-era Jimi Hendrix.
Mike McGuirk