August 17, 2017

NATIONAL TREASURES:

Paste Sessions: Watch Taj Mahal and Keb Mo Play a Century's Worth of Blues : The pair visited Paste this week to perform songs from their new album, Tajmo. (Matthew Oshinsky,  August 17, 2017, Paste)

Paste was thrilled to host two blues legends this week when Taj Mahal and Keb Mo brought their new collaborative project to our Midtown Manhattan studio for an intimate performance and a masterclass on the life of blues music.

The duo have a new album, the aptly titled Tajmo, out now, and it showcases everything that has made each of them a torchbearer for American music over the past few decades. Taj Mahal has been representing and redefining blues music since 1968, when he released his first album, Taj Mahal, an eclectic mix of traditional songs and modern revamps. With its authentic renditions of songs originally recorded by masters like Sleepy John Estes, Blind Willie McTell and Elmore James, Taj Mahal provided a vital bridge from the delta blues of the 1930s to the blues-indebted rock of psychedelic '60s, helping the music stretch its legs into the 1970s and become part of the permanent fabric of rock.

Twenty-five years later, Keb Mo emerged with the blues resurgence of the early '90s, reaching back to Robert Johnson and the deepest roots of the music just as another generation was coming around to the origin story of American songwriting. If their music is steeped in tradition, though, their personal touches are anything but derivative. Both men have spent many years and many albums infusing the blues format with sounds and styles taken from the far corners of the music world, from reggae to folk to calypso to rock 'n' roll, each with an immediately recognizable voice and guitar-picking style.

Posted by at August 17, 2017 5:16 PM

  

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