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The Natch'l Blues CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Sept. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: SPV Blue Label
  • ASIN: B001AVUAE4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,405 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Henry St Claire Fredericks, aka Taj Mahal, was born in Harlem on the 17th May 1942. His father was a Jazz pianist and composer who wrote for Benny Goodman and Ella Fitzgerald, and his mother a teacher with a strong voice and a passion for gospel singing. After turning his back on the piano, clarinet and trombone, Henry took up the guitar and was introduced to the music of Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins and John Lee Hooker.

Having re-invented himself as Taj Mahal after a dream and after graduation, he went to investigate the blues/folk scenes in Boston and New York, where he crossed paths with Maria Muldaur, Bob Dylan and David Van Ronk. He ran into a guitar player called Jessie Lee Kincaid and together gigged around Detroit and Canada eventually finding themsleves in LA where they met Ry Cooder. Together with future Spirit drummer Ed Cassidy and bassist Gary Marker they formed The Rising Sons, opening at Whiskey A Go Go for Otis Redding, Martha and The Vandellas and The Temptations. Disilusioned with The Rising Sons Taj went solo and recorded Three albums – Taj Mahal (1967), The Natch’l Blues(1968) and Giant Step/Da Old Folks at Home(1969).

"Now this album," said Taj "is a real mind blower. Let me tell you the way to enjoy this record. When you get it, don't play it, wait till you've had a really hard day, the hardest day you've ever had, you're miserable, nothin' went right for you, you just can't wait to get home; so you go home, take a shower, smoke some weed, and then put the record on, and listen to the whole thing and I guarantee it'll straighten some things out in your head".

Review

"Backed by a crack session band, including the guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, the second album from Taj Mahal is a quality item."
-- Q Magazine

"In the guitarist-singer's vast canon of recorded output, this ranks near the summit...Mahal's authority at 26 really quite outstanding."
-- Mojo

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I first heard this album when I was a teenager in the '70s. I loved it then and I love it now, never tiring of the fabulous collection of songs it contains.
Taj Mahal has continued to record up to the present day but for me this album is the best. The presentation is simple but always effective and the melodies keep driving along up to what used to be the climax - Ain't That A Lot Of Love - before the bonus tracks were added in the later releases.
It is one of those albums where I just find it impossible to pick a favorite track because each time I listen it could be a different one. This album, in that respect, could definitely be called a grower. Tracks like She Caught The Katy And Left Me The Mule To Ride just seem to get better and better as does The Cuckoo.
If you like your blues uncomplicated and presented in a straightforward , almost naive way then this album could be for you. If you want something a little more sophisticated then look to his later work. Me, I know which I prefer.
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Format: Audio CD
If you ignore 'The Rising Sons' as a collection of previously unreleased studio out-takes, following your first album 'Taj Mahal' without the wonderful Ry Cooder on guitar would have been a scary prospect for most artists, but not for Taj! While Cooder was absent recording his own (and contributing to a virtual who's who of 70's blues, rock and country) albums and declining a place in the Rolling Stones after teaching Keith Richards the wonders of openG guitar tuning, Taj Mahal simply recruited Jesse Ed Davis!
Davis' excellent playing helped Taj Mahal present us with something amazing - a glimpse of what it might have been like (if recording had been of this quality) to hear the best elderly blues musicians in their much younger days.
If you like blues and soul, and you allow this album to grow on you, it could well demand a place in your top twenty - trust me, it's that good!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm not even sure how or why I managed to stumble upon The Natch'l Blues by Taj Mahal. But it has changed my musical outlook. This is a staggeringly brilliant album - and one that I now can't live without.
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