on 8 November 2013
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.
on 11 January 2011
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!
on 11 June 2006
This was the first Taj album I bought so I didn't realise that it was perhaps a bit of a departure from his style at that time.
Despite the attempts to "produce" most of the tracks survive and the rawness of his early style battles through. Interesting to note that just about the only real blues in "The Blues Brothers" is "She Caught the Katy"
The USA version has been re-mastered with new tracks, perhaps this will be available soon and make this easier to get. If the the first and third are in your collection buy it when you can.