This weekend Long Beach is hosting its annual Blues Festival. If you happen to be in the area, you can catch a Grammy-winning blues legend onstage in the flesh — Taj Mahal. It would be worth the crowds and the heat and all the sticky children screaming if you could take in a little of that action. (Unfortunately I will be dealing with my own sticky children at a family shindig. But what a chance for the rest of you!)
Mahal has been singing the blues for at least 50 years; his sound is a world-famous combo of American and West Indian jazz, r&b, straight-up blues, reggae, dixieland, gospel … ah heck, there’s too much in there to pick out the strings from the cloth. It’s establishment blues, and Mahal is actually putting out a new record this October (the first in five years) called “Maestro.” If anyone’s earned that title it’s him; he’s a living legend, and there aren’t that many of them left. You can preorder “Maestro” (digitally or physically) at his site and below I include one of my favorite Mahal songs.
Taj Mahal — Cakewalk Into Town