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Holly Dagger Goes to See Blues Artist Taj Mahal

Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 - Day 2 - Show
Photo: Larry Busacca

I was blessed with the opportunity to see legendary blues artist Taj Mahal at Binghamton University on Tuesday night.

Born as Henry St. Clair Fredricks Jr., Mahal grew up in Massachusetts in a musical family. His father played piano and was a West Indian jazz arranger his mother sung in the church gospel choir and his step father played guitar. He developed an interest in music at an early age studying classical piano and learning harmonica, clarinet and trombone as well. When he was about thirteen, Mahal was introduced to the guitar.

Since his introduction to the instrument, Mahal has studied various genres, styles and regions of music. His influence of so many different types of music from all over the world allows him the privilege of being a world musician and not necessarily pigeon holed as a blues musician.

The man has more studio albums than one can count on their fingers and toes as well as live albums, compilations and works with other artists. Taj Mahal has had the pleasure to play with (or should I say they had the pleasure of playing with him?) Eric Clapton, Levon Helm, Allison Kraus and Sammy Hagar to name a few.

If you are a fan of blues or world music at all then I highly suggest you listen to some Taj Mahal. I was going to put one of his songs on here but seeing as he is so diverse, I thought I’d let you find what you like out of his wide array of material yourself on YouTube. Good luck and let me know what you find that you like and what you find that you don’t!

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