CD The Natch'l Blues [Taj Mahal] [886977038327] (CD 6983368),
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The Natch'l Blues [Taj Mahal] [886977038327]

  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 770383

  • Credits
    Producer
    Engineer

    Personnel includes: Taj Mahal (vocals, National steel guitar, harmonica); Jesse Ed Davis (guitar, piano); Al Kooper (piano); Gary Gilmore (bass); Chuck Blackwell, Earl Palmer (drums).
    Producer: David Rubinson.
    Reissue producer: Bob Irwin.
    Recorded in May & October 1968. Originally released on Columbia (9698). Includes liner notes by Stanley Crouch.
    Digitally remastered by Vic Anesini (Sony Music, New York, New York).
    Although Taj Mahal's second album was recorded and released within months of his self-titled debut, THE NATCH'L BLUES moves away from that album's largely acoustic Delta blues leanings into a more electric and rock-influenced sound. "Move away from" hardly means "forsake," however. Among the songs beefed up by organist Al Kooper and drummer Earl Palmer is the traditional folk standard "The Cuckoo," which takes to rock-influenced instrumentation much better than one might think. Similarly, a moving rendition of William Bell's "You Don't Miss Your Water" reaffirms the Stax/Volt pop song's blues roots. The best songs on THE NATCH'L BLUES, however, are the Taj Mahal originals that sound like old country blues standards, like the fearsome full-band rocker "She Caught the Katy" and the powerful solo opener "Good Morning Miss Brown." This CD reissue adds three bonus tracks, highlighted by an earlier, faster take on "The Cuckoo," and the stomping Chicago-style instrumental "Things Are Gonna Work Out Fine."

  • Critic Reviews
    Rolling Stone (5/17/69, p.16) - "...one of the most enjoyable and entertaining performers around...absolutely fresh and superb..."
    Entertainment Weekly (9/8/00, p.89) - "...A breath of fresh air....a supple smile of an album..." - Rating: A-
    Living Blues (5-6/01, p.90) - "...Continues in the blues/rock vein....with more of Taj's steel-bodied guitar playing and a few more of his original songs....plus his memorable arrangement of 'Corinna'..."
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.86) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The key to its greatness lies in the effortless down-home vibe of the tracks, which comes courtesy of the five-star band and Mahal's particular abilities."
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