Music Review: Taj Mahal & Keb Mo

By Tony Nielsen

Taj Mahal & Keb Mo
Taj Mahal & Keb Mo

It's almost 50 years since Taj Mahal released his debut album which was a blinder.
Keb Mo (Kevin Moore) has also been musically active since the early 1970s although he didn't record his first album as Keb Mo until 1994.

Now the two elder statesmen of the blues have joined together for this new record under the moniker TajMo, and it's already making big waves for them in the United States.

On this self-titled album by TajMo there's a real goodtime feel and it's also a break from the usual setting that we have come to expect from both Taj Mahal and Keb Mo over the years.

On most tracks there's a large cast of additional musicians, notably a hot brass section, some classy harp work from Billy Branch, vocals from Lizz Wright and tasty guitar licks from the Eagles' Joe Walsh.

It's quite a sophisticated blues sound with the exception of a remake of Sleepy John Estes' Diving Duck Blues, which Taj also recorded on his 1968 debut LP.

The empathy between Taj Mahal and Keb Mo is nowhere better represented than on this song, simple and evocative. Stunning.

Overall TajMo deliver a credible blues album, a little over-produced if anything, save their version of Diving Duck Blues which is outstanding and shows what a pared back approach might have meant to some of the other songs.

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