Taj Mahal is heading for far north Queensland to play a gig at the Tanks Arts Centre in Cairns on Thursday March 28.
He’s a singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist – one of the most prominent and influential figures in contemporary blues and roots music. And he’s a musical explorer – you’ll hear west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Hawaiian islands in his music. Taj Mahal was soaking up musical influences as a child growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts – where musicians from all over the world visited the family home to make music with his jazz pianist father. Taj was born Henry St. Claire Fredericks & studied agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, where he formed his first band. He took the stage name Taj Mahal around that time, inspired by a dream. He had two passions then – farming & music. He chose music, met Ry Cooder and formed a band called Rising Sons. met blues legends Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Sleepy John Estes.He’s been making albums in his own right since 1967, giving us music so diverse it defies labels. It’s the blues and so much more.
AUDIO Click on the red arrow to hear Tony Hillier talk about the many and varied sounds of Taj Mahal.
Poye 2 – Taj Mahal & Bassekou Kouyate from the latter’s 2013 CD Ngoni Ba
The Calypsonians from Taj Mahal & The Hula Band’s 1998 CD Sacred Island
Read more about Taj Mahal at http://www.tajblues.com/
Tony Hillier is one of Australia’s leading music journalists and a musician of long standing here in far north Queensland. His informed and insightful coverage of music features in The Weekend Australian and Rhythms magazine http://rhythms.com.au/ .
Tony Hillier’s World of Music is also available as a podcast. Search for Tony Hillier on your podcast app or in the iTunes store. And you can stay in touch with the FNQ music scene with Tony at http://www.entertainmentcairns.com/hilliers-hotline-archive.php