TAJMO to Bring the Blues to the McCoy, 9/8
TajMo: The Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo' Band sees blues titans Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' share the stage with their bands for an exciting night of music, performing songs from their long-anticipated collaborative album TajMo released in May 2017. Each multi-Grammy Award winners in their own right, this is the first formal collaboration between the two artists.
CAPA presents TajMo: The Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo' Band at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (100 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., New Albany) on Friday, September 8, at 8 pm. Tickets are $36-$66 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.
While Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' have known and influenced each other for decades, and Taj played a key role in Keb's first record deal, TajMo marks the first proper collaboration between the two. They self-produced the album, which was mixed by Grammy Award-winner Ross Hogarth and mastered by Grammy Award-winner Richard Dodd. Its 11 songs includes covers of John Mayer and The Who, as well as six original songs.
TajMo brings out the best in both artists, with the pair merging their distinctive voices, personalities, and guitar styles to create vibrant, immediate music that's firmly rooted in tradition yet ruled by a playful sense of adventure. The album features guest appearances by Sheila E., Joe Walsh, Lizz Wright, and Bonnie Raitt, who lends her voice to a distinctive cover of John Mayer's anthemic "Waiting on the World to Change."
Taj Mahal first made his mark in the late 1960s with a series of visionary country/blues albums, and in the decades since, has continued to pursue his free-spirited muse with a long series of eclectic recording projects touching upon a wide array of genres and cultures.
Since arriving on the scene in 1990s, Keb' Mo' has built a powerful body of work that's showcased his mastery of multiple blues as well as his sense of musical adventure, which has led him into all manner of projects.
The two artists have known each other for decades, and Taj has been a longstanding touchstone for Keb' ever since he saw him perform at a high-school student assembly. Taj even played a role in Keb' getting his first record deal. But TajMo marks the first time that they've joined forces in the studio.
According to Keb,' "The making of this record spanned two and a half years, whenever we could get together between tours. And over that two and a half years, I got to know Taj really well. We'd talk about music and life and what we were doing on the record. He's a stellar human being, just a brilliant man. Making this record was a really big deal for me. I learned a lot working with him."
"Keb's really good at keeping the ball up in the air," Taj notes. "I got to see quite a few sides of him, and I was really impressed. He's a hell of a guitar player, and I'm just amazed at some of the stuff that he put out there. Some people think that the blues is about being down all the time, but that's not what it is. It's therapeutic, so you can get up off that down."
Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg