I WAS THERE . . . Taj Mahal at B.B. King’s 10.4.08
October 4, 2008
Taj Mahal proved why he’s lasted 40 years in the music business in front of a packed B.B. King’s where he played an amazing show filled with colorful anecdotes and good old blues. The Taj Mahal Trio, consisting of Taj on guitar, banjo, and keys, Kester Smith on drums, and Bill Rich on bass, is currently touring the country in support of their latest album, Maestro.
After breaking into the scene in 1968, Taj has yet to lose a step. The consummate bluesman, Taj knows how to entertain a crowd. From telling jokes and stories in between songs, to using his raspy voice during them, he had the B.B. King’s crowd loving him from start to finish.
The highlights of the concert included “Zanzibar,” an African highlife tribute song off his new album in which he gave credit to the Mandinka and Bamara, two West African peoples, whose musical traditions came over during the Trans-Atlantic African Slave Trade to create the blues. One of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever seen in live music was during the encore when Taj brought his daughter onstage to join him in singing “Lovin’ in My Baby’s Eyes.” He explained she was the inspiration for the song, and she has a beautiful voice that made for a gorgeous duet.