A compilation of selections from the blues guitarist's first seven albums (1967-1974). There's little bit of everything here: live and studio cuts, electric and acoustic, originals and covers, but its a good, eclectic mix of mostly Mississippi blues. I don't know much about Taj Mahal, I've never had the pleasure of seeing him live, and this is the only disc by him that I own, but I'm happy with it. I don't usually seek out blues albums, but if I happened to see one of this guy's discs in the used bin, I'd snatch it up. The fact that I don't see his stuff in used bins should tell you something.
Taj Mahal is a 2009 inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame. The Blues HoF was founded in 1980, but is only now getting a permanent physical home in Memphis.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart
Tracks: Given a choice, I'm partial to acoustic blues. My favorites are Going Up To The Country Paint My Mailbox Blue, She Caught The Katy And Left Me A Mule To Ride, and Fishin' Blues, An unusual treat is Cakewalk Into Town with accompaniment by banjo and tuba. Since they don't fit in as well, the more pop oriented songs like Take A Giant Step usually gets skipped.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I was introduced to this disc on the back porch of my buddy Jim's place. We were both going through a phase about ten years ago best described as "white boys find the blues." It also got some playing time when I was going through a rough patch a few years back and listened to nothing but blues at work. I came out of those experiences unscathed and have since tried to adopt a more stoic approach at the workplace.