New Album from Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo'
TajMo marks a timely convergence of the talents of two unique American artists who’ve already built iconoclastic individual legacies that have extended and expanded blues traditions into adventurous new territory.
The collaboration 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 , , and , who lends her voice to a distinctive cover of 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 .
“We wanted to do a real good record together, but we didn’t want to do the record that everyone expected us to do,” says Taj.
“There wasn’t a bunch of cryin’ and ringin’ hands, we just got together and it came together pretty naturally. I think it’s a pretty upbeat, celebratory record, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.” -Taj Mahal
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.
There was a lot of trust that developed between us. It’s an honor to have that kind of person in your life, and he really became a mentor to me.” -Keb’ Mo’
“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.”