The son of a West Indian jazz musician, Taj Mahal developed an interest in rural blues as a child and began his performing career while studying at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. He subsequently relocated to California in the 60s where he formed the legendary Rising Sons, alongside Ry Cooder and Ed Cassidy (of Spirit). When the band's album was shelved, Mahal launched a solo career with a self-titled country blues album in 1968. Subsequent releases saw Taj Mahal expand his palette to include Caribbean, RB, jazz, zydeco and African influences whilst also branching out into soundtrack work and even childrens' songs. He also collaborated with a diverse range of artists including Indian classical composer Chitravina Ravikiran, and Malian griot and kora player, Toumani Diabate, constantly seeking to push the boundaries of the blues.
Followers: Eric Bibb, Ben Harper, Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart
Influenced By: Leadbelly, Ed Cassidy, Mississippi John Hurt, Chuck Berry
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