Taj Mahal

I’ve been finding the banjo in places that I wouldn’t expect.

This weekend, I was listening to CDs in the car and I decided to listen to Taj Mahal. I’ve been a fan since I was young enough to know what a fan was, he’s always been a part of my family’s musical history.  My sister was named after a Taj Mahal song, so clearly he has been influential on my family. Somehow, I never connected Taj to banjo because I have tried to play some of his songs, but always on guitar or bass. 

While riding along I heard some serious banjo playing, and realized I had left a HUGE gap in my blogging about banjo players that influence me/ I find amazing.  Taj Mahal is a pretty cool artist.  He brings his music alive, and I always want to find out what is going to happen next in all his songs, that are usually stories.

Taj Mahal

A few of my favorites are Fishin’ Blues, Frankie and Albert, Cakewalk, and recently Shady Grove (with a whole lot of banjo!)  I had never heard Shady Grove before and I immediately appreciated the banjo as well as the lyrics (always a big thing for me) “Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall”.  

Once again, I am day by day surprised by the amount of banjo music and banjo facts, and people that are intrigued by the banjo (I guess kind of in the same way that I am). It seems just as I start grasping for something to blog about someone wants to play my banjo, hear me play the banjo, I hear a song with some banjo playing, or I realize an artist I have been listening to for years plays the banjo- and I never really thought about it before.  It’s pretty cool that there is so much banjo out there, and that it can be used for such a variety of purposes from more traditional to the new music that is being written and performed now.

Taj Mahal


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