Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’: TajMo Review

TajMo is the first album Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ recorded together. It’s not the first time they partnered up, they performed together at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2013. It’s an album full of surprises with covers from the rock band The Who and John Mayer as well as guest appearances by Lizz Wright, Sheila E., Joe Walsh and Bonnie Raitt. The album was produced by the duo of bluesmen and recorded in Nashville, Tennessee.

TajMo opens with “Don’t Leave Me Here” featuring great harmonica played by Billy Branch. “She Knows How To Rock Me” comes next with the duo combining guitar styles and distinctive vocals very well. “All Around The World” has accentuated horns anchored in pop music. “Om Sweet Om” brings Lizz Wright’s soothing voice and a great harmonica melody. Joe Walsh is the next guest on “Shake Me In Your Arm”and “That’s Who I Am” follows. Those two tracks are the high points of the album with a slide guitar and mandolin on the latter. “Diving Duck Blues,” reprised from Taj Mahal’s debut in 1968, brings just the duo exploring the connection between them. The Who’s “Squeeze Box” version was re-imagined and it’s delightful; Joe Walsh plays the guitar again. Percussion inspired by African rhythms is the main component on “Soul.” The song lists many locations in the world. John Mayer’s “Waiting On The World To Change” closes out the album with Bonnie Raitt almost unrecognizable in the mix.

The collaboration between Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ sounds spontaneous, with mutual respect for each other and for what each one represents in the music. Keb’ Mo’ wrote most of the songs on TajMo and it has, in general, more of Keb’s background despite the fact that he said that Taj Mahal became a mentor to him.

The Review: 7/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Don’t Leave Me Here
– Om Sweet Om
– Shake Me In Your Arms
– That’s Who I Am

The Big Hit

– Shake Me In Your Arms

Review by Pedro Matta

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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One Response to “Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’: TajMo Review”

  1. Valerie WINSLOW says:

    saw Tajmo at Melody Tent in Hyannis Ma last night and the exceeded my grandest expectations. I knew they would be really good but they were exceptional! The band was tight and Taj’s daughters were such a joy. Sch talent and great spirits all the way around. I brought my sister for her birthday and I don’t think she sat down all night! Greatest collaboration ever!!

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