ST. PETERSBURG - Blues icon Taj Mahal brings his latest tour to the Palladium at St. Petersburg College Wednesday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Taj Mahal, a two-time Grammy winner and one of the most influential American blues and roots artists of the past half-century, has made no Faustian deals in his long and distinguished career, but he stands at an important crossroads nonetheless.
In his never-ending exploration of the complex origins and underpinnings of American music, he has forged a four-decade career by gathering and distilling countless musical traditions from a range of geographical and cultural sources: the Mississippi Delta, the Appalachian backwoods, the African continent, the Hawaiian Islands, Europe, the Caribbean, and so much more.
Taj Mahal doesn’t just stand at the crossroads, he is the crossroads.
In 2008, he made his Heads Up International debut with the worldwide release of Maestro. This twelve-track set marked the fortieth anniversary of Taj’s rich and varied recording career by mixing original material with chestnuts from vintage sources and newcomers alike. Guests on this anniversary gala include Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Angelique Kidjo, Los Lobos, Ziggy Marley and others – many of whom have been directly influenced by Taj’s music and guidance.
Maestro is much more than just a tribute to past glories. It captures the same level of intensity and depth that has characterized every one of Taj’s recordings since his self-titled debut album in 1968. Simply put, four decades have done nothing to dilute his energy quotient.
“The one thing I’ve always demanded of the records I’ve made is that they be danceable,” he said. “This record is danceable, it’s listenable, it has lots of different rhythms, it’s accessible, it’s all right in front of you. It’s a lot of fun, and it represents where I am at this particular moment in my life.”
Reserved tickets priced at $55 and $42 are available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater, by calling 727-791-7400 and online at www.rutheckerdhall.com.