Taj Mahal LIVES the Blues

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Taj Mahal at Santa Cruz Blues Festival (1) Internationally recognized blues musician Taj Mahal (stage name for Henry Saint Clair Fredericks) played at the Santa Cruz Blues Festival this weekend. His stage name apparently came to him in a dream about Gandhi and India.Winner of two Grammy Awards, Taj played up a storm with guitar, banjo and keyboard and while he didn’t play the harmonica yesterday, it is yet another instrument in his bag of tricks.

Taj Mahal at Santa Cruz Blues Festival (18)

Every Blues festival needs performers like Taj Mahal, who sounds as though he’s played the music every day for as long as he has lived. He had a set-long conversation with his guitar, mostly about women and lovin’, and he welcomed us to listen in.

With passion and humor, he fuses sounds from Africa, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and traditional American blues to get his audience moving. He asks the girls to scream and the guys to hollar. He then asks all of us to shout and adds a bit of relationship advice for all the men in the audience – “men, do yourself a favor, learn how to dance and you won’t have any more problems.”

Below, Taj’s bass player Bill Rich

Taj Mahals bass player at Santa Cruz blues festival (3)

What I loved most about his candid style was not just the fact that his music was all blues, but his raw authenticity, his quiet energy and his ability to make you smile with every note he hit on his guitar…..simultaneously he adds witty words of wisdom into the mix.

He has played with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, Ry Cooder and Lightnin’ Hopkins as well as in the legendary Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. Critics describe his voice as “gruff, gritty, smooth and sultry” all at the same time.

Taj Mahal at Santa Cruz Blues Festival (1)

Taj Mahal at Santa Cruz Blues Festival (28)

Emphasizing dance more than once on stage, Taj is a musician who wants his audience to move and I might add: move as if you mean it. And believe me, I did and loved every minute of it.

Taj Mahal at Santa Cruz Blues Festival (3)

Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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