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Muddy Waters

Taj Mahal Continues His Mission Of Global Music

Taj Mahal Continues His Mission Of Global Music

It's hard to believe, but Taj Mahal has been around long enough to have a listing — squeezed between Mad River and Mamas and the Papas — in Lillian Roxon's seminal 1969 Rock Encyclopedia. Harder to believe that, every year, his name never comes up among nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (surely an institution that nominates, as it has this year, Chic, Linda Ronstadt and LL Cool J can find some love for a musical treasure like Taj!).

Back in 1969, Roxon called Mahal "one of the very few sophisticated young black singers" who "brought back the sound of authentic country blues, flatly refusing to gloss over or stylize." That was Roxon's way of...