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"TajMo" is an overdue partnership for blues veterans Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo'




Keb' Mo' (left) and Taj Mahal have released their first ever joint album,
Keb' Mo' (left) and Taj Mahal have released their first ever joint album, "TajMo," featuring Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh, Sheila E. and more.
Jay Blakesberg

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UPDATE: Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Kevin Moore — known by his stage name, Keb’ Mo’ — was just a teenager when he first heard Taj Mahal play.

In the late 1960s, America was in the midst of a blues revival. Thanks to acts like Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder, Canned Heat and Janis Joplin, young audiences were hearing the songs of blues veterans like Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins, but played in a way they could relate to.

Keb' Mo' (right) first saw Taj Mahal perform while a high school student in Compton, CA.
Keb' Mo' (right) first saw Taj Mahal perform while a high school student in Compton, CA.
Bob Minkin

As Keb Mo’s career as a blues musician developed, he would often cross paths with his idol, Taj Mahal.

Keb Mo: I don't think we were ever trying to make something together. We were always just bumping into each other at gigs. There was never even enough room really to forge a relationship of any significance. Then in Atlanta, at a Gregg Allman tribute, we talked about it and decided to make a record. Then we followed through and we made one!

And now, almost 50 years since their first encounter, Keb' Mo' and Taj Mahal have released their first collaborative album, “TajMo."

The album features collaborations with Bonnie Raitt, Lizz Wright, Joe Walsh, Sheila E. and more.

Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' perform at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl on June 10.



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