Taj Mahal’s importance as a one-man intersection of global music cannot be overstated. Beginning as an early (and top-shelf) example of a rural blues revivalist, his Muse soon proved to be restless, tireless and geographically unbound. He was pivotal in the fusion of African and American music. As a bridge-builder between Caribbean folk music and the blues, he may well have been entirely alone. Hawaiian music, ragtime, reggae, zydeco: Mahal is a roots-music imperialist whose main point seems to be the global commonality of the blues.
Born in New York, adopted by Los Angeles, Mahal’s early band Rising Sons also included the guitarist and practical musicologist Ry Cooder: one of a handful of fellows who can rival Mahal in terms of global roots-music fluency. Mahal brings 50 years of recording and performing experience with him when he returns to the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on Friday, February 19 at 9 p.m. Tickets range from $45 to $75 for this unique opportunity to see a living legend work in a boutique small-theater environment.
For tickets and more information, visit www.bearsvilletheater.com or call (845) 679-4406. The Bearsville Theater is located at 291 Tinker Street in Woodstock.