STATESBORO BLUES – USA Columbia/ DIRECTION UK
EVERYBODY’S GOTTA CHANGE SOMETIME – UK Direction 1968
Henry St. Clair Fredericks (from New York): stage name Taj Mahal did a version of Homer Bank’s “A Lot Of Love”. It became a firm favourite years later with the Northern Soul Crowd at Wigan Casino. We preferred (back in the sixties) the Homer Banks version. Well, it was the original!
Taj Mahal did a fantastic LP in 1968 (see above cover) and the tracks Statesboro Blues and Everybody’s Gotta Change Sometime were big favourites at the Blue Note Club, Manchester.
Taj Mahal appeared at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1970 with supporting act `Tea and Sympathy’. He was about a hour late due to the fact that he had a body search at Manchester Airport which meant he was feeling rather grumpy. Nevertheless, it was a marvellous performance – I was in the front row.
At one time Ry Cooder was in his band. After many years of becoming interested in the roots of black American music he has well and truly returned to the blues.
And his take on Alvin Robinson’s “Down Home Girl” is equal to it.