Personnel includes: Taj Mahal, Jesse Ed Davis, Gary Gilmore, Chuck Blackwell.
2 LPs on 1 CD.
Personnel: Taj Mahal (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, steel guitar, banjo, harmonica); Jesse Ed Davis (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, organ); Gary Gilmore (electric bass); Chuck Blackwell (drums).
Photographers: David Rubinson; Yoram Kahana; Don Peterson; Rod Dyer.
Arranger: Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal is one of the significant figures in post-1950s blues, but his sense of playful experimentation always pushes at the boundaries of the genre. GIANT STEP is one of his classics, featuring the singer/guitarist's inimitable gravelly vocals on a range of tunes that mix rural and electric blues, country, and rock. Whether on the trucker anthem "Six Days on the Road," the rollicking "Good Morning Little School Girl," or gems from the blues canon, including covers of Blind Willie Johnson's "You're Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond" and Leadbelly's "Keep Your Hands Off Her," Taj Mahal is in great form here. In addition, his fine electric backing band lends sass and muscle.
This package also includes the completely acoustic DE OLE FOLKS AT HOME. As front-porch as GIANT STEP is smoky-nightclub, DE OLE FOLKS is a solo showcase, featuring a cappella numbers and tunes on which Taj Mahal accompanies himself on guitar, harmonica, and banjo. The repertoire is decidedly old-school, with work-songs ("Linin' Track"), classic story-songs ("Stagger Lee"), and covers of songs by Mississippi John Hurt ("Candy Man") and Henry Thomas ("Fishin' Blues"). With its excellent sound, this two-for-one disc is an ideal place to start exploring the work of this versatile musician.