Taj Mahal - lead vocals, guitar, dobro, banjo, harmonica; Jesse Ed Davis III - guitar; Gary Gilmore - bass; Chuck "Brother" Blackwell - drums
This show, recorded by the late David Rubinson, is the second of four nights recorded back to back at the Fillmore West. Although he never really had the commercial breakthrough that some other modern blues singers such as Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughan were lucky enough to experience, Mahal has remained an icon in the blues community for close to four decades.
Mahal's set of tunes includes his bluesy version of the Goffin/King pop song "Giant Step," which was written for The Monkees only three years earlier. Although Mahal was usually an innovator when it came to adapting old blues songs into a more modern, rock-based format, he did occasionally adopt renditions directly from other performers. This version of the Albert King standard, "Born Under A Bad Sign," was pretty much lifted from the rendition created by Cream, who had performed it at the Oakland Coliseum just the previous year.
Credit must also be given to Mahal's exceptional band from this period, which included Jesse Ed Davis III on guitar, Gary Gilmore on bass and Chuck "Brother" Blackwell on drums. Gilmore and Blackwell make a tight rhythm section, and Davis is simply an exceptional blues guitarist. Davis would leave Mahal's band shortly thereafter and strike out on his own. He is featured on several records with George Harrison and also performed at the legendary Concert for Bangladesh in 1972.
The highlight of the show must go to Mahal's original, "I'm Gonna Move Up To The Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue," a traditional up-tempo blues romp that rocks.