I pasted the above link of the great Taj Mahal playing the banjo during a 1972 PBS music special. Hope it works. Most interesting strumming technique and beautiful tones from his banjo. Taj Mahal is mostly known for his blues playing for the last 50 years. I first heard him play banjo in the film "Song Catcher" which featured a lot of excellent mountain players. This interesting film takes place around 1900 or so is worth checking out if you haven't seen it. I had the privilege of attending a Taj Mahal concert in San Diego in 1968. At the time the excellent guitarist Jesse Collin Young was playing with him. I've been a Taj Mahal fan ever since.
Link worked for me. Thanks for posting.
Thanks for posting this, Jay. I have been a Taj fan ever since I saw the movie, Sounder, which was produced back in 1972. It's a great film and Taj's music makes up the soundtrack. His banjo is so pure and driven as is so much of his music. The soundtrack is available. I have it in vinyl.
I'm pretty sure Taj is playing the song Ricochet with the banjo tuned to 'Open-C' tuning (gCGCE). If you normally play in Double-C tuning, just crank the first string up till you hit an 'E' note.
Oh, and it looks like he's playing a Fender Concert Tone banjo in the video. Interesting choice of banjos for playing clawhammer if you ask me,
All in all, a very cool video. Thanks a lot for posting it!
Nice to see / hear Taj playing the 5 string again. I recall back in the mid- 60s, in Western Mass., my old pal Don Eaton loaned Taj his Muse Long Neck one weekend. I don't believe Taj had played the instrument til that weekend but when he returned it to Don on Monday he'd mastered the instrumental 'Washington Square,' which had been popular a few years before. Don, Taj, and some others played jug music in a band called the Pellum Hill Log Jammers. Some years later Don introduced me to Taj and we played guitar most of one night; the next morning I gave Taj a ride to Cambridge where he had a gig that night. Nice memories.
Nice job of Cakewalk Into Town too as the auto play played on.
This is the first song I ever heard Taj play on the banjo. Colored Aristocracy.
He did a cameo in the movie 'Songcatcher' playing banjo.
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