TAJ MAHAL ANNOUNCES SWINGIN’ LIVE AT THE CHURCH IN TULSA
RELEASED ON MARCH 8 VIA LIGHTNING ROD RECORDS
RELEASES SINGLE AND PERFORMANCE OF TAJ CLASSIC “QUEEN BEE”
LISTEN, WATCH LIVE VIDEO AND PRE-ORDER ALBUM HERE
RECORDED LIVE AT “THE CHURCH,” THE FAMED STUDIO OF LEON RUSSELL, WHO IS A DEFINING INFLUENCE AND PERSONAL FRIEND OF TAJ
CELEBRATING THE IMPACT OF RUSSELL, THE CULTURAL AND MUSICAL IMPACT OF TULSA, AND MARKING A LANDMARK MOMENT IN TAJ’s SEVEN DECADE CAREER
AT 81 YEARS OLD, TAJ CONTINUES TO BE THE CORNERSTONE OF ROOTS MUSIC AND ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MUSICIANS OF HIS GENERATION WITH FANS FROM THE ROLLING STONES TO ZIGGY MARLEY.
01 – Betty And Dupree
02 – Mailbox Blues
03 – Queen Bee
04 – Lovin’ In My Baby’s Eyes
05 – Waiting For My Papa To Come Home
06 – Slow Drag
07 – Sitting On Top Of The World
08 – Twilight In Hawaii
09 – Corrina
10 – Mean Old World
Legendary roots star Taj Mahal announced the release of Swingin’ Live at the Church in Tulsa, released on March 8 2024 via Lightning Rod records. Pre-order the album. His latest project is an extraordinary set recorded live at the Tulsa studio best known as the home base of the late, great Leon Russell, a huge influence and personal friend of Taj. The ten songs reach across multiple genres that he has explored in his incomparable career, and feature “The Taj Mahal Sextet,” which includes Taj’s long-time quartet—bassist Bill Rich, drummer Kester Smith, and guitarist/Hawaiian lap steel player Bobby Ingano—augmented by dobro player Rob Ickes and guitarist and vocalist Trey Hensley. Taj also announced a U.S., Canada and Australia tour with dates including Los Angeles’ Luckman Fine Arts Complex.
The album was recorded in front of a live audience and features Taj’s sextet and continues his legacy of confounding genre where he has pioneered an eclectic roots music sounds that draws on Blues, Soul, reggae, Latin, R&B, Cajun, Caribbean, gospel, West African, jazz, calypso, Hawaiian slack-key, and countless other musical styles which he weaves throughout an astonishing body of work. The set ranges from some of the songs he is best known for—“Corinna,” “Queen Bee”—to the instrumental “Twilight in Hawaii” (representing his long association with the Aloha State’s musical traditions, especially through his Hula Blues Band) to a glorious closing jam on T-Bone Walker’s “Mean Old World” that stretches beyond the ten-minute mark.
Accompanying the announcement, Taj released a single and live recording of his classic “Queen Bee,” which began as a Taj instrumental fingerpicking piece inspired by his mentor Mississippi John Hurt before it became the song that featured on his acclaimed 1977 studio album Evolution (The Most Recent), and later on Señor Blues, his GRAMMY winning 1997 studio album. Listen to “Queen Bee.”
“It’s a fun song. It’s a positive song, from a male’s perspective, you know, to speak good about women,” says Taj about “Queen Bee,” adding, “I feel like there’s an awful lot of angst between men and women these days, from whatever stripe or ethnic group or culture they’re coming from, there’s a lot of tension. You’ve only got so much string in this ball of yarn, and if you waste your time fighting with one another, you’re gonna look back one day and realize that, boy, did I waste a lot of time, I could have been feeling good, talking nice, being nice to people, so many things you could be doing.”
At 81 years old, Taj can easily claim musical legend status. He has four Grammy Awards to his name (out of fifteen nominations) alongside a lifetime of other achievements and a career spanning seven decades, releasing nearly 50 albums, Taj is both an architect and custodian of the roots music sound. Proficient in 20 different instruments and a serial collaborator, Taj has worked with musicians including the Rolling Stones, Etta James, Angelique Kidjo, Ziggy Marley and more. There are few musicians that Taj’s music has not touched.