Taj Mahal: Señor Blues

Taj Mahal really digs deep and scores a direct hit with the rootsy Se-or Blues (Private Music 82151; 51:45). His raw-throated blues growl underscores faithful readings of T-Bone Walker’s “I Miss You Baby,” Marvin Gaye’s “At Last,” Otis Redding’s “Mr. Pitiful,” James Brown’s “Think” and Horace Silver’s jazz title track. “Sophisticated Mama” is typical Taj -good timey rollicking blues with barrelhouse piano, replete with kazoo solo. And he cops an authentic New Orleans flavor on “Irresistable You” and Hank Williams’ “Mind Your Own Business.” Taj goes to church on the gospel-drenched “Oh Lord, Things Are Getting Crazy” and he ladels that raspy voice on top of a reggae riddim on “Queen Bee.” A national treasure still digging for roots after all these years.