Caught up with one of my favorite artists last night, Taj Mahal. He had been one of the most popular artists when I worked on the Catalina Island Blues Festival, not only because of his incredible shows, but also because he hung out with fans and islanders afterwards. Taj also did a benefit concert for the Kids Rock Free music education program in Corona that was initially funded with proceeds from 4 of the 5 Catalina Festivals. Taj was a big influence on me in my formative musical years and remains a true musical and cultural treasure.
I also got to spend time with the great Keb Mo who is touring with Taj as part of TajMo. I worked with Keb in the past as well and last night was such a treat to see them in an intimate setting as the Clive Davis Theater at the Grammy Museum – telling stories (both could have alternate careers as comedians), talking about music influences and playing such wonderful songs together in a free form acoustic show hosted by the Museum’s Executive Director Scott Goldman. I highly recommend checking out these events if you live in LA, or are just visiting.
Another high point was getting to meet Rita Coolidge. The “Delta Lady” was such an important figure in music particularly with such icons as Eric Clapton (her influence on “Layla” – not the subject but the actual music), Joe Cocker, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Leon Russell and Kris Kristofferson to name a few. Of course the two-time Grammy Award winner also had mega success with her own hits.
What a night!