Taj Mahal
Ry Cooder ♦ Jesse Ed Davis 

Gotta Start Somewhere...

Note: Mahal & Cooder started this folk/blues group, way ahead of its time.
Tracks for an unreleased album were finally issued in the 90s.

The Rising Sons
Candy Man / The Devil's Got My Woman
Davis (2:00) / James (3:04)
Columbia 43534, 2/66

Taj Mahal-guitar, harmonica, piano, vocals
Ry Cooder-dobro, guitar, mandolin, bottleneck guitar, vocals
Jesse Lee Kincaid-guitar, vocals
Gary Marker-bass
Kevin Kelley-percussion, drums
Produced by: Terry Melcher


I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate¹ / Let The Good Times Roll¹
Piron (2:33) / Lee (2:24)
Columbia 44051, 3/67

E Z Rider³ / Leaving Trunk³
arr Davis (2:41) / Estes (2:47)
Columbia 44405, 12/67


Taj Mahal
Columbia CS-9579
1/68 [UK: 6/68]
Back Cover

Side One
Leaving Trunk Estes 4:49
Statesboro Blues McTell 2:58
Checkin' Up On My Baby Williamson 4:54
Everybody's Got To Change Sometime Estes 2:56
Side Two
EZ Rider Mahal 3:03
Dust My Broom Johnson 2:37
Diving Duck Blues Estes 2:40
The Celebrated Walkin' Blues Trad 8:52
Taj Mahal-vocals, guitar, harp, slide guitar
Jesse Edwin Davis-lead guitar, piano (Checkin' Up On My Baby)
Ry Cooder-rhythm, slide guitar, mandolin (The Celebrated Walkin' Blues)
James Thomas-bass
Sanford Konikoff-drums
Bill Boatman-rhythm guitar (Dust My Broom, Diving Duck Blues)
Gary Gilmore-bass (Dust My Broom, Diving Duck Blues)
Charles "Brother" Blackwell-drums (Dust My Broom, Diving Duck Blues)
§Cover Photo-Guy Webster
Produced by: David Rubinson


Everybody's Got To Change Sometime³ / Statesboro Blues
Estes (2:48) / arr Mahal (2:59)
Columbia 44476, 3/68

Northern California Folk-Rock Festival(5/19/68) Taj
Newport Folk Festival(7/25, 28/68) Taj
You Don't Miss Your Water ('Till Your Well Runs Dry) / Going Up to the Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue
Bell (4:24) / Mahal (3:34)
Columbia 44696, 11/68

Rock 'N' Roll Circus: never aired (filmed 12/11/68)
Taj & group join The Stones & Friends to record TV special—never aired (now on DVD).

The Natch'l Blues
Columbia CS-9698
12/68 BB [UK: 3/69]
Back Cover

UK Cover

Side One
Good Morning Miss Brown Mahal 3:13
Corrina Davis-Mahal 3:00
I Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Steal My Jellyroll Mahal 3:16
Going Up To The Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue Mahal 3:34
Done Change My Way Of Living Mahal 7:04
Side Two
She Caught The Katy (And Left Me A Mule To Ride) Mahal-Rachell 3:28
The Cuckoo Trad 4:10
You Don't Miss Your Water ('Til You Well Runs Dry) Bell 4:23
Ain't That A Lot Of Love Banks-Parker 4:00
Taj Mahal-vocals, guitar, Mississippi National steel-bodied guitar, banjo, harmonica
Jesse Edwin Davis-guitar, piano, brass arrangements
Gary Gilmore-bass
Chuck Blackwell-drums
Al Kooper-piano, organ
Earl Palmer-drums
§Cover Art-Anna Hornisher
Produced by: David Rubinson


Newport 69(6/20/69) Taj
Six Days On The Road / Light Rain Blues
Greene-Montgomery (2:59) / Mahal (3:18)
Columbia 45991, 9/69


Giant Step/De Ole Folks At Home
Columbia GP-18
9/69 BB [UK: 11/69]
Back Cover

Inside Cover

Giant Step
Side One
Ain't Gwine To Whistle Dixie Anymo' Davis-Mahal 1:03
Take A Giant Step Goffin-King 4:16
Give Your Woman What She Wants Hirschhorn-Mahal 2:28
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl Williamson 3:43
You're Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond Johnson 4:54
Side Two
Six Days On The Road Greene-Montgomery 2:59
Farther On Down the Road (You Will Accompany Me) Mahal 4:37
Keep Your Hands Off Her Ledbetter-Turner 2:14
Bacon Fat Hudson-Robertson 6:37
De Ole Folks At Home
Side One
Linin' Track Ledbetter 1:38
Country Blues #1 arr Mahal 2:35
Wild Ox Moan Hall-Tartt 2:43
Light Rain Blues Mahal 3:20
A Little Soulful Tune Mahal 2:40
Candy Man Davis 2:53
Cluck Old Hen arr Mahal 2:30
Side Two
Colored Aristocracy arr Mahal 2:00
Blind Boy Rag Mahal 4:08
Stagger Lee Logan-Price 3:19
Cajun Tune Mahal 1:54
Fishin' Blues Thomas-Williams 3:04
Annie's Lover arr Mahal 3:28
Taj Mahal-vocals, guitar, Mississippi National steel-bodied guitar, banjo, harmonica
on Giant Step only, with:
Jesse Edwin Davis-guitar, organ, piano
Gary Gilmore-bass
Chuck "Brother" Blackwell-drums
§Cover Design-Virginia Team; Photos-Gary Kreuger, Don Peterson; Hand Lettering-Jesse Edwin Davis
Produced by: David Rubinson


4/17/70: Waltham Forest Technical College, London
Day before The Sound Of The Seventies festival, with Santana (headliner) & It's A Beautiful Day
Note: The concert was released by Sony in 2012

Goin' To Brownsville / Available Space
Estes (3:24) / Cooder (2:11)
Reprise 0910, 5/70

Performance(8/3/70) Mick
Ry's slide is all over the soundtrack album
Alimony / Pigmeat
Higginbotham-Jones-Young (2:55) / Leadbelly (3:05)
Reprise 0940, 8/70


Ry Cooder
Reprise RS-6402
10/70 [UK: 1/71]
Back Cover

Side One
Alimony Higginbotham-Jones-Young 2:53
France Chance Calicott 2:46
One Meatball Singer-Zaret 2:26
Do-Re-Mi Guthrie 3:01
My Old Kentucky Home (Turpentine & Dandelion Wine) Newman 1:44
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live? Reed 2:44
Side Two
Available Space Cooder 2:11
Pigmeat Leadbelly 3:05
Police Dog Blues Blake 2:43
Goin' To Brownsville Estes 3:24
Dark Is The Night Johnson 2:47
Ry Cooder-guitar, mandolin, bass, vocals
Van Dyke Parks-keyboards, arranger
Roy Estrada-bass
and the following uncredited musicians:
Chris Ethridge-bass
Max Bennett-bass
Richard Hayward-drums
Milt Holland-percussion
Bobby Bruce-violin
Gloria Jones-vocals
Kirby Johnson-arranger, conductor
§Cover Photo-Frank Bez
Produced by: Lenny Waronker & Van Dyke Parks


Previews of Past Attractions, short film (14m), 1970,
Van Dyke Parks produced this long music video for Ry's first album. Watch on Vimeo .


¡Jesse Davis!
Atco SD 33-346
11/70 [UK: ?/71]
Back Cover

Side One
Reno Street Incident Davis 4:10
Tulsa Country Polland 2:21
Washita Love Child Davis 3:47
Every Night Is Saturday Night Davis 7:11
Side Two
You Belladonna You Davis 6:29
Rock N Roll Gypsies Tillison 4:14
Golden Sun Goddess Davis 4:48
Crazy Love Morrison 3:36
Jesse Ed Davis-guitar, vocals
Eric Clapton, Joel Scott Hill, Gram Parsons-guitar
John Simon, Leon Russell, Larry Knechtel, Larry Pierce, Ben Sidran-keyboards
Billy Rich, Steve Thompson-bass
Alan White, Chuck Blackwell, Steve Mitchell, Bruce Rowland-drums
Sanford Konikoff, Pete Wadington, Alan Yoshida, Patt Daley, Jackie Lomax-percussion
Darrell Leonard, Frank Mayes, John Ware, Jim Gordon, Jerry Jumonville-horn
Nickey Barclay, Gloria Jones, Clydie King, Merry Clayton, Venetta Fields, Bob Jones, Maxine Willard Waters-vocals
§Cover Art-Jesse Ed Davis
Produced by: Jesse Ed Davis


The Real Thing
Columbia G-30619
5/71 BB [UK: 8/71]
Back Cover

Inside Cover

Side One
Fishin' Blues(Taj solo) Thomas, arr Mahal 2:45
Ain't Gwine To Whistle Dixie (Any Mo') Blackwell-Davis-Gilmore-Mahal 8:17
Sweet Mama Janisse Mahal 3:35
Side Two
Going Up To The Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue Mahal 3:07
Big Kneed Gal Mahal 4:45
You're Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond Johnson, arr Mahal 6:15
Side Three
Tom And Sally Drake Mahal 3:23
Diving Duck Blues Estes, arr Mahal 3:30
John, Ain't It Hard Mahal 5:10
Side Four
You Ain't No Street Walker Mama,
   Honey But I Do Love The Way You Strut Your Stuff
Mahal 18:56
Taj Mahal-vocals, guitar, banjo, National steel guitar, harmonica, chromatic harmonica, fife, whistling
John Hall-guitar
John Simon-piano
Bill Rich-bass
Greg Thomas-drums
Kwasi "Rocky" DziDzournu-congas
The Howard Johnson Tuba Band:
Howard Johnson-tuba, fluegelhorn, bar sax, arrangements
Joseph Daley-tuba, valve trombone
Earle McIntyre-tuba, bass trombone
Bob Stewart-tuba, fluegelhorn, trumpet
§Cover Art-Anna Hornisher; Photo-Irene Harris
Produced by: David Rubinson

Note: Recorded live at The Fillmore East, 2/13/71

Diving Duck Blues / Fishin' Blues
Estes, arr Mahal (3:30) / Thomas, arr Mahal (2:45)
Columbia 45419, 6/71

live recordings, from The Real Thing
Washita Love Child³ / Reno Street Incident
Davis (2:50) / Davis (4:07)
Atco 6825, 7/71

Ain't Gwine To Whistle Dixie (Any Mo') (Pt 1)³ / Ain't Gwine To Whistle Dixie (Any Mo') (Pt 2)³
Blackwell-Davis-Gilmore-Mahal (3:09) / Blackwell-Davis-Gilmore-Mahal (2:53)
Columbia 45455, 9/71

edited from Real Thing recording
8th Big Sur Folk Festival(9/25/71—last one) Taj

Happy Just To Be Like I Am
Columbia C-30767
11/71 BB [UK: 5/72]
Back Cover

Inside Cover

Side One
Happy Just To Be Like I Am Mahal 3:52
Stealin' Cannon 7:27
Oh Susanna Traditional 5:29
Eighteen Hammers Mahal 6:12
Side Two
Tomorrow May Not Be Your Day Mahal 4:16
Chevrolet Mahal-Young-Young 2:38
West Indian Revelation (AKA West Indian Reservation) Mahal 6:06
Black Spirit Boogie Mahal 6:36
Taj Mahal-vocals, banjo, flute, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, Spirit Of '76 six-holed fife, Mississippi National steel-bodied guitar, penny whistle
Hoshal Wright-guitar
John Simon-piano
Billy Rich-bass
James Charles Otey, Jr-drums
Howard Johnson-tuba, arranger, sax
Joseph Daley-trombone, tuba
Bob Stewart-tuba, flugelhorn
Earl McIntyre-trombone, tuba
Rocky DziDzornu-percussion
Jesse Ed Davis-guitar (Oh Susanna, Chevrolet)
David Coleman-acoustic guitar (Black Spirit Boogie)
Andy Narell-steel drums (West Indian Revelation)
The Toys-backup vocals (West Indian Revelation)
§Cover Photo-Al Vandenberg
Produced by: David Rubinson

Note: Album side contents on back incorrect. Label has correct order (that's what is shown here)

Taj: His take on blues continued, with many awards.
Ry: session work, solo albums, still (2022) busy
Jesse: Unfortuately didn't make it out alive (died 1988)


Official Taj Mahal web site
Ry Cooder web siteHighly recommended! lists most of Ry's session work


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