1. Linin’ Track - Taj Mahal

Saturday, 27 November 2010


Before anyone started inventing instruments, there was the human voice, but we’ll never know whether the first human approximations of music were entirely vocal or whether there was some (presumably percussive) rhythmic accompaniment.

But there’s something primeval about work songs and the like because what you’re hearing is opening a window on the possible beginnings of what we now call music.

Whether the first music was an accompaniment to work, or associated with ritual, or a form of recreation, or something else entirely is probably another chicken or the egg? question. 

But this particular track is an important milestone in Hughesy’s musical evolution. Here’s how it panned out.

Having been listening to the radio in the days before the airwaves were taken over by the sort of playlists that have become the bane of the airwaves in recent years and heading off to friends places to check out their record collections, I’d heard some old blues before I heard the third Taj Mahal album Giant Step/De Ole Folks At Home without really getting what was going on. 

Coming from a rock/pop background, although I could make connections to things I was familiar with, the sound quality of the old blues recordings made them sound more primitive than I was used to. Even the first Paul Butterfield, which stacks up fairly well with most of its contemporaries, was dismissed in favour of Fresh Cream

In retrospect that might seem  almost cringe worthy now, but there were reasons for these apparent lapses of judgement. 


B© Ian Hughes 2012