Each representing a deep, rich lode of African-American musical history, Taj Mahal and the Blind Boys of Alabama have sometimes taken those roots where few if any before have ventured. Mahal, aka Henry St. Clair Fredericks, initially became enamored of country blues and helped spark the blues revival of the early '60s with the spare elegance of his distinctive approach. Over the following decades, Mahal explored myriad blues offshoots and looked for common ground across the globe from India to Hawaii with an enthnomusicologist's enthusiasm and an inspired spirit of discovery. The Blind Boys (pictured) have been weaving complex gospel harmonies for about three-quarters of a century. In recent years, they've ventured beyond traditional gospel, tackling more diverse material and collaborating with artists from other genres, most recently on the country-oriented Take the High Road.
Wed., Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m., 2012