Taj Mahal concert at Fremont Theatre is set for December

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comSeptember 18, 2012 

Taj Mahal plays guitar, banjo, clarinet and harmonica, among numerous other instruments.


A little more than four months after Lindsay Buckingham became the first musician to perform at the Fremont Theatre in several years, SLO Brewing Company has announced the next act slated for the historic movie theater: bluesman Taj Mahal.

Mahal, who studied animal husbandry at the University of Massachusetts, started out in the 60s, but he had two bad breaks: His debut album with The Rising Suns and his appearance on the made-for-TV special “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” would not see the light of day for 30 years.

"I can look back and go, 'Boy, if those two had plugged in ...' " Mahal told the Tribune in 2010. "Woulda, coulda, shoulda. But you can't eat woulda, coulda, shoulda. You can't sleep with woulda, coulda, shoulda. All those can give you a headache."

Despite those early setbacks, there have been bright moments for Mahal — like when the Blues Brothers performed his song "She Caught the Katy" for their popular movie, or when he won two Grammys.

"All you have to do when you think you're being crowded by something is back up and see the big picture," he said. "And you realize that this will only make you stronger."

Though known as a blues musician, he's always melded genres, fusing soul, rock, Hawaiian, reggae and world music into his songs.

Tickets for the December 6 show are $40. Mahal has previously performed at the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo and the Avila Beach Golf Resort for the Avila Beach Blues Festival.

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