This 1996 album picks up where Dancing the Blues left off three years earlier, with producer John Porter and most of the same studio cast. There's more of a New Orleans flavor this time, with barrelhouse pianist Jon Cleary contributing a couple of originals to go with such classics as Jesse Hill's "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" and Fats Domino's "Let the Four Winds Blow." Bonnie Raitt and a full vocal chorus help kick "I Need Your Loving" into overdrive. Mahal's one original is the tender, acoustic country-sounding "Lovin' in My Baby's Eyes".
This record was originally released in 1991 after Taj had taken a break for a number of side projects including children's records. He was obviously refreshed - the record is full of new ideas and incorporates new production techniques, check out the lovely song "Every wind in the river" and also the scratching and rap stylings of "Squat that rabbit". A bit radical for blues but both work very well. Taj revists the song "Giant step" and also takes the traditional blues "Blues with a feeling" to New Orleans, with an added dash of steel guitar (!?!). Guests include banjo player David Johnson, guitarist David Lindley, Andy Kravitz and Bill Summers and the backing band sound great throughout. This is a really good, imaginative record that saw Taj coming back to form and his next couple of records in the 90s were even better.
Señor Blues is one of Taj Mahal's best latter-day albums, a rollicking journey through classic blues styles performed with contemporary energy and flair. There's everything from country-blues to jazzy uptown blues on Señor Blues, and Taj hits all of areas in between, including R&B and soul. Stylistically, it's similar to most of his albums, but he's rarely been as effortlessly fun and infectious as he is here.