She'll Grow Back: Stagger Lee Saturdays - Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues Band

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Stagger Lee Saturdays - Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues Band

Taj Mahal first recorded a version of Stag in 1969, and here's his take 31 years later. This is a lovely island version, with ukuleles and a full, Hawaiian-tinged band.

This is, if I'm not mistaken, the first version of the song I've posted which posits that Stag's hat is, in fact, magical. I read in Cecil Brown's masterful book Stagolee Shot Billy that quite a few versions indicate that Stag traded his soul to the devil for a magical hat which would give him good luck gambling, but at the time I couldn't think of any version in particular which did so. Here's one of them.

It's weird, kind of, to hear the New Orleans version of Stag ("...every step you take, you're stepping in Delyons' blood...") with this type of backing music, but this is great fun. I recently had to pass up on an opportunity to see Taj and Bonnie Raitt live (due to lack of funds and concert companion), and while it's unlikely he did a version of Stag at that show, I still mourn the lost opportunity.

Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues Band - Stagger Lee
mirror 1 -- mirror 2
buy from Taj hisownself

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