Shambletracks: Taj Mahal makes it clear that you Ain’t Gwine To Whistle Dixie.

HELLO. I’m here again. I being Paddy. Paddy being Paddy from the Podshambles.

How are you? GREAT, GOOD TO HEAR IT. I am also well – I’ve just finished doing a prerecord for Shoreditch Radio on Ella Woods’ show ‘Ella Plays What’ which has been super awesome. It was a Valentine’s Day special and I even got to choose some songs (for your information I chose Love In The Afternoon by The Martin Harley Band and No Children by The Mountain Goats – both classics). Do give it a listen on Shoreditch Radio this Friday at MIDDAY.

Anywho, I’ve chosen something a little different today. It’s an eight-and-a-half minute instrumental (I know, right?) in the form of Ain’t Gwine To Whistle Dixie by Taj Mahal. Point number one: I have been listening to this song for twenty years, and doing a quick google revealed to me that it isn’t in fact called ‘Ain’t Got To Whistle‘ – the name I have been referring to it by for literally 83.3333% of my life – which is a massive embarrassment. Point number two: it is gorgeous.

I was primarily brought up on blues music. My Dad plays the blues better than anyone I have ever met, and so the dulcet tones of old America used to ring throughout my childhood home every single day – and it was magnificent. My father is one of those guys that can just play music. Hand him an instrument and he will ace it: double-bass, jazz piano, trombone, erhu – you name it. He fucking rules. He’s in his mid-sixties and is still taking music lessons every week to ‘make sure he keeps his eye in’, and regularly plays with his bands ‘Lady & The Gents’, ‘The Coffin Dodgers’ and ‘Trains’. Thus it was only natural that myself and my siblings all learnt music from a very young age, all going on to forge careers in the industry. The one thing we can all agree on it that blues was the instigator – and it was all thanks to Dad.

I’m sure I’ll cover a fair bit of the music he introduced us to in the coming months, but the song that instantly springs to mind is this one. Perhaps it’s because it’s a long piece with no vocals, and therefore provides some kind of backing track to the vast majority of my earliest memories. Maybe it’s just because it is rad. Either way – here it is.

If you haven’t listened to Taj Mahal yet – DO IT NOW. Henry Saint Clair Fredericks (his real name) is a musical mastermind and a bloody hero to boot. Have a dig through his discography and you’ll find he has played with literally everyone under the sun (odds are you have heard him before on one song or another) and quite rightly so. Check out The Best Of Taj Mahal for an idea of his style.

I hope you enjoy the mellow tune from my youth ‘Ain’t Gwine To Whistle Dixie’.

You’re welcome.

Big love,

Paddy XX

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