There are a couple of names sticking out this weekend: A seasoned veteran making his annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage, and a relative newcomer on his third visit to Puget Sound. Taj Mahal, a blues icon for nearly five decades, has been spending the holiday week in Seattle since the mid 90s, and will be back at Jazz Alley from the 17th to the 26th. TajMo is pretty diverse, drawing from jazz, folk and Caribbean styles, among others, but the heart of his music is the blues.
After winning the International Blues Challenge in 2013, where Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer was a judge, Selwyn Birchwood signed with the label and released his first album the following year. Don’t Call the Ambulance received wide acclaim, and immediately made him a major player in the blues world. He’ll be at Louis G’s on Friday and The Highway 99 on Saturday. His music is kind of a jazzed-up Chicago and boogie, but very original and he will rock the house.