Jay Blakesberg / Retna LTD

Taj Mahal plays at Harrah’s Tahoe on Saturday night.

Casinos: Blues legend Taj Mahal gets Tahoe on its feet

Published: Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 - 4:00 pm

Taj Mahal doesn’t fit the strict definition of “blues musician.”

For one, much of his music has an undeniable uplift, with songs extending beyond melancholy moods and troubled relationships. In addition, his tastes are far more catholic than the traditional blues, with many tunes falling more into a “world-music” category, showing influence from West Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Hawaiian islands.

If a young Henry Saint Clair Fredericks Jr. from Springfield, Mass., had not had a dream about Mahatma Gandhi and India, audiences would not have Taj Mahal. That dream inspired his name change as well as his distinction as being one of the few (perhaps the only?) musical stars named after a South Asian mausoleum. There’s nothing funereal about his music, though. It’s so joyous and irresistible that Taj Mahal prefers playing venues where dancing is encouraged.

Unfortunately, Harrah’s Tahoe South Shore Room, where Taj Mahal appears Saturday, isn’t known as the best place to get up and move. However, that’s not likely to stop the audience from dancing. Any time Taj Mahal plays, it’s nearly impossible to resist. (7:30 p.m.; $49.50; Ticketmaster.com)

Elsewhere

Jefferson Starship brings some very classic rock to Jackson Rancheria tonight. (7 p.m.; $20; jacksoncasino.com)

Xiam Lim, one of the Philippines’ biggest stars with his role in the TV romantic comedy “My Binondo Girl,” is scheduled to appear Saturday at Cache Creek; actor/dancer/singer Rayver Cruz is also on the bill. (8 p.m.; $65, $75, $89; cachecreekcom).

“Legends of Soul” tribute show takes the stage Saturday at Thunder Valley, featuring salutes to James Brown and Aretha Franklin, among others. (8:30 p.m.; $27.50-$34.50; thundervalleyresort.com)

Tahoe is a beautiful place for an Easter egg hunt and there are plenty scheduled for this weekend, including at 10 a.m. Saturday at Commons Beach in Tahoe City, 11 a.m. Saturday at Incline Beach, and 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Northstar Village.

Read more articles by Mel Shields



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