Editorial Review of Hanapepe Dream

Don McLeese of Amazon.com had this to say…
Though he earned earliest acclaim as a blues traditionalist, Taj Mahal is no
purist.
Instead, he’s an eclectic artist who finds common spirit with the
blues
in a multicultural array of styles. This album’s
acoustic arrangements lace the ukuleles, slack and steel guitars of Hawaii

(where Taj lived for 15 years) with the airier strains of flute and saxophone and
the lilt of the African kalimba. Within this follow-up to 1998’s Sacred Island,
the music island-hops from the Pacific to the Caribbean, as a blend of reggae
and calypso influences highlight“Great Big Boat,” “King Edward’s Throne,” and”African Herbsman.”
Taj and his Hula Blues band additionally apply their transformational power to a
sinuously propulsive rendition of Bob Dylan’s“All Along the Watchtower,”
as well as providing syncopated renewal for traditionals
“Black Jack Davy” and “Stagger Lee”

plus Mississippi John Hurt’s“My Creole Bell.”
Straying furthest from bedrock blues,the lovely Hawaiian balladry of
Moonlight Lady shimmers like moonbeams dancing across the ocean ripples.
–Don McLeese