Taj Mahal
early 1984
KPFA-FM (Berkeley, CA) broadcast

Taj is interviewed, talks about the origins and different styles of the blues, and plays examples on an unamplified acoustic guitar.

Recorded and mastered to cdr by Easy Ed.

original recording lineage was either:
FM > Hi-Fi VHS master > cassette (Sony UCX-S 90, Dolby off)
FM > cassette (Sony UCX-S 90, Dolby off)
(I suspect that I recorded this direct to cassette, otherwise the cassette would have some overlap, ie., some repeated material, at the end of side A and the beginning of side B.)
transfer lineage: JVC KD-V6 (playback, with Dolby off) > Sek'd Prodif Plus soundcard > Sound Forge 8 (24 bit, normalize, track splits) > 16 bit .wav files > FLAC level 8 encoding align on sector boundaries. No noise reduction was done.

I just arbitrarily made tracks to divide this up and make it easier to navigate to any given part. Although Taj does play segments of identifiable songs that was not how I tracked this recording and I have not taken the time to name or list the tracks.

At the end of this recording the interviewer says that about three hours of raw material was recorded and that we've just heard "a preliminary edit"; that what we've heard is about a third of this interview (approximately one hour) and what will be broadcast will be about a sixth (half an hour). What is offered here is all that I ever heard or recorded, 56 minutes and change and it sounds like all that was broadcast on that one particular ocassion.

There is a certain 'grittiness' to this recording, in terms of sound quality. There are also low level pops throughout this recording that are too frequent to merit removal but are mostly only audible when this is played at higher volumes over accurate monitoring systems and listened to carefully. I attribute these flaws either to the fact that this cassette has deteriorated with age and repeated plays, or to anamolies with the FM broadcast and/or receiver or of the VHS Hi-Fi recording.

Despite these flaws I'm pretty sure Taj Mahal fans will be delighted to hear Taj talk about the origins, regions, styles and players of the blues and to hear him play in an intimate setting on this clear, direct recording.