'Musical cousins' Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt team for tour

'Musical cousins' Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt team for tour
By Edna Gundersen
USA Today

Friends since the late '60s, Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal are teaming up for BonTaj Roulet, a 30-date tour from Aug. 6 to Sept. 25. Each show includes separate sets and a closing collaboration.

Their first joint outing is long overdue, says Raitt, who opened for Mahal at Skidmore College in the early '70s. He co-produced her third album, 1973's Takin' My Time.

"We're musical cousins," Raitt says. "We both love R&B, blues, world music and the ways they can overlap and cross-pollinate. We're interested in the roots and permutations of the blues, especially the Celtic for me and Caribbean for him. I've always admired Taj's musical curiosity and reach. I'm so happy this worked out."

The pair, with help from concertgoers, ticket agencies and others, plan to divert $1 per ticket to charity. Proceeds will go to the BonTaj Collective Action Fund, and fans can vote at bontaj.com on how to distribute the money among organizations devoted to sustainable energy, the environment, human rights and blues/music education.
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