Taj Mahal and Tosh 1 Play Nectar’s

This Sunday night, July 24, Taj Mahal is playing Nectar’s. Taj is huge and Nectar’s is small. Not small in taste or talent, mind you, but small in square footage. This is a very good thing. You will be just footsteps away from guitar greatness, rather than sniffing clouds while seated a football field away as at some arena stadium.

The Taj was born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, Jr. in Harlem, New York city. His progression to master musician has included two Grammy awards over his 50-year-plus career. But music, it turns out, was a secondary act.

His first love was farming. In college he majored in animal husbandry and veterinary science. For years he woke at 4 a.m. each morning to milk 70 cows on a farm near Springfield. Perhaps that’s where he gained the hand strength required to play the aggressive guitar style he employs.

Taj broke through into the music business in a band formed with Ry Cooder and Jessie Lee Kincaid. Over the years he has played with Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones. His music incorporates styles from all over the world, practicing the art of World Music long before there was such a term.

Tickets are $50 in advance or $65 at the door.

But that’s not all.

This Saturday, July 23, Nectar’s is hosting a legend in the making, one who carries in his blood a reggae musical legacy nearly unparalleled. Tosh 1 is the son of Peter Tosh. Also in his genes are some good eating vibes. Tosh 1’s mother is Melody Cunningham whose recent entry into the Martha’s Vineyard food scene is the Irie Bites food truck, often parked outside of Nectar’s during evening shows.

Tickets for Tosh 1, backed by the Dis N Dat Band, are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Doors open for both shows at 9 p.m. The concerts are for fans 21 years or older only.

For tickets and more details, visit nectarsmv.com.