Guido Toffoletti´s Blues Society – Ways Back (1987)

FrontCover1Unfortunatly I can´t speak or read the Italian language, and because I found only information about in Italian Website … I can´t give you many informations about Guido Toffoletti.
He was born in 1951 Venice and 15 years later he “run away from his Venice home in search of a tumultuous myth: The music world.

In Milan, he got to know Kim Brown from England and his group “The Renegades”. managed to get taken on as their Roadie ans was thus able to pass hours and hours admiring guitarist Mick Webley´s playing.

After various musically formative experiences, determined to make his career take a decisive turn, in 1975 he went to London where he worked as a dishwasher to make Ends meet and played in his free time.

In London het met his spiritual “father”, Alexis Korner, and thanks to him managed to find his feet in what was at the time Europe´s top blues circuit.

Toffoletti came back toItaly in 1976 with the precise aim of forming the “Blues Society”, an “open” Group of some of Italy´s top blues-men.

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As well as bearing testimony to a period from 1979 to the present day with unreleased songs, covers and alternative tracks, “Ways Back” ideally gathers round Guido all his English and Italian friends; those who helped him, loved him and in some cases let him down.” (taken from the liner notes by Guiseppe Barbieri)

And you´ll hear finest Britsh blues, recorded with musicians like Paul Jones, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Zoot Money, Mel Collins, Ian Stewart and Mick Taylor.

A forgotten jewel of the British blues music, recorded by a great guy from Italy !

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I was too lazy, to type all these informations down …

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Italian bluesman Guido Toffoletti
Born 1951 – † 22 August 1999 (Car accident injuries)

 

 

The Blues Band – Official Bootleg Album (1980)

OriginalFrontCover1England’s the Blues Band is led by ex-Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones and guitarist/vocalist Dave Kelly, who, before forming the group in 1979, had been a member of the John Dummer Blues Band and issued several solo recordings on his own (Kelly had also received praise for his playing by such blues legends as Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker). After hooking up with friend/bassist Gary Fletcher, the seeds for the Blues Band were sown, resulting in countless albums (by Greg Prato)

The Blues Band is a virtual who’s who of the British blues scene. An ’80s supergroup of sorts, the band consists of Paul Jones, solo artist and former member of Manfred Mann (lead vocals and harmonica ); Dave Kelly, solo artist and former member of the John Dummer Blues band (lead vocals and slide guitar); Tom McGuinness, former member of Manfred Mann and McGuinness Flint (lead guitar and back-up vocals); Hughie Flint, also former McGuinness Flint (drums); and Gary Fletcher, formerly of Sam Apple Pie (bass and backup vocals).

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Taken from the inlets of this album

Although formed in 1979, the band released its debut album, The Bootleg Album, in 1980 as supposedly a one-time live project. The album was originally a private pressing, recorded live and released by the band themselves, but it sold so well it was re-released intact by Arista after signing the band to a contract. The Blues Band became so popular that they got together as a permanent unit.

A must for any fan of British blues music. (by by Keith Pettipas)

The Blues Band in their own words:

BluesBand01The individual members of The Blues Band were already held in admiration by generations of rhythm & blues fans when they formed back in 1979. Almost two and a half decades and over 16 albums later they continue to add to their growing army of followers, and it’s not unheard of to find three generations from the same family at a gig.

The band are today acknowledged throughout Europe and beyond as being amongst the very finest purveyors of rhythm & blues. They have inspired numerous other blues bands, many of which have come and gone …The Blues Band have remained a constant, increasingly popular fixture, however, and all with only a modicum of help from the record business – as Gary’s oft quoted comment states “the music industry doesn’t bother us and we don’t bother them.”

This independent streak goes right back to their early days when in an unusual move the band “bootlegged” their own first album – certain copies of which are now collector’s items. The ‘bootlegging’ came about because, having recorded their first album, the so called ‘major label’ which was to release it changed their minds and the band didn’t have the cash to pay the studio bill. So they got 1000 copies pressed up, mastered from a copy tape that they had, signed the plain white numbered sleeves and sold them at gigs & via mail order etc. Only then did another ‘major label’ pick up the album and release it widely. (taken from the website of The Blus Band)

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Personnel:
Gary Fletcher (bass)
Hughie Flint (drums)
Paul Jones (vocals, guitar)
Dave Kelly (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals)
Tom McGuinness (guitar, background vocals)
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Bob Hall (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Talk To Me Baby ((James) 3.55
02. Flatfoot Sam (Willis/Lewis) 2.57
03. Two Bones And A Pick (Walker) 3.09
04. Someday Baby (Estes) 3.21
05. Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights) (Jacobs) 3.33
06. Come On In (Stonebridge/Jones/McGuinness) 2-03
07. Death Letter (House) 3.03
08. Going Home (Kelly) 3.54
09. I Don’t Know (Mabon) 4.55
10. Diddy Wah Diddy (Blake) 2.44

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And here you´ll find The Blues Band Songbook (click on the pic):

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Savoy Brown – A Step Further (1969)

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With Kim Simmonds and Chris Youlden combining their talents in Savoy Brown’s strongest configuration, 1969’s A Step Further kept the band in the blues-rock spotlight after the release of their successful Blue Matter album. While A Step Further may not be as strong as the band’s former release, all five tracks do a good job at maintaining their spirited blues shuffle.

Plenty of horn work snuggles up to Simmonds’ guitar playing and Youlden’s singing is especially hearty on “Made up My Mind” and “I’m Tired.” The first four tracks are bona fide Brown movers, but they can’t compete with the 20-plus minutes of “Savoy Brown Boogie,” one of the group’s best examples of their guitar playing prowess and a wonderful finale to the album.

This lineup saw the release of Raw Sienna before Lonesome Dave Peverett stepped up to the microphone for Looking In upon the departure of Youlden, but the new arrangement was short lived, as not long after three other members exited to form Foghat. As part of Savoy Brown’s Chris Youlden days,

A Step Further should be heard alongside Getting to the Point, Blue Matter, and Raw Sienna, as it’s an integral part of the band’s formative boogie blues years. (by Mike DeGange)

Savoy Brown Live 1969

 Personnel:
Roger Earl (drums, percussion)
Lonesome Dave Peverett (guitar)
Kim Simmonds (guitar)
Tony Stevens (bass)
Chris Youlden (vocals)
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David Bellman (viola)
Eddie Blair (trumpet)
Des Bradley (violin)
Percy Coates (violin)
Raymond Davis (flugelhorn, horn)
John Edwards (trombone)
Bob Efford (saxophone)
Jack Fields (violin)
Bob Hall (piano)
Bobby Haughey (flugelhorn, horn)
Don Honeywell  (saxophone)
Don Honeywill (saxophone
Butch Hudson (trumpet)
Maurice Loban (viola)
Don Lusher (trombone)
John Meek (viola)
Rex Morris (saxophone)
Phil Reid (violin)
John Ronayne (violin)
Louis Rose (viola)
Louis Rosen (viola)
Lionel Ross (cello)
John Shineborne (cello)
John Tonayne (violin)
Mike Vernon (percussion)
Charles Vorzanger (violin)
Kenny Wheeler (trumpet)

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Tracklist:

Studio Side:
01. Made Up My Mind (Youlden) 2.59
02. Waiting In The Bamboo Grove (Simmonds) 3.38
03. Life’s One Act Play (Youlden) 6.31
04. I’m Tired (Youlden) + Where Am I (Willie/Brown) 5.05

Live Side:
05. Savoy Brown Boogie (Youlden/Simmonds) 22.07
including
05.a. I Feel So Good (Willis)
06.b. Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On (Williams/David)
06.c. Little Queenie (Berry)
06.d. Purple Haze (Hendrix)
05.e. Hernando’s Hideaway (Ross/Adler)

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Chicken Shack – Imagination Lady (1972)

FrontCover1Imagination Lady is the fifth studio album by the blues band Chicken Shack, released in 1972 on the Deram record Label.

Imagination Lady is much in the same tradition as the great British bluesmen Alexis Korner and John Mayall, Webb’s revolving-door personnel landed the band several notable members, including: John Almond (tenor/alto sax), Hughie Flint (drums), and Christine Perfect (keyboards/vocals). For this album, Webb (guitar/vocals) gathered a trio consisting of himself, future Gods and Jethro Tull member John Glascock (bass), and Paul Hancox (drums). Enthusiasts of the more traditional 40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve and OK Ken albums have been quick to dismiss the latter-era band, often citing the whole over amplified power metal trip as detracting from their blues origins.

While certainly valid assessments, the power trio featured on Imagination Lady brings more than sheer volume to this release. As with the previous Chicken Shack long-players, this disc features several Webb originals augmented with some well-chosen cover tunes. The album opens with a ferocious cover of B.B. King’s “Crying Won’t Help You.” This version is highlighted by Glascock’s thrashing basslines and Webb’s wah-wah driven lead guitar and gin-soaked vocals. In a style akin to the Faces or even some of the rowdier moments from the Peter Green-led Fleetwood Mac, this trio grinds out the blues with a decidedly English edge. The folkie “If I Were a Carpenter” is speared with searing electric guitar leads that rip throughout the likewise spirited contributions from Glascock and Hancox. The tune is also afforded an unexpected sensitivity that contrasts well between the all-out sonic onslaught of the chorus and the restrained polyrhythms of the verses. In regards to original material, “Daughter of the Hillside” is without a doubt Webb’s most impressive contribution to the album. It is arguably the strongest side on the disc. This straight-ahead rocker is an ideal trio effort with equal contributions from all three recalling the intense instrumentality of Cream or early Led Zeppelin. With so much potential, it’s unfortunate that the 11-minute epic “Telling Your Fortune” — which is nothing more than a 12-bar blues platform for solos from Webb and Hancox — is so erratic. In an ironic contrast, the closing number “The Loser” is upbeat and almost pop-oriented, again displaying the immense strength of this short-lived incarnation of Chicken Shack. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Chicken Shack were chief beneficiaries of the 1968 Brit blues boom, but the sales graph was flatlining by the time of 1972’s Imagination Lady. Shame, really: some of us will strip to the waist, grease up and wrestle for the right to proclaim it the worthiest thing they ever did. Wildcard guitarist and sole constant Stan Webb had commandeered drummer Paul Hancox and bassist John Glascock to create a brawny blues-rock trio with the pedal constantly to the metal – and the transfusion of new blood duly created a rampaging ogre.

Listen to them, positively steaming in with Crying Won’t Help You Now: lack of blues feel is more than compensated for with unruly, unpolished, first-take excitement. Hancox in particular – recommended by John Bonham – is a flailing Tasmanian devil in the Philthy Animal Taylor mould. The insane phased drum solo in Telling Your Fortune perhaps indulges the man a tad too far – but you try stopping him.
Thrillingly, the band lunge at If I Were A Carpenter like pub drunks: it’s a Vanilla Fudge-style, taste-free disembowelment, and all the better for it. Truthfully, Imagination Lady is closer in spirit and execution to May Blitz than Fleetwood Mac, in the grand tradition of fractious, E-major wah-wah sludge-rock. (by record collector)

For me is this album a masterpiece of heavy blues rock !

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Personnel:
John Glascock (bass)
Paul Hancox (drums)
Stan Webb (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Crying Won’t Help You Now (King) 5.10
02. Daughter Of The Hillside (Webb) 3.53
03. If I Were A Carpenter (Hardin) 6.35
04. Going Down (Nix) 3.33
05. Poor Boy (Webb) 5.11
06. Telling Your Fortune (Webb) 11.11
07. The Loser (Webb) 2.32

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Wentus Blues Band & Dick Heckstall-Smith – Man Of Stone (2015)

FrontCover1Dick Heckstall-Smith was much more than “only” the Saxophone Player for one of the best Jazz-Rock bands, we ever had … Colosseum !
He was an extraordinary solo Artist and session Player, too. Here we can hear him with the Wentus Blues Band from Finland !

What can I say about Dick Heckstall-Smith? Brilliant jazz and blues sax player, composer and owner of the largest tea cups in history, and most importantly for me, my friend.

In 1998, I first met Dick Heckstall-Smith, at a recording session for his “Blues And Beyond” album. Soon afterwards I started running his official website, and soon after that, Dick asked me to be his manager. Dick lived to play on stage. He had semi regular gigs with The Hamburg Blues Band, then there were Colosseum tours, a jazz gig here and there, but that still left a lot of time to fill, gig wise.
In 2002, Dick wanted to put a blues based live band together. His ideal line-up would have included Clem Clempson on guitar and Gary Husband on drums. There hadn’t been much movement on this when we were contacted by Robban Hagnas of The Wentus Blues Band. They hailed from Kokkola in Finland. An accomplished blues act, they had found a unique way round the limited touring opportunities in Scandanavia by touring with classic blues artists such as Mick Taylor, centering their sets around each special guest. That way, they could tour several times a year, rather than just once.

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It was agreed that Dick would go out on a Scandanavian tour with them, and and he was as excited by the prospect as I had ever seen him. I remember him dragging me around pretty much every army surplus store in North London one Saturday afternoon in order to find enough cold weather clothing to combat whatever conditions might be faced on the road. I was very aware that my main role with Dick was to maintain a level of hope in the future for him, and this tour constituted the most hopeful he had been for some time.
Once Dick had travelled to Finland for rehearsals and the tour itself, I got daily updates from him by phone. He was particularly impressed by The Wentus Blues Band guitar attack which reminded him of Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac. They had tailored their set to him, with numbers associated with Blues Incorporated, Graham Bond ORGANization and The Bluesbreakers, as well as numbers from Dick’s jazz orientated solo work, such as the song that had become something of a signature for him, “Woza Nasu.” Dick enjoyed the tour immensely, and felt, (as I did when hearing the live recording) that his playing was near his best. I recall one particularly “up” call from Dick. He was staying in an isolated hotel not a million miles from the Arctic Circle, and raved about His ride there, via Reindeer and Sleigh. Dick came back from the tour as invigorated and enthused as I ever saw him in those later years, and I will always thank Robban Hagnas and his band for that.

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A few months later, I got to see Dick in action with the Wentus boys in action at a one off gig in Oxford. Dick drove myself and Pete Brown there, via Canada it seemed. Dick could be directionally challenged now and then. However, we did get there in time for the show, and it was wonderful how the band interacted with a true master of his instrument. This live album is testament to that wonderful interaction. (by Pete Grant; taken from the original liner-notes)
Such a great concert … including one of Dick Heckstall-Smith´s masterpieces … his own composition “Woza Nasu ” … Listen !

Recorded live in Helsinki at Cantina West April, 5th, 2002.

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Personnel:
Mikael Axelqvist (drums)
Robert Hagnäs (bass)
Nike Riippa (guitar)
Anders Sjöberg (vocals)
Kim Vikamn (guitar)
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Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
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Tracklist:
01. Key To Love (Mayall) 3.46
02. Missing You (Everton/Edward) 3.53
03. You Got Me (Where You Want Me) (Robey) 5.23
04. Suspicions – Part 2 (Mayall) 6.34
05. Woza Nasu (Heckstall-Smith) 17.04
06. Man Of Stone (Kirkland) 8.16
07. Have You Heard (Mayall) 8.41
08. Pretty Things (McDaniels) 3.06
09. Before You Accuse Me (McDaniels) 5.02
10. Looking Back (Watson) 4.25
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Fleetwood Mac – Carousel Ballroom (1968)

FrontCover1After distinguishing himself and achieving a level of recognition in Europe, like Eric Clapton before him, Peter Green departed John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, freeing himself of employment and artistic restrictions. However, unlike most of the British guitar greats, Green was never concerned with flash or becoming a guitar superstar – an attitude that made him one of the most compelling of all the British guitar players from the 1960s. Green could play incisively and cleanly, but was equally adept at ripping with tremendous power. This made listening to any of Green’s material a rewarding experience; many of his originals have a timeless quality that still sounds fresh and intriguing today.

This outstanding early performance by Fleetwood Mac occurred only a week into their first visit to the United States, when Peter Green was only 21 years old. Falling right between the release of their self-titled debut album and their follow-up, Mr. Wonderful, this show captures the band in its early incarnation, when they were still a quartet – and one of the Crusaders of the late ’60s English blues movement. Peter Green was the chief architect of the band’s sound at this point, and was providing the bulk of their original material. Green was beginning to explore music outside traditional blues, and his playing could be wonderfully restrained one minute and powerfully explosive the next, marked by a distinctive vibrato and economy of style. His haunting, sweet-yet-melancholy tone was very distinctive, and was blessed with an inherently human quality that other British guitarists often struggled for.

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At this early stage, Jeremy Spencer comprised the band’s other creative force. Spencer could authentically recreate Elmore James onstage, and this novel ability, along with a ribald sense of humor (shared by the entire band), helped fuel the band’s early stage shows. Spencer could also create dead-on parodies of 1950s rock ‘n’ roll songs, often of the teen idol variety, giving the band an onstage theatrical element that was both funny and entertaining. The band’s overt sense of humor, in addition to their accomplished musicianship, certainly endeared them to many of the San Francisco music elite.

The set begins in fine fashion with Elmore James’ “Madison Blues,” and Green and Spencer trading relatively simple licks over a relaxed shuffle to warm things up. “My Baby’s Skinny” provides the audience their first taste of Peter Green’s delicious guitar tone. The number is a great early vehicle for Green, who takes lead vocal and peals off biting leads that display his innate ability to play with both penetrating directness and tensioned restraint. Riley King’s “Worried Dream” follows; a lengthy, slow blues number, the tune demonstrates Green at his best, delivering heartfelt vocals and delicious guitar work with great nuance and style.

Two more Elmore James classics are up next, showcasing Jeremy Spencer, and proving just how well he had mastered James’ feel for slide guitar. Both “Dust My Broom” and “Got To Move” feature distinctly different facets of James’ best work and Spencer has a strong handle on both. The group keeps a relaxed groove going underneath that lets Spencer shine. “Trying So Hard To Forget” is an early Peter Green original that has more of a vocal than an instrumental focus, but fits right in with the band’s early repertoire nonetheless.

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The most fascinating number of this set comes next, and again, clearly demonstrates Green’s greatest strengths as a performer. His take on Freddy King’s “Have You Ever Loved A Woman,” a song that would eventually become synonymous with Eric Clapton, is equally as virtuosic, and in some ways even more refined. This is the stuff that made B.B. King himself refer to Peter Green as “the only man to ever make me sweat.” The band increases the tempo and the set speeds to a close with one of Green’s original numbers from their forthcoming second album, Lazy Poker Blues. This new (at the time) number stays close to the studio arrangement, featuring tight ensemble playing and a sizzling guitar solo from Green. (by Alan Bershaw)

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 Personnel:
Mick Fleetwood (drums)
Peter Green (guitar, vocals)
John McVie (bass)
Jeremy Spencer (guitar, vocals)
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Paul Butterfield (harmonica on 11. – 15.)

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Tracklist:
CD1: June 9, 1968 first set
01. Madison Blues (James) 4.31
02. My Baby’s Gone (Edwards) 6.00
03. My Baby’s Skinny (Green) 4.48
04. Worried Dream (King) 9.57
05. Dust My Broom (James) 4.32
06. Got To Move (Williamson) 3.00
07. Worried Mind (Bennett 4.41
08. Instrumental (unknown) 10.29
09. Have You Ever Loved A Woman? (Myles) 7.58
10. Lazy Poker Blues (Green/Adams) 4.49

CD 2: June 9, 1968 second set:
11. Stop Messin’ ‘Round (Green) 2.12
02. I Loved Another Woman (Green) 7.03
03. I Believe (Spencer) 5.17
04. The Sun Is Shining (James) 6.2705. Long Tall Sally (Penniman/Blackwell/Johnson)  4.53
06. Willie & The Hand Jive (Otis) 4.04
07. Tutti Frutti (Penniman/LaBostrie) 3.02
08. Thanks by Peter Green, announcer band intros + crowd noise before encore  0.32
09. Ready Teddy (Marascalco/Blackwell) 3.16

CD 2: June 7 or 8, 1968 S.F. Carousel Ballroom
10. I Need Your Love So Bad (John) 1.46
11. I Believe (James) 4.59
12. Shake Your Moneymaker (James) 9.12
13. Ready Teddy (Marascalco/Blackwell) 2.30
14 Peter Green says thanks, announcer outro + crowd noise 0.19

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John Mayall´s Bluesbreakers – With Paul Butterfield (1967)

FrontCover1This 4 track EP is probably one of the rarest John Mayall records ever.

On November 26, 1966, Paul Butterfield, leader of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, was touring England. He met up with John Mayall, one of England’s pre-eminent blues bandleaders, his band the Bluesbreakers an incubator for talent ranging from Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor to Jack Bruce, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. The Butterfield band, at that very moment, had two guitar greats in its ranks: Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop.
Butterfield, a powerful singer who learned his trade sitting in with black blues bands (including Muddy Waters) on Chicago’s South Side, was a virtuoso harmonica player whose lyrical style owed plenty to Little Walter. Mayall played keyboard, his own custom built guitars, piano and organ.
Butterfield and Mayall recorded four songs, but in deference to the Butterfield Blues Band’s Elektra recording contract, British Decca released the EP only in England. The Bluesbreakers lineup at this point was Peter Green, John McVie and drummer Aynsley Dunbar. (by Rich Kienzle)

A summit meeting of the leading U.S. and U.K. blues-rock bandleaders of their time resulted in this four-song, seven-inch EP, which, like most such projects, didn’t add up to the sum of its parts. By either man’s standards, it’s routine, if unobjectionable. Mayall takes a much stronger role than Butterfield; “Riding on the L&N” is about the best cut on a disc that also has a version of Junior Wells’ “Little By Little” and one Mayall original, “Eagle Eye.” Personnel is not listed on this rarity; one could reasonably assume from the date of release that it features the Peter Green version of the Bluesbreakers, but rock reference books are in conflict as to whether Mick Fleetwood and/or Peter Green appear on the disc or not. (by Richie Unterberger)

So … listen to two masters of what we call “white Boy blues”

 

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John McVie + Peter Green with Paul Butterfield, 1966

 

Personnel:
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Peter Green (guitar)
John Mayall (voclas, harmonica)
John McVie (bass)
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Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)

 

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Backcover, autographed by John Mayall himself

 

Tracklist:
01. All My Life (Robinson) 4.22
02. Riding On The L. And N. (Burley/Hampton) 2.26
01. Little By Little (Wells/London) 2.43
04. Eagle Eye (Mayall) 2.49

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