John Mayall – Live At The BBC (2007)

FrontCover1On its own terms, most of this 14-track compilation of 1965-1967 recordings for BBC sessions (all but one of them dating from 1965-1967) is a worthwhile collection of supplementary work by John Mayall’s best Bluesbreakers lineups. If you’re a serious Mayall fan, however, be aware that you might have already bought this material in some form or another in the year or so previous to the release of this CD in early 2007. For the dozen 1965-1967 cuts all appear as bonus material on the 2006 U.K. expanded CD editions of the John Mayall Plays John Mayall, Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, and A Hard Road albums, all of which also include bonus tracks from non-LP singles, studio outtakes, and the like. If for some reason you do want to zero in on the BBC material exclusively, this has some decent live performances with both the Eric Clapton and Peter Green lineups of the Bluesbreakers. (The liner notes also admit it’s likely that the three tracks from October 25, 1965 feature not only Jack Bruce on bass during his brief Bluesbreakers stint, but also guitarist Jeff Kribit (sometimes spelled Geoff Krivit in other sources), who was in the group during a brief spell when Clapton left the band to go to Greece.)


The BBC takes here of songs that also appear on Mayall’s official ’60s releases aren’t as good as the studio versions (and are sometimes very similar), but are still well done, though on the five tracks on which Clapton appears, he doesn’t seem to be playing with as much fire as he was capable of mustering. Of special interest are a few songs that Mayall didn’t put on his official ’60s recordings in any form, including a cover of Willie Dixon and Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Bye Bye Bird” and (from the October 1965 session) two decent original Mayall compositions, “Cheating Woman” and “Nowhere to Turn.” Also note that while Mayall was leading the Peter Green version of the Bluesbreakers on the four songs from a January 23, 1967 session, it’s Mayall playing alone on one of these tracks, “No More Tears,” which would appear on his The Blues Alone LP. The two songs that end the CD are from an October 21, 1975 session, and are of far less interest than the other material, dating from a time where Mayall was a few years past his creative peak and leading a much less interesting band. (by Richie Unterberger)


Ronnie Barron (keyboards on 13. + 14.)
Jack Bruce (bass on 04., 05., 06.
Eric Clapton (guitar on 01., 02., 03., 07., 08.
Aynsley Dunbar (drums on 10., 11. + 12.)
Hughie Flint (drums on 01. – 12.)
Peter Green (guitar on 10., 11. + 12.)
Don “Sugarcane” Harris (violin on 13. + 14.)
Jeff Kirbit (guitar on 04., 05., 06
John Mayall (vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica)
Dee McKinnie (vocals on 13. + 14.)
John McVie (bass on 01., 02., 03., 07., 08., 10., 11.
Soko Richardson (drums on 13. + 14.)
Larry Taylor (bass on 13. + 14.)
Rick Vito (guitar on 13. + 14.)


01. Crawling Up A Hill (Mayall) 2.07
02. Crocodile Walk (Mayall)
03. Bye Bye Bird (Williamson/Dixon) 2.49
04. I´m Your Witchdoctor (Mayall) 2.11
05. Cheating Woman (Mayall) 2.03
06. Nowhere To Run (Mayall) 1.42
07. On Top Of The World (Mayall) 2.33
08. Key To Love (Mayall) 2.02
09. No More Tears (Mayall) 2.18
10. Riding On The L And N (Burley/Hampton) 2.19
11. Sitting In The Rain (Mayall) 2.53
12. Leaping Christine (Mayall) 1.55
13. So Much To Do (Mayall) 5.31
14. Taxman Blues (Mayall) 3.50



More from John Mayall:

John Mayall – A Hard Road (1967)

FrontCover1A Hard Road is the third album (and second studio album) recorded by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, released in 1967. It features Peter Green on lead guitar, John McVie on bass, Aynsley Dunbar on drums and John Almond on saxophone. Tracks 5, 7 and 13 feature the horn section of Alan Skidmore and Ray Warleigh. Peter Green sings lead vocals on “You Don’t Love Me” and “The Same Way”.

The album reached #8 on the UK album charts which is Mayall’s third biggest chart next to Bare Wires and Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton which reached #3 and #6, respectively.

The cover art and the original LP sleeve design are by Mayall. In 2003 and 2006 two different expanded versions of the album were released. (by wikipedia)

Eric Clapton is usually thought of as John Mayall’s most important right-hand man, but the case could also be made for his successor, Peter Green. The future Fleetwood Mac founder leaves a strong stamp on his only album with the Bluesbreakers, singing a few tracks and writing a couple, including the devastating instrumental “Supernatural.” JohnMayall01AGreen’s use of thick sustain on this track clearly pointed the way to his use of guitar riffs with elongated, slithery tones on Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross” and “Black Magic Woman,” as well as anticipating some aspects of Carlos Santana’s style. Mayall acquits himself fairly well on this mostly original set (with occasional guest horns), though some of the material is fairly mundane. Highlights include the uncharacteristically rambunctious “Leaping Christine” and the cover of Freddie King’s “Someday After a While (You’ll Be Sorry).” (by Richie Unterberger)

Recorded in October and November of the previous year, A Hard Road was released on the Decca label in February 1967. In addition to the leader on vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano, and organ, Green on guitar, John McVie (soon to contribute the third syllable to Fleetwood Mac) on bass, either Hughie Flint or Aynsley Dunbar on drums, this version of the Bluesbreakers also packed brass in its pocket. John Almond and Alan Skidmore added sax while Ray Warleigh contributed ‘wind instruments’.

A Hard Road is a solid sixties British blues album. Mayall’s vocals were never the slam-you-against-the-wall kind, but he truly sings with character. Eight of the fourteen tracks are Mayall originals with Green getting onto the scoreboard with two songs. Indeed, where this LP really flies is when Peter Green steps forward, as on the instrumental number “The Stumble” and his own “The Super-Natural”, two highlights. The latter piece Peter Green 1967is worth the price of admission alone. In fact the sustained opening note of “The Super-Natural” is worth the entry fee.

I like the echoing “Another kind of love” (another Mayall why-doesn’t-she-behave-properly-and-love-me-the-way-I-deserve song) where the saxes sing in the background and Green soars in the foreground. The sinewy R&B of “Leaping Christine” is foot-tappingly energetic and another highlight. And any blues album containing a cover of Elmore James “Dust my blues” is OK by me. This Bluesbreakers version really pops; fast, driving, committed to an absence of dust.

The cover painting, a wintery portrait of the band by John Mayall himself, fits perfectly with a bluesy English February; moody and downbeat.

This is British blues played with respect for the sources but keen to differentiate. On A Hard Road John Mayall and his band mostly succeed. Less than compulsive, perhaps, yet an entertaining listen. (Vinyl Connection)


Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Peter Green (guitar, vocals)
John Mayall (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards)
John McVie (bass)
John Almond (saxophone)
Hughie Flint (drums)
Alan Skidmore (saxophone)
Ray Warleigh (wind instruments)


01. A Hard Road (Mayall) 3.11
02. It’s Over (Mayall) 2.51
03. You Don’t Love Me (Cobbs) 2.51
04. The Stumble (King/Thompson) 2.54
05. Another Kinda Love (Mayall) 3.07
06. Hit The Highway (Mayall) 2.18
07. Leaping Christine (Mayall) 2.24
08. Dust My Blues (James) 2.51
09. There’s Always Work (Mayall) 1.38
10. The Same Way (Green) 2.12
11. The Supernatural (Green) 2.55
12. Top Of The Hill (Mayall) 2.41
13. Someday After Awhile (You’ll Be Sorry) (Mayall) 3.02
14. Living Alone (Mayall) 2.24



John Mayall – New Year, New Band, New Company (1975)

FrontCover1.JPGBy the start of the 1970s Mayall had relocated in the USA where he spent most of the next 15 years, recording with local musicians for various labels. In August 1971, Mayall produced a jazz-oriented session for bluesman Albert King[16] and a few months later took on tour the musicians present in the studio.

A live album Jazz Blues Fusion was released in the following year, with Mayall on harmonica, guitar and piano, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Clifford Solomon and Ernie Watts on saxophones, Larry Taylor on bass, Ron Selico on drums and Freddy Robinson on guitar. A few personnel changes are noted at the release of a similar album in 1973, the live Moving On. During the next decade Mayall continued shifting musicians and switching labels and released a score of albums. Tom Wilson, Don Nix and Allen Toussaint occasionally served as producers. At this stage of his career most of Mayall’s music was rather different from electric blues played by rock musicians, incorporating jazz, funk or pop elements and even adding female vocals. A notable exception is The Last of the British Blues (1978), a live album excused apparently by its title for the brief return to this type of music. (by wikipedia)


And here´s is one of this unsucessful albums of this decade.

But even such an unsucessful album ist a good album … featuring Rick Vito and Larry Taylor !

On the 1975 release New Year new Band New Company John Mayall turns a new leaf, from blues-rock to Southern hippie country funk-rock. He enlists Dee McKinnie for female co-lead vocals, which blend nicely with Mayall’s nasal tone for the wild in the woods effect. Also on board for the session is Don “Sugarcane” Harris, whose psych-funk fiddle fills out the mix nicely! (Lou Hinkhouse)


Don “Sugarcane” Harris (violin, vocals)
John Mayall (vocals, piano, guitar, harmonica, slide-guitar)
Dee McKinnie (vocals)
Soko Richardson (drums)
Jay Spell (piano, clavinet)
Larry Taylor (bass)
Rick Vito (guitar)


01. Sitting On The Outside 6.07
02. Can’t Get Home 4.09
03. Step In The Sun 3.17
04 To Match The Wind 4.36
05. Sweet Scorpio 3.21
06. Driving On 2.29
07. Taxman Blues 3.16
08. So Much To Do 6.30
09. My Train Time 4.48
10. Respectfully Yours 5.25

All songs written by John Mayall




More John Mayall:

More John Mayall.jpg

John Mayall – Plays Mayall (1965)

FrontCover1.jpgJohn Mayall Plays John Mayall is the debut album by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, released in 1965, Decca LK 4680. This album was recorded live at Klooks Kleek on 7 December 1964. Roger Dean stated in an interview that they ran cables out of the window of the club to the Decca Studio about 100 yards away for this recording. (by wikipedia)

John Mayall’s debut album, recorded live in December 1964, is a little unjustly overlooked, as it was recorded shortly before the first of the famous guitarists schooled in the Bluesbreakers (Eric Clapton) joined the band. With Roger Dean on guitar (and the rhythm section who’d play on the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton album, bassist John McVie and drummer Hughie Flint), it has more of a rock/R&B feel, rather like the early Rolling Stones, than the purer bluesier material Mayall would usually stick to in his subsequent recordings. The record doesn’t suffer for this, however, moving along quite powerfully, and — unusually for a British R&B/blues band of the time — featuring almost nothing but original material, all penned by Mayall. Nigel Stanger’s saxophone adds interesting touches to a few tracks, the songs are quite good, and while Dean’s guitar and Mayall’s vocals aren’t on the same level as the best instrumentalists and singers in the British blues-rock movement, they’re satisfactory.


[The 2006 U.K. expanded CD edition added five enjoyable cuts that round up everything else recorded by the pre-Eric Clapton version of the Bluesbreakers, including the 1964 single “Crawling Up a Hill”/”Mr. James”; the early 1965 single “Crocodile Walk”/”Blues City Shakedown”; and the February 1965 outtake “My Baby Is Sweeter,” which first showed up on the early-’70s British compilation Thru the Years. “Crawling Up a Hill” and “Crocodile Walk” also appear on the original John Mayall Plays John Mayall album in live performances, but the bonus track versions are entirely different studio recordings done for those non-LP singles, and are pretty good as well.] (by Richie Unterberger)

This album was the start of one of the finest British blues musicians ever … Mr. John Mayall !


Roger Dean (guitar)
Hughie Flint (drums)
John Mayall (vocals, harmonica, keyboards, guitar)
John McVie (bass)
Nigel Stanger (saxophone)


01. Crawling Up A Hill (Mayall) 2.30
02. I Wanna Teach You Everything (Mayall) 3.17
03. When I’m Gone (Robinson) 3.27
04. I Need Your Love (Walter Spriggs/Willie Spriggs) 4.20
05. The Hoot Owl (Mayall) 2.39
06. R&B Time (including Night Train) (Forrest/Simpkins/Washington) + Lucille (Collins/Penniman) 2.24
07. Crocodile Walk (Mayall) 2.45
08. What’s The Matter With You (Mayall) 2.45
09. Doreen (Mayall) 3.08
10. Runaway (Mayall) 2.43
11. Heartache (Mayall) 3.17
12. Chicago Line (Mayall) 4.43
13. Crawling Up A Hill (Single A side, May 1964) (Mayall) 2.18
14. Mr. James (Single B side, May 1964) (Mayall) 2.52
15. Crocodile Walk (Single A side, April 1965) (Mayall) 2.16
16. Blues City Shakedown (Single B side, April 1965) (Mayall) 2.25
17. My Baby Is Sweeter (originally released on compilation ” Thru the Years ” in October 1971.) (Dixon) 3.00




More John Mayall

More John Mayall

John Mayall – The Blues Alone (1967)

FrontCover1The Blues Alone is a 1967 electric blues album recorded by John Mayall on which he recorded all the parts himself, with the exception of percussion which was provided by longtime collaborator Keef Hartley.

The cover art and the original LP sleeve design are by John Mayall. Sleeve notes, including track notes, were written by noted DJ John Peel. The following quote is of interest regarding the album concept.

I was featuring his LP A Hard Road on the air and was amazed that, in addition to writing 8 of the 12 numbers on the record, playing 5 [sic] and 9 string guitar, organ, piano, harmonica and singing, he had written the sleeve notes and painted the portrait of the group on the front cover.
With this new LP, he has carried all of this to its logical conclusion and has produced a record featuring no other musician than himself except for the occasional aid of his drummer Keef Hartley.

“Down the Line” is a sparse lament featuring vocals over a cold-sounding slide guitar and piano accompaniment. “Sonny Boy Blow” is a harmonica-driven boogie tribute to the then-recently deceased Sonny Boy Williamson. “Marsha’s Mood” is a slow, deliberate and passionate piano solo constructed over a descending bass figure. “No More Tears” features rare examples of Mayall’s solo lead guitar playing. “Catch That Train” is a “train” harmonica solo over accelerating rhythms provided by a recorded steam locomotive beginning a journey. “Harp Man” is also an instrumental, adding celesta to the more traditional blues instruments of harmonica and bass. In the sleeve notes, John Peel commented: “There is no truth to the rumours that the Bluesbreakers will be using dulcimer, sackbut and psaltery. Let’s face it, guttural cries of “Let’s hear your sackbut, son!” can only lead to violence.” In fact the instrument had previously been used in jazz and piano boogie pieces by artists such as Meade Lux Lewis. “Brown Sugar” is another slide guitar piece, not related to the famous Rolling Stones track of the same name, although both songs use the expression to mean the same thing. The slow, tender track “Broken Wings”, accompanied by organ, elicited particular praise from Peel. (by wikipedia)


With a release coming only two months after Crusade, The Blues Alone, the first Mayall “solo” album (i.e. without The Bluesbreakers), was John Mayall’s third album of 1967, or fourth, if you count the various artists compilation Raw Blues. Like Raw Blues, it was released initially on Decca’s discount Ace of Clubs label to distinguish it from a regular Mayall album, although the distinction has been lost over time. It was actually recorded prior to Crusade on May 1, 1967. Mayall played and overdubbed all instruments except drums, which were handled by Bluesbreaker Keef Hartley, which was one way of dealing with his ongoing personnel difficulties (by this time, his bassist, John McVie, had left to join Fleetwood Mac). It also served notice that, despite his band being a spawning ground for several British stars by now, the real star of the group was its leader. But it didn’t quite prove that, since Mayall, while certainly competent on harmonica, keyboards, and guitars, doesn’t display the flair of an Eric Clapton or Peter Green, and the overdubbing, as is so often the case, robs the recording of any real sense of interplay. (The Blues Alone hit #24 in the U.K. and #128 in the U.S.) (by William Ruhlmann)

“Broken Wings” was later recorded by the great Atomic Rooster !

John Mayall (1967)

John Mayall (vocals, guitars, harmonica, keyboards, celeste (on 09.) (track 9), drums (on 01. + 05.)

Keef Hartley (drums)


01. Brand New Start 3.27
02. Please Don’t Tell 2.33
03. Down The Line 3.44
04. Sonny Boy Blow 3.50
05. Marsha’s Mood 3.15
06. No More Tears 3.12
07. Catch That Train 2.19
08. Cancelling Out 4.20
09. Harp Man 2.44
10. Brown Sugar 3.44
11. Broken Wings 1.59
12. Don’t Kick Me 3.11

All songs written by John Mayall




More John Mayall


John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Crusade (1967)

FrontCover1Crusade is the fourth album and third studio album by the British blues rock band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, released on 1 September 1967 on Decca Records. It was the follow-up to A Hard Road, also released in 1967. As with their two previous albums, Crusade was produced by Mike Vernon. The album was the first recordings of the then-18-year-old guitarist, Mick Taylor. (by wikipedia)

The final album of an (unintentional) trilogy, Crusade is most notable for the appearance of a very young, pre-Rolling Stones Mick Taylor on lead guitar. Taylor’s performance is indeed the highlight, just as Eric Clapton and Peter Green’s playing was on the previous album. The centerpiece of the album is a beautiful instrumental by Taylor titled “Snowy Wood,” which, while wholly original, seems to combine both Green and Clapton’s influence with great style and sensibility. The rest of the record, while very enjoyable, is standard blues-rock fare of the day, but somewhat behind the then-progressive flavor of 1967. Mayall, while being one of the great bandleaders of London, simply wasn’t really the frontman that the group needed so desperately, especially then. Nevertheless, Crusade is important listening for Mick Taylor aficionados,)


Keef Hartley (drums)
John Mayall – vocals, keyboards, harmonica, bottleneck guitar)
Mick Taylor (guitar)
John McVie (bass)
Rip Kant (saxophone)
Chris Mercer (saxophone)
Aynsley Dunbar (drums on 13. – 18.)
Mick Fleetwood (drums on 19. – 20.)
Peter Green (guitar on 13. – 18.)
Paul Schaeffer (bass on 22.)
Paul Williams (bass on 21.)

01. Oh, Pretty Woman (Williams) 3.35
02. Stand Back Baby (Mayall) 1.46
03. My Time After Awhile (Badger/Feinberg/Geddins) 5.10
04. Snowy Wood (Mayall/Taylor) 3.37
05. Man Of Stone (Kirkland) 2.26
06. Tears In My Eyes (Mayall) 4.17
07. Driving Sideways (King/Thompson) 3.59
08. The Death Of J. B. Lenoir (Mayall) 4.24
09. I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) 4.32
10. Streamline (Mayall) 3.15
11. Me And My Woman (Barge) 4.01
12. Checkin’ Up On My Baby (Williamson II) 3.59
13. Curly (Green) 3.25
14. Rubber Duck (Green/Dunbar) 3.47
15. Greeny (Green) 3.56
16. Missing You (Green) 1.59
17. Please Don’t Tell (Mayall) 2.28
18. Your Funeral And My Trial (Williamson II) 3-57
19. Double Trouble (Rush) 3-22
20. It Hurts Me Too (London) 2.56
21. Suspicions (Part One) (Mayall) 2.48
22. Suspicions (Part Two) (Mayall) 5.31




Mick Taylor

A very young Mick Taylor

Some content on this page was disabled on March 19, 2020 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Goran Heckler. You can learn more about the DMCA here:

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”



John McVie + Peter Green with Paul Butterfield, 1966


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



Backcover, autographed by John Mayall himself


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



John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Live in 1967 (2015)

FrontCover1The genesis of Live in 1967 came about because a staunch fan from Holland, Tom Huissen, was able to sneak a one channel reel to reel tape recorder into five London clubs (including the famed Marquee) in early 1967 and capture this exciting glimpse into music history.

For nearly 50 years these tapes remained unheard until John Mayall acquired them recently and began  restoring them with the technical assistance of Eric Corne of Forty Below Records. “While the source recording was very rough and the final result is certainly not hi-fidelity, it does succeed in allowing us to hear how spectacular these performances are,” says Corne.
“I’d known for a decade or two of the existence of these tapes and in fact Tom Huissen had sent me a CD with 50 second teasers for some of the tracks that he’d secretly recorded at our London shows,” recalls Mayall.“

Last year, Tom decided he wanted the world to hear these performances and work soon  began on restoring the already fine quality on the old reel-to-reel tapes.
”John Mayall has some fond memories about how this band came about. “ Through most Adof 1966, Peter and John were both regular members of the Bluesbreakers and Aynsley Dunbar was the drummer,” states Mayall. “
However, even though Aynsley was a great drummer, it was starting to become apparent that his jazz influenced style of playing was veering away from the blues. As I recall, Peter had been close friends with Mick Fleetwood for some time and he suggested I give
him a shot. And so for a short period of only about three months Mick became a  Bluesbreaker.”
The band’s repertoire on the tracks of Live in 1967 includes some songs that were originally recorded on The Bluesbreakers first two albums, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton and A Hard Road (which featuredPeter Green), plus the soon-to-be recorded Crusade album, which featured young guitarist Mick Taylor after Peter Green left the band. Other songs on the new CD make their live debuts afterhaving be en recorded originally as singles in the UK and would later appear on Mayall’s Looking Back album. In addition, several of the songs on Live in 1967 make their first appearance in any form on a Bluesbreakers album.

Two long -time mainstay influences on John Mayall’s storied career – Freddy King and Otis  Rush – are well represented here with live versions of songs long – associated with the two blues  giants. “All Your Love,” “Double Trouble,” “So Many Roads” and “I Can’t

Tom Huissen

The young Tom Huissen

Quit You Baby” come from the Otis Rush canon of blues classics; and Freddy King’s “The Stumble,” “San-Ho-Zay” and “Someday After Awhile,” are given resounding treatments here by the quartet playing with a sense of energyand urgency.

“Ever since Eric Clapton joined the band,we both had a great interest in the recorded work of Otis Rush and Freddy King and many of their classic songs became part of our live performing catalogue,” Mayall says about the two blues icons.“
Their guitar work was always an inspiration for Eric, Peter Green and Mick Taylor in those early years.” The music on John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Live in 1967 showcases a band that although only together for a short time, was incredibly tight and in- the -pocket while still allowing room for improvisation, none more so than Peter Green, whose guitar work on this CD will stand as some of his best-ever on record. All of Green’s guitar trademarks – the stop time signatures, his incredible sustain and a hair-raising powerful
tone – are presented here in all their glory, highlighting a musician who was more than able to assume the mantle as the guitar player following in Eric Clapton’s well-trod footsteps as a member of one of blues music’s all-time aggregations, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. (take from the press release)

Peter Green

Peter Green, 1967

Name the great guitarists of the British Invasion of the sixties, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Peter Green John McVie, Jimmy Page and so many more who went on to fame in such groups as Cream, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Canned Heat and Fleetwood Mac and they had their initial major exposure as members of or contributors to the famed John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Back when Reel to Reel was considered high end recording, a fan snuck in a one channel reel to reel tape recorder to tape John Mayall’s group over a period of five London club gigs. How John Mayall got his hands on this fan’s recording is a mystery to me, but I am grateful that he did. While in no way is this recording ‘high fidelity’ the audio puts you right in that smokey club atmosphere, the same atmosphere I spent my teen years every weekend at the Filmore East and other clubs in New York City. The recording was clearly cleaned up removing any white noise, hiss and other audio disparities, but retains the club ambience that makes this CD so invaluable to both music historians and those with an affinity for the blues. None of these recordings have been released anywhere else on either released CDs or bootlegs.
This specific recording features John Mayall, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood before they moved on to other groups. Trust me when I say this, this was before the blues was pasteurized by the heavy influence of pure rock and yet you can still hear what these blues influences would lead to. John Mayall had yet to become a household name in the U.S. and he is in fine voice when he is not blowing that unique harp sound that would eventually would become so well recognized. On other numbers included on this CD, Mayall’s organ fills in and elevates songs such as ‘Double Trouble’ and ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’ with the organ playing call and response against Peter Green’s soulful but powerful as all get out lead guitar.

John Mayall
At almost every blues jam I have ever attended or when listening to most any blues based cover band, the performing of ‘Stormy Monday’ can always be expected. If you want to really feel the down-home blues of this song as it was intended, the Bluesbreakers give it what it should always be given, terrific and heartfelt guitar leads, strong but basic rhythm provided by Mick Fleetwood and John McVie and vocals that reach out and grab you by the lapels.
Crowd ambience sneaks into these recordings simply adding to that smokey club feel I referred to previously. It doesn’t distract or take away, but puts you front and center for what must have been an enviable front seat at these club dates. With ‘Live in 1967’ you are transported back in time and have your very own front and center seat. A darn fine album. (by Steve Douglas)


Mick Fleetwood (drums)
Peter Green (guitar)
Jihn Mayall (vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica)
John McVie (bass)


01. All Your Love (Rush) 3.56
02. Brand New Start (Mayall) 4.51
03. Double Trouble (Rush) 6.33
04. Streamline (Mayall) 4.02
05. Have You Ever Loved a Woman (Myles) 8.16
06. Looking Back (Watson) 2.35
07. So Many Roads (Marshall) 5.53
08. Hi Heel Sneakers (Higginbotham) 6.49
09. I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) 4.28
10. The Stumble (King/Thompson) 6.48
11. Someday After Awhile (King/Thompson) 5.13
12. San-Ho-Zay (King/Thompson) 8.11
13. Stormy Monday (Walker) 8.54



Tom Huissen + John Mayall

Tom Huissen + John Mayall

Various Artists – Raw Blues (1967)

FrontCover1From this modest beginning Mike Vernon was eventually able to lure several ‘name’ Stateside blues men to ‘The Supreme Record Company’s’ then head offices on London’s Albert Embankment, for the purpose of inking a recording contract, and thereafter driving them to West Hampstead — Decca’s studio complex. Simultaneously, his was the influence which convinced some of Britain’s finest home-grown exponents of the genre to follow a similar course.

This package, aptly titled Raw Blues, was assembled by Mike and issued on Decca’s subsidiary ‘Ace Of Clubs’ label in January 1967 (ACL (Mono)/SCL (Stereo) 1220). An intriguing collection of artifacts, its wetter of big name participants may now be appreciated through the sophisticated medium of sound which is a compact disc. The technology may be smoother these days, but the blues remain as raw as ever…

A few details about the contents and its protagonists wouldn’t go amiss: Bom Jackson, Mississippi, on 21 st March 1930, Otis Spann shared his parents affections with two brothers and two sisters. Product of a musically inclined family, his father Frank Euston Spann played piano and mother Josephine was formerly a guitarist with Memphis Minnie, a top vocalist who knew a good picker when she heard one, having married another Jackson six-string resident, Joe McCoy (Kansas Joe). Mot surprisingly, Otis took to music like a duck to water, adopting piano as his chosen Instrument Largely self-taught, in later life he always acknowledged the influence Big Maceo Merriweather had upon his style. Gaining confidence as a result of forming a small band with some other local juveniles, when he heard about a neighbourhood talent competition happening at the Alamo Theatre he entered and won — as a singer — performing Coot Davis’ Four O’clock Blues.

CurtisJonesCurtis Jones

With the passing years he pursued medical studies at Jackson’s Campbell College in the hope of becoming a doctor. When not buried in textbooks, he displayed a sporting prowess at boxing and football, briefly even turning professional at the latter. Between 1946 and ’51 the U.S. Army called upon his time, but after discharge he relinquished all thoughts of any other occupation than music and moved to Chicago. The rest of the family had domiciled themselves there two years earlier, when mother died. Swiftly contacted by Muddy Waters, Otis joined the great guitarist/vocalist and stayed with his outfit for many years thereafter, although between 1952 and the time of this recording he’d also supplied studio accompaniment for such legends as Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley and Lowell Fulson.

Visiting Britain in May 1964 for a tour, our subject recorded an acclaimed Decca LP: The Blues Of Otis Spann (LK 4615). Included here are the four additional cuts from that London session of May 4th: Pretty Girls Everywhere (a), My Home In The Desert and the McKinley Morganfield (alias Muddy Waters) duo Country Boy and You’re Gonna Need My Help. Personnel: Otis Spann (Vocal, Piano); ‘Brother’ (Guitar); Ransom K nowli ng (Bass); Little Willie Smith (Drums); add Eric Clapton (Gtr.) on (a) only. Further south in New Orleans, seaport metropolis of Louisiana, on Independence Day 1910, was bom William Thomas ‘Champion Jack’ Dupree. His father was French, while mother was a descendant of the Cherokee Indian tribe.

Tragically, both were killed when the family home burnt down during his seventh year. After spending the next seven cooped up in an institution he ran away, but not before he’d mastered the basics of singing and playing piano. Thereafter he maintained his existence by thumping the untuned pianos of seedy dubs and houses of ill-repute, acquiring the technique known as’ Barrelhouse’ playing thanks to prominent exponent of the art Willie Hall, otherwise billed as Drive ’em Down.

ChampionJackDupreeChampion Jack Dupree

The Depression found our subject attempting to make ends meet by taking up boxing—whence ‘Champion Jack’ — but by the mid-Thirties he’d joined forces with Cotton Club keyboarder Leroy Carr. Upon the tatter’s early death Jack was offered the unfortunate vacancy, which he accepted. In 1940 the Okeh label added him to their roster; it was the first of a multitude of labels great and small to do so over the next thirty years, including King — where he notched a big hit on the R ‘ n’ B charts, Walkingthe Blues, in 1955-and Atlantic.

As blues music gained European popularity through the Fifties, many big names were lured from America to tour and occasionally record as a bonus. Big Bill Broonzy was instrumental in persuading Dupree to take the plunge, and he liked it so much that by 1960 he’d married an English giri half his age and settled in Zurich, Switzerland.  From here he was able to commute around Europe, finding appreciative audiences for his set which at that time still included some dance routines — early in his career he’d worked in vaudeville performing the tap variety.

By 1965 he was living in and working out of Denmark’s capital, and the following February Mike Vernon signed him to a three album deal for Decca. The first of these, From New Orleans To Chicago (LK 4747), hit the shops in April, and included here are the two tracks from those sessions which were omitted through lack of space: Calcutta Blues (a) and the Eddie Boyd penned 24 Hours. Backed by an all-star British group, Now deservedly billed as ‘The Father Of British Blues’, John Mayall is rightly predominant on this collection. As one of the handful of pioneers responsible for popularizing the style in the U.K., his contribution cannot be overstated.

The Bluesbreakers became a veritable ‘nursery’ for so many future stars in their formative years, and amongst the home grown contingent on display here are some of the finest. Of his two solo billings, the impassioned Burn Out Your Blind Eyes and Milkman Strut, this second title prevailed, according to Vernon’s original album sleeve note, when the daily delivery to the studios saw the dairy employee wander in midway through a ‘take’, deposit his crate, and nonchalantly walk out slamming the door behind him…

OtisSpannOtis Spann

Of John’s pairing with organist Steve Anglo, it may now be revealed that for Anglo read Winwood. Owing to contractual obligations elsewhere he could not appear under his true identity when the album was published. Rhythm section duties on Long Night belonged to then Bluesbreakers’ members John McVie (Bass) and drummer Aynsley Dunbar.

The Mayall and Clapton liaisons here, John’s Lonely Years and Eric’s instrumental Bernard Jenkins, were cut at Mike’s instigation and originally issued as a back-to-back limited edition 45 on his own Purdah label. Dating from the period between the players’ joint collaborations under contract to firstly Andrew Oldhams Immediate company and then Decca, (Bluesbreakers era), both were committed through a single microphone in the middle of the capital’s Wessex Studios in Soho, hence the unusual sound.

At the time of its taping, Peter Green had recently been recruited to the Mayall ranks as Eric’s axe wielding replacement. On his own composition, Evil Woman Blues, he displayed a mature prowess at both playing and singing despite his relative lack of experience. In time, of course, he formed Fleetwood Mac, but that’s another story… Legendary purveyors of the blues from both sides of the Atlantic are gathered together in this one historical little collocation. We all owe grateful thanks to Mike Vernon for making it possible. Why wait? Just play on… (by John Tracy)

What a line-up !!!

Eric ClaptonEric Clapton, 1966

Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Jack Fallon (bass)
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Champion Jack Dupree (piano, vocals)
Peter Green (guitar, vocals)
Keef Hartley (drums)
Curtis Jones (piano, vocals)
Ransom Knowling -(bass)
Alexis Korner (guitar)
John Mayall (guitar, harmonica, piano, vocals)
John Mcvie (bass)
Malcolm Pool (bass)
Little Willie Smith (drums)
Otis Spann (piano, vocals)
Eddie Taylor (drums)
Steve “Anglo” Winwood (organ)


01. Otis Spann: Pretty Girls Everywhere (Church/Williams) 2.57
02. John Mayall: Burn Out Your Blind Eyes (Mayall) 3.00
03. Champion Jack Dupree: Calcutta Blues (Unknown) 4.00
04. John Mayall & Steve Anglo: Long Night (Mayall,/Anglo) 2.04
05. Otis Spann: Country Boy (Morganfiled) 3.34
06. Curtis Jones: You Got Good Business (Jones) 3.23
07. John Mayall & Eric Clapton: Lonely Years (Mayall) 3.21
08. Peter Green & John Mayall: Evil Woman Blues (Green) 4.04
09. Otis Spann: My Home In The Desert (Unknown) 4.20
10. John Mayall: Milkman Strut (Mayall) 2.26
11. Champion Jack Dupree: 24 Hours (Boyd) 4.07
12. Curtis Jones: Roll Me Over (Jones) 2.38
13. John Mayall & Eric Clapton: Bernard Jenkins (Clapton) 3.50
14. Otis Spann: You Gonna Need My Help (Morganfield) 3.25


John Mayall – A Special Life (2014)

FrontCover1John Mayall has been doing this blues thing now for over five decades (he released his first single in 1964), exploring the form in all of its incarnations, from gutbucket country blues to the more urbane jazz side of things, and amazingly, he’s always sounded pretty much like John Mayall, a blues everyman who has always surrounded himself with the best bands and players, a big part of the reason he is still a successful touring act in his eighties. Mayall’s put out 60 some albums since 1964, and while he’s slowed down a bit in recent years, he’s still good for a new album or live set every couple of years or so. A Special Life, recorded in November 2013 at Entourage Studios in North Hollywood, features Mayall’s current band — guitarist Rocky Athas, bassist Greg Rzab and drummer Jay Davenport — with singer and accordion player C.J. Chenier sitting in on a couple of tracks. It’s a typical Mayall album, featuring a couple of classic blues covers (including Albert King’s “Floodin’ in California” here) and several Mayall originals (most of which unfortunately fall lyrically into the generic), all punctuated by piercing harmonica runs and solid ensemble playing.

JohnMayallLive2014The opener, a cover of Clifton Chenier’s “Why Did You Go Last Night,” is one of the highlights, a Jimmy Reed-like shuffle given warmth, poignancy, and depth by Clifton’s son C.J.’s accordion swells. Although it is built on a fairly generic blues progression in D, Mayall’s own “World Gone Crazy” stands out because of its subject matter, which pretty much puts the responsibility for war at the feet of religions, most of which are rigidly intolerant of other religions. It’s certainly not one’s run of the mill blues theme. This is what Mayall does. He plays blues right down the middle of the road, never straying too far from the classic Chicago blues model, but he adds embellishments now and then, and when they work, he gently bumps the blues into an interesting side alley. (by Steve Leggett)


Rocky Athas (guitar)
Jay Davenport (drums)
John Mayall (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, clavinet)
Greg Rzab (bass, percussion)
C.J. Chenier (accordion on 01., vocals on 01. + 08.)


01. Why Did You Go Last Night (Chenier) 4.54
02. Speak Of The Devil (Landreth) 3.26
03. That’s All Right (Lane) 3.19
04. World Gone Crazy (Mayall) 4.15
05. Floodin’ In California (King) 4.37
06. Big Town Playboy (Taylor) 4.19
07. A Special Life (Mayall) 4.10
08. I Just Got to Know (McCracklin) 4.08
09. Heartache (Mayall) 4.48
10. Like a Fool (Rzab) 4.03
11. Just A Memory (Mayall) 6.39