As the elder statesman of British blues, it is John Mayall's lot to be more renowned as a bandleader and mentor than as a performer in his own right. Throughout the '60s, his band, the Bluesbreakers, acted as a finishing school for the leading British blues-rock musicians of the era. Guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor joined his band in a remarkable succession in the mid-'60s, honing their chops with Mayall before going on to join Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and the Rolling Stones, respectively. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser (of Free), John Almond, and Jon Mark also played and recorded with Mayall for varying lengths of times in the '60s.
The one unreleased item among Apple/EMI's exhaustive 2010 John Lennon reissue campaign was Double Fantasy Stripped Down, a revision of the original 1980 album supervised by Yoko Ono and producer Jack Douglas. The intent of this new mix is to give the recording a greater sense of intimacy, but Double Fantasy isn’t Let It Be: it doesn’t have a heavily bootlegged original early incarnation, it only exists in its final form; it’s not an album that was designed as a raw back-to-basics record, it was constructed as a slick studio affair…
2010, three CD collection from the Blues great housed in a tin box. John Lee Hooker left a legacy which chronicled the journey that Blues music travelled in his own lifetime, from its early, earthy origins to the international musical language it is today.
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers featured the best of the early 60s English rhythm and blues scene, including members of the Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Cream and more. This compilation of live tracks was recorded in the USA and Italy in the early 1980's, and features performances by John McVie (Fleetwood Mac) and Mick Taylor (The Rolling Stones) from the reformed Bluesbreakers tour of 1982. Over 70 minutes of the finest blues including a storming workout of "The Stumble".
For Stormbringer!, John and Beverley Martyn went to Woodstock, NY, and recorded with several local musicians, including session hands Paul Harris and Harvey Brooks, as well as the Band's Levon Helm. Very much in the mold of the electric Fairport Convention of this period, Stormbringer! sizzles with acoustic interplay and an almost jazzy feel. Highlights include "Woodstock" (not the Joni Mitchell tune) and the title track. ~ James Chrispell
Much more of a collaboration here than on their previous effort, John and Beverley Martyn continue on their way through the British folk-jazz of the '70s. Flowing with a subtle improvisation that incorporated a greater ethnic feeling, Road to Ruin makes for enjoyable listening indeed. Good singing and playing make this a great album to sit back and reflect upon.
Streets Of Heaven is the new solo album by John Illsley, a founding member of Dire Straits.
After about fifteen years' worth of derailments, the graying Bluesbreaker gets on track with a recording worth more than a single pained listen. Coco Montoya, who's sharper than many a better-known guitarist, gives vocalist Mayall the kick in the trousers he needs…