Three For The Road
Forty Below Records
This new album is John Mayall’s sixty-eighth and that doesn’t include re-issues. Mayall is the influential British bluesman who formed his band The Bluesbreakers in 1963. A great guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player, singer, songwriter and bandleader he is still going strong after more than fifty years. At the 2016 Blues Music Awards Mayall was inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame.
This album features Mayall in a trio format. Mayall explains “it came about accidentally when my guitarist wasn’t able to make a festival gig due to airline cancellations. Since then, I found that the interplay and dynamics have created a more personal upfront sound”. Performing as a trio for more than a year vocalist Mayall switches between harmonica and keyboards. The rhythm section is still Greg Rzab, bass; and Jay Davenport, drums. The album was recorded live in Germany in March, 2017.
Mayall reprises two of his own songs; “Streamline” and “Lonely Feelings”. Mayall is also a historian and the other seven songs are selected covers “from my extensive library of material composed by some of my favorite blues players.”
“Big Town Playboy” written by Eddie Taylor was the title track to his 1981 album featuring Jimmy Reed on guitar. “I Feel So Bad” is from Sam John “Lightnin’ Hopkins and a 1962 Imperial Records single. “The Sum of Something” written by Curtis Salgado originally appeared on Salgado’s 2004 album “Strong Suspicion”. “Congo Square” is from Sonny Landreth.
“Tears Came Rollin Down” written by the 2008 Grammy award winning Henry J. Townsend was first recorded by Mayall on his 1988 album “Chicago Line”. Lionel Hampton’s “Ridin’ On The L & N” was previously included on Mayall’s 1994 recording “Cross Country Blues”. “Don’t Deny Me” written by Jerry Lynn Williams also appears on Mayall’s last studio album 2016’s “Talk About That”.
What’s next on the horizon for Mayall. He states that on his next “recording I shall still be exploring the talents of guitar players who will be pretty well-known to all lovers of rock and roll”. Mayall may be referring to Joe Walsh of The Eagles who was a guest on “Talk About That”. Now that would be something to talk about.
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