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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Forty Below Records artist: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - Live In 1967 - Volume Two - New Release Review

I just received the second installment from Forty Below of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Live in 1967 in it is spectacular! Like the earlier Volume 1 , this release (May 6, 2016) is the band made up of Mayall along with Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, the core of the later, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.
Opening with Mayall composition, Tears In My Eyes, these guys waste no time showing you why this release is important. It is hot, explosive and vital! Mayall's vocals are at his best and Green was disputably the best white blues player in the world. McVie laying down a solid bottom and Fleetwood handling the drums, Green literally scorches the stage with incredible riff and incredible riff. If there is anything wrong with this track, it's too short at over 7 and a half minutes. Excellent!! Sonny Boy Williamson track, Your Funeral and My Trial really hits the groove and Mayall is on it on vocal and harp. This is a great track with that Mayall magic! Classic, So Many Roads, fits so perfectly into this band's style that it's unbelievable. Clocking in at over 8 minutes, Green literally tears it up. Mayall leads the way on vocal and McVie and Fleetwood support strongly but Green is just unbelievable. Excellent! On Dixon/Williamson composition, Bye Bye Bird, Mayall is back up front on harp and shows why he is considered the father of modern blues. His harp playing is inspired and tight. Another original track, Please Don't Tell sets the early British rock sound made popular by the Yardbirds and Foghat. Super rocker. Sure, Green comes in a rips it up but it's the rocking groove that makes this track what it is. Next up is a super BB King track, Sweet Little Angel, and Mayall slides into a real nice vocal groove cushioned by his own keyboard work. Easy paced guitar work by Green is respectful of King's own style, thoughtful and expressive yet compelling. JB Lenoir's Talk To Your Daughter has a rockin' shuffle and balanced instrumentals throughout. Featuring the lead vocal of Mayall and fleet guitar work of Green, a cool track. Eddie Taylor's Bad Boy has a cool Chicago shuffle feel with highlights on harp responding to Mayall's vocals. Green bursts loose with a nice solo as does Mayall on electric keys. T-Bone Walkers well known classic, before it was broadly known, Stormy Monday, is an ideal track to feature Ronnie Jones on vocal as well as Green cutting in. Greeny is a Freddy King style shuffle instrumental with Green just laying it out there.... a 6 plus minute guitar jam with Mayall on keys. Very cool! Riding on the L&N is a great rocker a la Chuck Berry. Without getting too flashy, this track is a rocker! Mayall original, Chicago Line is up next and has classic Mayall sound. McVie takes a great bass solo on this track, an unusual feature and well done. Wrapping the release is Otis Rush's Double Trouble. Mayall is made to sing and play these slow blues tracks and there's no secret that Green knows how to blow them up. His phrasing and emotional output on guitar is spectacular, leading to his ultimate formation of his own band. Excellent show and one that you should definitely hear.

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