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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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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Forty Below Records artist: John Mayall - The Sun Is Shining Down - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Sun Is Shining Down, from one of the fathers of modern blues, John Mayall and it's quite good. Opening with Hungry and Ready, Mayall on harmonica and lead vocals, Melvin Taylor on lead guitar, Greg Rzab on bass, Jay Davenport on drums and Carolyn Wonderland on rhythm and with Ron Dziubla on sax, Mark Pender on trumpet, Richard Rosenberg on trombone providing a power horn sound. Dynamic opener. Markus King really hits hard on Can't Take No More with slashing guitar riffs over the tight rhythm by Davenport. With it's driving bass line by Rzab, Chills and Thrills, Mayall plays a nicely phrase piano solo and adds B3 warmth and Mike Campbell lays down a strong guitar lead. Very nice. Slower blues, A Quitter Never Wins showcases Mayall on lead vocal nicely, floating on his own key backing and intuitive harmonica punctuation. One of my favorites on the release is Driving Wheel again featuring Melvin Taylor on lead guitar. With a full horn backing and Mayall's solid vocals, this is another strong contender for top track on the release. Wrapping the release is title track, The Sun Is Shining Down with it's swampy rhythm and featuring Wonderland on lead guitar. This is a cool track that really simmers. Excellent closer. 

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