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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, March 7, 2024

Forty Below Records artist: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - Live In 1967 Vol. 3 - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Live In 1967 Vol. 3. from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and it's terrific. Over the years I've embellished upon how much the British blues had on me personally and my personal taste in music. I's remarkable that these early tapes have come to light, featuring Green, Fleetwood, McVie and Mayall in their raw glory. It would have been a rare find when recorded and it's a real treat today. Opening with Brand New Start, Mayall on vocal, harmonica and organ is the leading force, with solid bottom by Fleetwood on drums,  and the driving bass line of McVie but of course it's Mayall's harmonica and vocal, punched into oblivion by the sensitive hands of Green that make these cuts so vital. Listen to Green just rip away on Tear In My Eyes, a slow blues justcrafted excellently for Green's phrasing and style. He doesn't waste a phrase, making every impulse count, framed by Fleetwood. Brilliant! There's no question that the fidelity on some of this old tape is marginal, without it, these excellent examples of this band's work, which is not very plentiful would be all but lost. On Your Funeral And My Trial, it's all Mayall with some of his best harmonica and vocal on the release. Freddie King's Stumble is of course a real standout for Green with one fiery riff after another. This band truly was amazing.  Wrapping the release is a strong cover of Otis Rush's Double Trouble, which translates to dark blues. Rush had an incredible ability to create more intensity per note than most any blues player in his time. Mayall not only had a nose for the best blues music happening anywhere in the world, but the ability to find and attract the best talent to join his quest, putting together the best functioning bands to spread the blues worldwide ... bar none, and to do over and again. Congratulations John on an excellent set and thanks to Forty Below for putting it together. 

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