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Showing posts with label John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Show all posts

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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Friday, July 8, 2016

Forty Below Records Releases Today a Special 2-LP Gatefold Vinyl Version of "John Mayall's Bluesbreakers Live in 1967 - Volume Two"

Forty Below Records Releases Today a Special 2-LP Gatefold Vinyl Version of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers Live in 1967 – Volume Two

Second Edition of Previously Unreleased Live Recordings Feature John Mayall, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood

LOS ANGELES, CA – Forty Below Records today (July 8) released  a special 2-LP gatefold vinyl version of the second set of previously unavailable live recordings from newly-elected Blues Hall of Fame inductee John Mayall and his classic 1967 Bluesbreakers band, titled John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers– Live in 1967- Volume Two. The new two-LP set, which follows the May 6 release of the set on CD,  continues the archival blues path blazed in Volume One that captures heralded performances of one of the best of the Bluesbreakers band lineups, featuring iconic musicians John Mayall (vocals, keyboards, harmonica), Peter Green (lead guitar), John McVie (bass) and Mick Fleetwood (drums). (“A welcome second helping” – Rolling Stone; “Essential listening” – Blues Music Magazine; “Raw, uncontested power blues.” – Elmore).

Distributed by Sony/RED, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Live in 1967 – Volume Two showcases a legendary group of players who while only together a short three months, created a lasting legacy, made an immense impact on music and led to the formation of one of the most acclaimed groups of all-time when Green, McVie and Fleetwood left to form Fleetwood Mac. Produced by John Mayall (who also did the cover package photography, artwork and design) and Forty Below’s Eric Corne from one channel reel-to-reel original tapes recorded by Tom Huissen, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers– Live in 1967- Volume Two contains performances recorded in the Spring of 1967 at such well-known London venues as Bromley, The Marquee Club, The Ram Jam Club and Klook’s Kleek. 

“I am so happy that the remaining usable tracks from these London club dates have been released as a follow-up to the well-received Volume One,” says John Mayall about the new album. “Peter Green as before is on fire throughout and this set includes a great instrumental based on his composition, ‘Greeny.’ There are a couple of Otis Rush tracks that were included on the first volume, but they are from different venues and totally different.  I couldn’t possibly let these slide.  Also, there is another version of T-Bone Walker’s 'Stormy Monday’ that is sung by Ronnie Jones, who would frequently sit in at our gigs. John McVie gets in a great bass solo on ‘Chicago Line’ and Mick Fleetwood drives the whole set with his unique and powerful drumming. With these new tracks added to the collection, it pretty much features all the material we had in our repertoire at that time and I’m very glad that you can now enjoy this great piece of rock/blues history.”

Volume Two showcases three John Mayall originals including the opening track, all-time blues classic “Tears in My Eyes;” “Chicago Line;” and “Please Don’t Tell,” a great example of the power blues sound The Bluesbreakers were revered for around the world. These historical performances were captured for all time and largely unheard for almost fifty years until John Mayall recently obtained the tapes and began restoring them with the technical assistance of Eric Corne. Speaking about the tapes, Corne says, “While the source recording was very rough and the final result is certainly not hi-fidelity, it does succeed in allowing us to hear how spectacular these performances are.”

The Bluesbreakers live sets at the time of these performances included songs that had originally appeared on the first two band studio recordings with Eric Clapton and Peter Green, respectively, holding down the guitar chair in the group, as well as some that would soon be recorded for the third LP, Crusade, by which time Green, McVie and Fleetwood had left to start Fleetwood Mac and the new guitar player was a young, then-unknown Mick Taylor, who would later go on to further fame and glory as a member of The Rolling Stones.

Of the new album’s 13 tracks, three are songs that first appeared on Volume One, although these new tracks included here were recorded on different nights and ably demonstrate how improvisational the band could be infusing a different feel and tone from night-to-night. Of particular interest is the inclusion of the version of “Stormy Monday,” which features special guest vocalist Ronnie Jones, a former American serviceman and original member of  the first incarnation of Blues Incorporated, a contemporary band to the Bluesbreakers, which included Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker during its lifetime. Another highlight is the Peter Green instrumental, “Greeny,” which perfectly states the case for why he is still revered as one of the best-ever guitarists. 

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers– Live in 1967- Volume Two – Track Listing

Side A
1     TEARS IN MY EYES                                                    7:31
                Mayall/Warner/Chappell Music Ltd (PRS)
2     YOUR FUNERAL AND MY TRIAL                          5:32
                Williamson/Arc Music (BMI)
3     SO MANY ROADS                                                     8:18
           Marshall/Arc Music (BMI)

Side B
4     BYE BYE BIRD                                                                              5:02
                Dixon-Williamson/Arc Music-Hoochie Coochie Music (BMI)
5     PLEASE DON’T TELL                                  4:08
                Mayall/Carlin Music (PRS)
6     SWEET LITTLE ANGEL                                              6:10
                King-Taub/Universal Music (BMI)
7     TALK TO YOUR DAUGHTER                   3:00
                Lenoir-Atkins/BMG Platinum Songs obo Arc Music (BMI)

Side C
8     BAD BOY                                                                      5:08
                Taylor/Conrad Music (BMI)
9     STORMY MONDAY                                                  8:21
                Walker/Gregmark Music-Lord & Walker (BMI)
10   GREENY                                                                        6:36
                Green/Unichappell Music (BMI)

Side D
11    RIDIN’ ON THE L&N                                                                2:22
                Hampton-Burley/Trio Music (BMI)
12    CHICAGO LINE                                                          4:34
                Mayall/ Carlin Music (PRS)
13   DOUBLE TROUBLE                                                    6:35
            Rush/Conrad Music (BMI)

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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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