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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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Showing posts with label John McVie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John McVie. 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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Saturday, December 3, 2016

MDV Visual: Man Of The World: The Peter Green Story - DVD - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Man of the World: The Peter Green Story and it's riveting. Many blues fan have been listening to the original Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Peter Green for a long time and most have seen video clips of their performances but this release is seriously great! Rather than paste together more clips with music that may or may not be released, this film takes a totally new direction playing Peter Green's music in full fidelity between and behind excellent candid interviews with John Mayall, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Peter's brothers and many others. This film is focused and fresh, showing the band as it was ... up close and really personal questions regarding Green, his talent, his problems and how the band Fleetwood Mac got it's name. It's tormented yet sensitive. It's done in an organized fashion so that it's easy to follow but not oversimplified to be repetitive or slow. Last but not least, you get a personal tour by Green of his guitar collection. It's curious to see his wonder with each guitar as if they are new but then his recall of stories related to each. Another extra is the reading of a letter that Green wrote to his manager when he was in Hawaii, explaining his interest in remaining clear of money. Lastly, there are further discussion of his prec=vious bandmates which were left out of the film. I see a lot of film and this one is really top notch with necessary live footage showing the band in performance. I highly recommended this film for anyone with even remote interest in British blues and modern blues roots. Excellent!

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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Friday, April 10, 2015

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

I just received the newest release (April 21, 2015) from Forty Below Records, Live in 1967 by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and it's over the top! Secretly recorded on a one channel reel - to - reel recorder the audio is better than marginal but the musical quality more than makes up for it. This recording has never before been available publicly and records what is in my opinion the finest lineup of Mayall's Bluesbreakers ever... Mayall, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood... yes, that's right... the early beginnings of The Original Fleetwood Mac. Opening with Otis Rush's All Your Love, Green's famous tone is immediately noticeable. This early work by Mayall is credibly noted as the beginning of the acknowledgement by white audiences of blues music in it's newer rock format. This is a great track and finely executed. Brand New Start is a great boogie track with Mayall's vocal/harp leadership. This is a great jam with guitar, harp and keyboard solos. Excellent! Another Rush track, Double Trouble finds Green with his classic riffs. This is so good it hurts. If you love early British blues, this is exceptional. This is where it all comes from! Blues rocker Streamline has a great bass line from McVie and Green steps up with a nicely picked solo. Mayall rolls the organ for a cool solo as well giving the track a balanced feel. On a track made popular by Freddie King, Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Mayall lays out some of his best vocals on the release. As witnessed by many other later runs at this track including Derek and the Dominos (Clapton and Allman), this track is made for stetched out gut gripping guitar solo's and Green doesn't waste a note. This is terrific! Johnny Guitar Watson's Looking Back is a real rocker with Mayall leading the way and Fleetwood pushing hard. Green shows he's not all blues with some great guitar riffs here as well. Another Otis Rush track, So Many Roads, became somewhat of a Mayall classic and this live version only proliferates the legend. Mayall really knows how to squeeze the vocals on this track and Green's blues depth is rattling! Tommy Tucker's Hi Heel Sneakers again is a great track to keep the audience moving and create dynamics from the slower more emotional tracks. Mayall takes a nice organ solo on this track as well. Another Otis Rush track, the ultimate I Can't Quit You Baby (you don't need to look it up, Led Zep recorded it in 68 and released it in 69...this is 1967). Peter Green plays it square and the track retains a lot of Rush's original feel and tension. Listen to those riffs. Excellent! Up next is Freddie King's The Stumble which is always a standard for blues guitar players. Green does a super job of delivering the goods on this extended track and Fleetwood and McVie drive the bottom hard. Very cool! Another King track, Someday After Awhile slows the tempo back down and Mayall belts out the blues. OK, the fidelity isn't great but the expressiveness is unmistakeable. Green steps up again and blows your hair back with grinding guitar riffs that are razor sharp. Excellent! Another Freddie King track, San-Ho-Zay features Green up front and with a run time of over 8 minutes, this track gives Green the chance to explore blues riffs from every angle. Very nice. Wrapping the release is T-Bone Walker's Stormy Monday. One of my all time favorite blues tracks, having been raised on Duane Allman, Green does an excellent job of interpreting this incredible track to it's fullest. (Again before you ask, the Allman's Fillmore was recorded in '71). Mayall has put together an unbelievable set and this band is out of sight. A must have for anyone who loves blues guitar.


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - Live in 1967" CD Coming April 21 from Forty Below Records; Previously Unreleased Live Recordings Feature John Mayall, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Live in 1967 CD Coming April 21 from Forty Below Records

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

LOS ANGELES, CA – Forty Below Records announces an April 21 release date for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Live in 1967 (Never Before Heard Live Performances), a very special archival recording of one the best of the Bluesbreakers band lineups, featuring legendary musicians John Mayall (vocals, keyboards, harmonica), Peter Green (lead guitar), John McVie (bass) and Mick Fleetwood (drums). Distributed by Sony/RED, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Live in 1967 showcases a band that was together for only a scant three months, yet 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.

The genesis of Live in 1967 came about because a staunch fan from Holland, Tom Huissen, was able to sneak a one channel reel-to-reel tape recorder into five London clubs (including the famed Marquee) in early 1967 and capture this exciting glimpse into music history. For nearly 50 years these tapes remained unheard until John Mayall acquired them recently and began restoring them with the technical assistance of Eric Corne of Forty Below Records. “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,” says Corne.
“I'd known for a decade or two of the existence of these tapes and in fact Tom Huissen had sent me a CD with 50 second teasers for some of the tracks that he'd secretly recorded at our London shows,” recalls Mayall. “Last year, Tom decided he wanted the world to hear these performances and work soon began on restoring the already fine quality on the old reel-to-reel tapes.”

John Mayall has some fond memories about how this band came about. “Through most of 1966, Peter and John were both regular members of the Bluesbreakers and Aynsley Dunbar was the drummer,” states Mayall. “However, even though Aynsley was a great drummer, it was starting to become apparent that his jazz influenced style of playing was veering away from the blues. As I recall, Peter had been close friends with Mick Fleetwood for some time and he suggested I give him a shot. And so for a short period of only about three months Mick became a Bluesbreaker.”

The band’s repertoire on the tracks of Live in 1967 includes some songs that were originally recorded on The Bluesbreakers first two albums, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton and A Hard Road (which featured Peter Green), plus the soon-to-be recorded Crusade album, which featured young guitarist Mick Taylor after Peter Green left the band. Other songs on the new CD make their live debuts after having been recorded originally as singles in the UK and would later appear on Mayall’s Looking Back album. In addition, several of the songs on Live in 1967 make their first appearance in any form on a Bluesbreakers album.
Two long-time mainstay influences on John Mayall’s storied career – Freddy King and Otis Rush - are well represented here with live versions of songs long-associated with the two blues giants. “All Your Love,” “Double Trouble,” “So Many Roads” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby” come from the Otis Rush canon of blues classics; and Freddy King’s “The Stumble,” “San-Ho-Zay” and “Someday After Awhile,” are given resounding treatments here by the quartet playing with a sense of energy and urgency.
“Ever since Eric Clapton joined the band, we both had a great interest in the recorded work of Otis Rush and Freddy King and many of their classic songs became part of our live performing catalogue,” Mayall says about the two blues icons. “Their guitar work was always an inspiration for Eric, Peter Green and Mick Taylor in those early years.”

The music on John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Live in 1967 showcases a band that although only together for a short time, was incredibly tight and in-the-pocket while still allowing room for improvisation, none more so than Peter Green, whose guitar work on this CD will stand as some of his best-ever on record. All of Green’s guitar trademarks - the stop time signatures, his incredible sustain and a hair-raising powerful tone – are presented here in all their glory, highlighting a musician who was more than able to assume the mantle as the guitar player following in Eric Clapton’s well-trod footsteps as a member of one of blues music’s all-time aggregations, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Live in 1967 Track Listing
1)      All Your Love
2)      Brand New Start
3)      Double Trouble
4)      Streamline
5)      Have You Ever Loved a Woman
6)      Looking Back
7)      So Many Roads
8)      Hi Heel Sneakers
9)      I Can’t Quit You Baby
10)  The Stumble
11)  Someday After Awhile
12)  San-Ho-Zay
13)  Stormy Monday
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

An Eye for an Eye - JOHN MAYALL'S BLUESBREAKERS featuring Mick Taylor & John McVie

A six-piece lineup—consisting of Mayall, Mick Taylor as lead guitarist, John McVie still on bass, Hughie Flint or Hartley on drums, and Rip Kant and Chris Mercer on saxophones—recorded the album Crusade on 11 and 12 July 1967. These Bluesbreakers spent most of the year touring abroad, and Mayall taped the shows on a portable recorder. At the end of the tour, he had over sixty hours of tapes, which he edited into an album in two volumes: Diary of a Band, Vols. 1 & 2, released in February 1968. Meanwhile, a few lineup changes had occurred: McVie had departed and was replaced by Paul Williams, who himself soon quit to join Alan Price and was replaced by Keith Tillman; Dick Heckstall-Smith had taken the sax spot. Following a U.S. tour, there were more lineup changes, starting with the troublesome bass position. First Mayall replaced bassist Tillman with 15-year-old Andy Fraser. Within six weeks, though, Fraser left to join Free and was replaced by Tony Reeves, previously a member of the New Jazz Orchestra. Hartley was required to leave, and he was replaced by New Jazz Orchestra drummer Jon Hiseman (who had also played with the Graham Bond Organisation). Henry Lowther, who played violin and cornet, joined in February 1968. Two months later the Bluesbreakers recorded Bare Wires, co-produced by Mayall and Mike Vernon, which came up to #6. Hiseman, Reeves, and Heckstall-Smith then moved on to form Colosseum. The Mayall lineup retained Mick Taylor and added drummer Colin Allen (formerly of Zoot Money's Big Roll Band / Dantalian's Chariot, and Georgie Fame) and a young bassist named Stephen Thompson. In August 1968 the new quartet recorded Blues from Laurel Canyon. On 13 June 1969, after nearly two years with Mayall, Taylor left and officially joined the Rolling Stones.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!