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Issue 1088

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Review

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers: Live in 1967 – Volume Two (Forty Below Records)

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UK release date 06.05.2016

Following the huge critical and commercial success of 2015’s “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers: Live in 1967,” Forty Below Records releases the much awaited second volume of live material from the legendary short-lived Bluesbreakers line-up of John Mayall (vocals, keyboards, harmonica), Peter Green (lead guitar), John McVie (bass) and Mick Fleetwood (drums).

Volume Two showcases three Mayall-penned tracks; the opening song, all-time blues classic “Tears in My Eyes,” “Chicago Line,” featuring a John McVie bass solo and “Please Don’t Tell,”, a great example of the power-blues The Bluesbreakers were renowned for.

John Mayall sums up this great piece of blues history: “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. 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 American Serviceman Ronnie Jones, who was lead singer with a British soul band who would frequently sit in at our gigs.” Jones was a 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.

John Mayall adds: “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”.

This is an important addition to the archive documenting British blues history and further proof of Mayall’s standing and unique contribution to music history as a whole, and to the blues genre in particular. The instrumental “Greeny,” rams home why Mr Peter Greenbaum is one of the most revered and respected guitarists ever.

Before there was a Fleetwood Mac, this Bluesbreakers line-up of Mayall, McVie, Fleetwood and Green were together for just three months in 1967. In the Spring of ‘67, staunch fan from Holland, Tom Huissen, sneaked into five London clubs including Bromley, Marquee, Ram Jam and Klook’s Kleek with a one channel reel-to-reel recorder and captured an exciting glimpse into musical history.

For almost 50 years, the tapes remained unheard until John Mayall got hold of them and began the arduous task of restoration, with the technical assistance of record label owner Eric Corne.

Eric takes up the story: “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.”

If you are an audiophile and demand pristine quality sound, move on. If you are after raw blues and hidden treasure dug up from the depths of the blues treasure trove, then this is for you. Part One was great to hear, and Part two will also delight Mayall and Green fans alike.

Full track listing:
1. Tears in My Eyes
2. Your Funeral And My Trial
3. So Many Roads
4. Bye Bye Bird
5. Please Don’t Tell
6. Sweet Little Angel
7. Talk To Your Daughter
8. Bad Boy
9. Stormy Monday
10. Greeny
11. Ridin’ On The L&N
12. Chicago Line
13. Double Trouble

www.johnmayall.com
Words SIMON REDLEY

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