John Mayall, born in 1993 in Macclesfield, England, is the father of the Bluesbreakers, the British band of the sixties which has had many of future white Blues kings among its members. Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Freddy Robinson, and so many other that even Mayall himself probably doesn't recall them all.
At a time when American labels were not so interested in Blues anymore, and were looking for new sounds in Soul music, the British played songs by Chicago Blues giants from the 1940-50s. Since then, Mister Mayall never stopped. He recorded around sixty albums, including several masterpieces, during his over 40-year career. His tempered voice, his midtempo playing on both keyboards and harmonica, Mayall creates subtle and evolving Blues ; while he stays close from his Chicago Blues roots, he uses new rhythms, and adds mandolin, banjo or congas into the mix.
"Blues for the Lost Days" is no exception ;
"Dead City" is a wild guitar and harp Blues ; "Stone Cold Deal" is a jazzy rhythm for organ and trumpets ; "All Those Heroes" features banjo and harp on a funky rhythm ; "Blues for the Lost Days" is worth some of Buddy Guy's best ; and "Trenches" has a British feel, and features mandolin on an almost African rhythm. This man is an artist who took over the Blues for himself. There are no "too muches" or "not enoughs" in his always accurate melodies ; close your eyes and listen to "How Can You Live Like That", enjoy the words, and let the Blues overwhelm you. Mr. Mayall's discography may be impressive, but picking a record by him is not really a problem, almost everything is excellent. Just pick one and don't hesitate to go back in time. -- Fred, translated from French