John Mayall – Three For The Road
Format: CD / Label: Forty Below Records
Releasedatum: 23 februari 2018
Tekst: Iain Patience
The veteran UK bluesman John Mayall is nothing if not a survivor. A guy who has weathered the changing nature, styles, fads and trials of the music scene for around sixty years, Mayall, now in his eighties, remains a powerful and purposeful totemic figure in the blues world. That this latest offering even saw the light of day is a tale in itself: recorded live in 2017, in Germany, with his current stripped-down outfit, the label successfully captured the raw power of Mayall in full live flow. And in almost every way, this has proved to be a positive bonus.
With ‘Three For The Road’, Mayall shows himself to be working pretty much at his best, never riding on his substantial back-catalogue or hard-earned laurels. If anything, this could well be one of Mayall’s finest releases. The man himself is supported by his current road crew, Greg Rabz on bass and Jay Davenport on drums, while he slips around effortlessly between keys, harp and vocals. It’s almost as if the years have slipped aside and Mayall is once again pushing the edges of solid sixties blues and R&B music to deliver something of a landmark recording.
Anyone who has caught Mayall live in recent years will be aware of his remarkable stage-energy and presence. Here, he is clearly enjoying himself, with his voice hanging in there flawlessly and the music itself weaving its magic almost osmotically. Mayall is a guy of legendary status who has always had an unerring knack of picking out and picking up musicians who often move on to truly great things, at times seemingly leaving Mayall himself in the shadow of their greatness: think Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, for starters.
It’s therefore a fitting tribute to the man that he still has the power to surprise at times with an album of this stature that simply works wonderfully at every level. This is not just veteran Mayall but vintage Mayall and more than a little bit of true blues treasure.
02. Big Town Playboy
03. I Feel So Bad
04. The Sum Of Something
06. Tears Came Rolling Down
07. Riding On The L&N
08. Don’t Deny Me
09. Lonely Feeling
10. Congo Square
Website: John Mayall