John Mayall - John Mayall Plays John Mayall (1965)

John Mayall is a British blues singer and multi-instrumentalist, who was a major figure in the 60s British blues scene.

A young John Mayall began playing blues in the late 50s, and was among the first Brits to adopt the American musical form as their own. Under the persuasion of British blues' authority Alexis Korner, he took up music full time and moved to London. Korner helped Mayall find gigs, and introduced him to other similarly-minded musicians. Mayall formed his own group, the Bluesbreakers, and began playing at the Marquee Club in 1963. They recorded a couple of non-charting singles on the Decca label, but it wasn't until 1965 that Mayall's first LP came out. It was a live album, recorded in late '64 at Klook's Kleek. By this time American R&B had been brought to the British pop market by bands including The Rolling Stones, The Animals and The Yardbirds.
The line-up of the Bluesbreakers that appears on John Mayall Plays John Mayall consists of Mayall himself (vocals/harmonica/organ), Roger Dean (guitar), Nigel Stanger (sax), John McVie (bass) and Hughie Flint (drums) - this is the only release featuring this early line-up. It's some seriously raw, energetic blues - you can really sense the intimate club atmosphere. Compared to what the afore-mentioned R&B-based bands were doing, the Bluesbreakers' blues were much closer to the true roots of the genre. As a result it was never going to be as commerically successful. But this album is an essential and overlooked document of the true early 60s blues scene in Britain, even if it was released a year or two too late.

|> Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton (1966)
More from John Mayall


No comments: