Live In 1967 - Volume Two

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers

Forty Below, 2016

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


This is the follow-up release to Volume One, which was issued a little over a year ago. It may not be as strong overall as that first release, but it still does a very credible job in capturing one of John Mayall's classic lineups.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Not many albums begin with a fan, but back in 1967, a super-fan named Tom Huissen took his one channel tape recorder to a number of London clubs and recorded Mayal, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie, who would soon leave Mayall and form the original Fleetwood Mac. Over forty years later, Mayall obtained the tapes and two live albums were born.

The music was originally recorded on a one track recorder, so even with modern technology, the sound is only adequate. Green's guitar dominates the sound, with Mayall's harp a close second. The rhythm section of Fleetwood and McVie tends to fade into the background at times. Still, the talent of the band – and particularly Green – manages to shine through.

The eight-minute plus "So Many Roads" and the instrumental "Greeny" show why Peter Green is considered on the better guitarists of the last half century. Mayall cranks up his harp on Sonny Boy Williamson's "Your Funeral And My Trail." The seven-minute "Tears In My Eyes" is a slow blues ballad and remains one of Mayall's better original compositions. Meanwhile, “Stormy Monday” is a very interesting track which finds Ronnie Jones of Blues Incorporated sitting in and providing the vocal.

This incarnation of Mayall's Bluesbreakers quickly fell apart, which makes these never before issued tracks a historical treasure. Sound aside, this 70 minute set of music is what British blues was all about.

Rating: B+

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