(4 / 5)
We have Mayall. The undisputed Godfather of British blues releases a brand new studo album, at 83-years-old but with the energy of a guy 30 years younger, and with special guest Joe Walsh popping in to lend a hand on two cuts. Jolly fine it all is too.
For Joe it is an ambition fulfiulled: “It has been a bucket-list item since 1970 to play with John Mayall. Finally got the chance – and he was the complete gentleman and fine, fine musician I had always hoped he would be. When you meet a hero who helped shape your career, it’s a wonderful feeling to find they’re even cooler than you thought they were”.
Yeah, having met and interviewed/photographed John, I can confirm he is a cool dude. A humble, nice guy and still as passionate about the blues today as he was when he started back in the late 1950s.
John will be over here from his long-time California home, for some trio shows at London’s famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th & Thursday 6th April 2017.
‘The Devil Must Be Laughing’ and ‘Cards On The Table’ showcase Mr Walsh’ fabulous guitar work and are highlights on this new album. But there’s more. Mr Mayal did not need a VIP to bolster up the offering. No Siree Bob! It’s a lovely piece of work without the Eagle nipping in, but it’s a lovely bonus.
Produced by John Mayall and Forty Below Records’ president Eric Corne (who also engineered and mixed). ‘Talk About That’ was recorded at House Of Blues Studio in Encino, California, and contains 11 tracks: eight originals, plus covers from Memphis soul music songwriter Bettye Crutcher (‘It’s Hard Going Up’), blues great Jimmy Rogers (‘Goin’ Away Baby’) and rock singer/songwriter Jerry Lynn Williams (‘Don’t Deny Me’). John plays keyboards, guitar and harmonica, apart from his lead vocal duties.
The album also boasts a sizzling three-piece horn section that adds extra punch on several tracks, including the infectious New Orleans-flavoured and wonderful ‘Gimme Some Of That Gumbo’.
John and Joe are joined by Rocky Athas on guitars (who has now left John’s band), Greg Rzab on bass and Jay Davenport on drums. It is his first album since 2015’s acclaimed “Find A Way To care.” John has also recently released two volumes of the Bluesbreakers live in 1967 albums.
By Simon Redley
(1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’