CD Review: John Mayall ~ Find A Way To Care

Find A Way To Care CoverJohn Mayall
Find A Way To Care
Forty Below Records

 

This is the second album on Forty Below Records and Eric Corne producing a studio album that sparkles with polished keyboard chords that hum along with the harp and the octogenarian’s vocals that deliver blues that curls around and embraces the lyrics. The album is a celebration John Mayall’s talent no wonder known as the Godfather of British Blues. The reality is he is still creating music and the album is not looking backwards it is curving a pathway that is relevant and cascades like liquid musical sparkles from the speakers.  Every track has its own niche within the play list, Find a Way to Care is the perfect platform to achieve Eric Corne’s aim of John’s prowess on the keyboard to be recognized as we hear his fingers caress the black  & whites on B-3 Wurlitzer, piano and clavinet then on top harmonica that sings and guitar strings that sting. His longstanding band provides a glorious platform as they lay down the musical foundation, guitarist Rocky Athas, Greg Rzab on bass and drummer Jay Davenport. The opening track, a relaxed shuffle on the ear, Mother In Law blues gets you in the mood.  As the album progresses the music mixes up tempo and I Fell So Bad has the delicious addition of horns, the trumpet is crisp and saxophone glorious as a punctuation to the vocals and the tone is perfect letting the piano march through the melody line there is a real insistence and drive to this number.  The Boogie Woogie is muted and the delivery foot tapping good on Muddy Water’s Long Distance Call with a feel of a jam as the improvisation grows and flows around the arrangement. If you want to find a deep groove to rock and roll to then this rendition of Lee Baker Jr’s I Want All My Money back is where the band hits the mark as the guitar just soars. Following this cover is Ropes and Chains co-written with  Greg Rzab, we hear the bass played like a lead guitar and Clavinet as the focus of the melody this is Chicago funked-up. The final track like an encore at a stage show we have Drifting Blues, John Mayall’s vocals’ and piano creating a lyrical journey that creates the blues in a bar.  With the emphasis on keyboards it is not surprising to see nestled in the bonus tracks Matt Schofield’s War We Wage from his acclaimed Heads Tails & Aces album; Mayall’s interpretation includes a glorious solo from Rocky’s guitar. The closing with Crazy Lady  piano combined with vocals  stirring up the temperature and evocative of Professor Longhair and the New Orleans sound.

Yes, John Mayall’s voice is showing signs of wear and tear especially on the slower numbers but still full of vocal bite and he can shout and sing with confidence and this is an album that mixes covers and originals and may not break new ground but is one for fans and lovers of keyboard driven blues and John Mayall gaining recognition for his skills on the keys; is this another change of direction that has been the constant in his long career exploring the power of the blues?

 

 

Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Mother In Law Blues
  2. The River’s Invitation
  3. Ain’t No Guarantees
  4. I Feel So Bad
  5. Find A Way To Care
  6. Long Distance Call
  7. I want All My Money Back
  8. Ropes and Chains
  9. Long Summer Days
  10. Drifting Blues

Bonus Tracks

  1. War We Wage
  2. Crazy Lady

 

Leave a Comment