CD Review: John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers ~ Live In ‘67


John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
Live In 1967
Forty Below Records
Release 20th April 2015

This is an album that celebrates the late sixties and what was so great about the music being created and played in clubs across the land, here we have a bought to life rare, live recordings, never heard before of John Mayal, Peter Green. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. This quartet were only together for three months how was it these were recorded live, well a dedicated fan from Holland was able to sneak a one channel reel-to-reel tape recorder in and capture and preserve this moment of music history for us to hear on a compact disc early in the 21st Century.

When you put the sparkling CD into your player do not expect HD sound, but you do get a moment to share these precious and fleeting moments and can appreciate how impressive the performances were. This is a collection of songs, of which many are still popular today and covered by many bands from a collection of songwriters including Willie Dixon and John Mayall himself.

Opening with the MC of the evening introducing the band and straight into; All Our Love and the unmistakable voice of John Mayall is instantly recognized with some stylish keys and guitar work from Peter Green with a rhythm section that holds it all together, the timing and structure is effortless; doing justice to this great Otis Rush number as they do on Double Trouble.

The music is infectious despite the dodgy recording and muffled sound as to be expected on a smuggled in recorder but the atmosphere and the joy of playing blues that they loved so much and were giving the beat a British Vibe that has sustained the power of blues for the next fifty years and beyond.
The music slows and stretches out in a stylized Have You Ever Loved a Woman that is one hundred percent recognizable as the Bluesbreakers sound searing through the music and the rumble of talking gives this atmosphere and a live feel; like today there is never silence when the music is playing however good.

There is an up tempo dance feel you know the Mary Quant bobbed hair would have been shinning and swing to the keys and vocals on Hi Heel Sneakers, this track is redolent of the period of the swinging sixties.

One of the last two tracks on the album is San-Ho-Zay, which as an instrumental allows the listener to appreciate the collective of talent as every instrument blends and shapes the music so that sound comes through in layers of listening complexity; then ending the album against a noisy crowd is a slowed down version of Stormy Monday giving this oft cover track the place in history it deserves with the cascade of notes for the organ before the youthful John Mayall delivers the words we know so well.

This is an album that may lack production and recording finesse but is a little piece of British Blues posterity from the 1960’s we can all have on our shelves to enjoy the vibe of youthful enthusiasm and joy of playing music live.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

1. All Your Love (Rush)
2. Brand New Start (Mayall)
3. Double Trouble (Rush)
4. Streamline (Mayall)
5. Have You Ever Loved A Woman (Myles)
6. Looking Back (Watson)
7. So Many Roads (Marshall)
8. Hi Heel Sneakers (Higginbotham)
9. I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon)
10. The Stumble (King-Thompson)
11. Someday After Awhile (King-Thompson)
12. San-Ho-Zay (King-Thompson)
13. Stormy Monday (Walker)

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