British Blues Talk About That
With John Mayall
The latest release from the Godfather of British Blues, John Mayall who isn’t returning to the Blues like others, he hasn’t ever left. Building his career with critically acclaimed albums among them the 1966 album known as The Beano (Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton). Talk About That a new studio album is a wonderful way to kick start the blues in 2017.
The album follows the tried and tested format of recent Forty Below Records projects, co-produced by Mayall with engineer Eric Corne, with a mix of eight originals and three covers.
Opening the album with the title track assailed by the glories of the deep blues bass of Greg Rzab and then the distinctive vocals of John Mayall and his keys. Mayall, on Talk About That, captures the spirit, tone and musical atmosphere of a time that will never be re-visited. Two tracks in, and we have Joe Walsh’s guitar joining John in The Devil Must Be laughing and Cards On The Table. The Devil Must Be Laughing with contemporary lyrics fitting neatly into the Mayall blues melody and Walsh’s slide adding a pithy tonal layer to Cards On The Table.
We take a trip to New Orleans with Gimme Some Gumbo, an upbeat horn-drenched number. The three-piece section certainly adds a hot energy to the track combined with percussive stinging piano as we join John on a stroll down Bourbon Street, Memphis. Earlier on we have the first cover introducing us to Memphis soul with Bettye Crutcher’s It’s Hard Going Up where the horns add a piercing infectious tone.
John Athas on guitar adds that extra power and he will be missed as he leaves to follow a solo career. Once again John Mayall’s band is being re-shaped. Now he will perform as a trio with drummer Jay Davenport and bassist Greg Rzab. The sixties flow is captured in Blue Midnight, with its jazz-infused blues with a deftness of touch as a happy home is broken up. Closing with You Never Know, the keys take the lead with the drums gently brushed and like the song says we Never Know what our life will be. One thing you do know John Mayall’s music still captivates.
Younger people try to recapture the essence of the sixties, but you have had to have been there, played and experienced the times to produce the heady and beguiling mix of timing, orchestration a production style that was distilled into the sound of the swinging sixties.
John Mayall, on Talk About That is the real deal; British Blues with its own warmth tempo and approach.
John Mayall – Talk About That – Forty Below Records
EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Talk About That
- It’s Hard Going Up
- The Devil Must Be Laughing
- Gimme Some Of The Gumbo
- Goin’ Away Baby
- Cards On The Table
- I didn’t Mean To Hurt You
- Don’t Deny Me
- Blue Midnight
- Across The County Line
- You Never Know
John Mayall playing it Live performing Six shows at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
Two shows each night Tuesday 4th; Wednesday 5th & Thursday 6th April 2017.