8 - Nov - 2017

Feel The Blues

John Mayall: The Gentleman of British Blues

By Rod Cortés from Feel The Blues

Images from World Of Harmnica

John Mayall is perhaps not a well-known name in the blues. His band, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers was never as famous as other bands such as Cream, Fleetwood Mac or The Rolling Stones. But if it hadn’t been for John Mayall’s influence, many of those very well-known bands wouldn’t be as famous as they are.

John Mayall is a lot more renowned as a bandleader and mentor than a performer. Throughout the 60’s, his band The Bluesbreakers taught the spirit of the Blues to the leading British blues and rock musicians of the era. Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor joined The Bluesbrakers in succession, learning the blues and their trade with Mayall before going on to join Cream, Fleetwood Mac and the Rolling Stones, respectively. These three were perhaps some of the most famous, but were in no way the only ones. Others like John McVie, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Andy Fraser and more, played and learned from Mayall himself.

John Mayall – Room To Move

John Mayall has played the piano, harmonica, flute, guitar and other instruments in his recordings and during his career. He was perhaps not the best singer, but as a multi-instrumentalist and bluesman with lots of soul, he was able to bring out the best in the younger musicians that joined his ranks. During his many decades playing, he has experimented within the basic Blues format to play different styles at different times and even mixing Chicago-style electric Blues with jazz, rock and other genres. He’s had some hits and some misses in his career, but his vintage work was always strong, especially his 1966 LP with Eric Clapton which both launched Clapton into stardom and sent the Blues boom into full gear in England. So, the influence of John Mayall’s on our world is undeniable, making him an important part of the history of music and the Blues.

John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton