After a February without any interesting celebrations (in my opinion) we start March with this blues album from John Mayall, Back to the Roots. There will be a few new albums in March, I have a bit of a problem confirming some of the releases by the actual date, but I hope I will find a source for the individual albums.
The double album was recorded from 15 to 25 November 1970 at the Larrabee Sound Studios and IBC Studios in London, but released first in the US. Featuring guest artists like Eric Clapton, Larry & Mick Taylor, John Almond and Steve Thompson. See the full list below. Several of them are from old The Bluesbreakers personell from 1963 to 1970, but this album is listed as a Mayall solo album, since they broke up in 1970. For a period though, they resumed in 1982 and played together till 2008 – paused until last year where they again reformed with the John Mayall, Greg Rzab, Jay Davenport and Carolyn Wonderland constellation. And still playing.
This is not a bad album at all, considering it’s a full blown blues album. Personally I don’t fancy blues as a genre that much, as I might have mentioned before, but – with a large BUT. Apropos the title of this album I acknowledge that there probably would be no rock without the blues. It’s difficult to explain which kind of blues I like and which not. First of all it is about mood, second about instruments and how they are played. I will not go deeper into that speculation today, maybe later. But this album is a good example of blues I like and if I should name a favorite Mayall album it would actually be one of the older ones – A Hard Road. Which I was lucky to find in the very first laminated press – and not for sale 🙂
John Mayall – guitar, harmonica, piano, keyboards, vocals
John Almond – bass flute, saxophone, tenor saxophone
Eric Clapton – guitar
Keef Hartley – drums
Paul Lagos – drums
Harvey Mandel – guitar
Jerry McGee – guitar
Larry Taylor – bass
Mick Taylor – guitar
Steve Thompson – bass
Don “Sugarcane” Harris – violin
Joe Yuele – drums
Bobby Haynes – bass