70th Birthday Concert is a live electric blues video recording of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers to celebrate Mayall's 70th Birthday. Recorded in Liverpool, England on July 19 2003, the concert was notable as it featured Eric Clapton as a guest, so marked the first time he and Mayall had performed together in almost 40 years. The set also features Mick Taylor and Chris Barber.
This was the last of the six albums John Mayall originally made for Blue Thumb/ABC Records between 1975 and 1978, about which he has said, "ABC released six of my albums as a tax write-off. A week after they were released you couldn't find them in any store." It's a live album on which Mayall fronts a quartet consisting of guitarist James Quill Smith (who sings lead on several songs), bassist Steve Thompson, and drummer Soko Richardson. The approach is rock-oriented, and the set list includes such Bluesbreakers favorites as Mose Allison's "Parchman Farm," and Freddie King's "Hideaway" (taken at a frantic tempo), along with the usual complement of generic Mayall originals, among them, a remake of "The Bear," from Blues From Laurel Canyon.
Road Show Blues [Bluesbreaker] was John Mayall's third album for the U.K.'s DJM Records, following Bottom Line and No More Interviews. At this time, his backup band included guitarist/singer James Quill Smith, bassist Kevin McCormick, drummer Soko Richardson, and singer Maggie Parker. Two cuts, Jimmy Reed's "Baby, What You Want Me to Do" and Mayall's "Mexico City," were recorded live. The band is a tight unit in support of the leader, who sings and plays fiercely. By the time that this album, the last in Mayall's DJM contract, was recorded, his career was in decline, and the disc was not released in the U.S. at the time. It would be another five years before he made another. Through some corporate legerdemain, the record has bounced around from one company to another and been reissued several times under different titles. These reissues include "The Adventures Of John Mayall", "Road Show", "Bluesbreaker", "Lost And Gone", " Big Man Blues" " and "Why Worry" among others. Of course, the Mayall fan needs only one, but it does make a worthy addition to the catalog.
Reasonably interesting collection of non-LP singles from 1964 to 1968, featuring almost all of the notable musicians that passed through the Bluesbreakers throughout the decade. "Sitting in the Rain" (with Peter Green) showcases fine fingerpicking, the haunting "Jenny" is one of Mayall's best originals, and "Stormy Monday" is one of the few cuts from 1966 that briefly featured both Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. The rest is largely passably pleasant…
Tired of a creeping tendency towards pop territory that was happening in his old band, the Yardbirds, Eric Clapton was after one thing alone: the blues. With John Mayall and his pool of fledgling giants he got it in spades.
Before they were Fleetwood Mac, they were John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Never before heard live performances from 1967. In 1967, before there was a Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood were John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. The four musicians were only together for three months, which makes it even more remarkable that a staunch fan from Holland was able to sneak a one channel reel to reel tape recorder into five London clubs and capture this exciting glimpse into music history. For almost fifty years these tapes have remained unheard until John recently got them and began restoring them with the technical assistance of Eric Corne of Forty Below Records. Corne adds "While the source recording was very rough and the final result is certainly not hi-fidelity, it does succeed in allowing us to hear how spectacular these performances are."
John Mayall with the Bluesbreakers celebrates his 70th birthday with a concert featuring former guitarists Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor.