Showing posts with label #John Mayall interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #John Mayall interview. Show all posts

Thursday, February 21, 2019


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Todd Rundgren
Little Steven Van Zandt of The E Street Band
Alex Lifeson from Rush
Joe Bonamassa
Larry McCray
and Carolyn Wonderland 


For over 50 years, John Mayall has served as a pioneer of blues music, rightly earning him the title, "The Godfather of British Blues". In 2013, John signed with producer Eric Corne's label, Forty Below Records, and has since been experiencing a true artistic and career renaissance, including a Blues Hall of Fame induction in 2015.

On February 22nd Forty Below Records will release Nobody Told Me, the new studio album from The Godfather of British Blues, John Mayall. ​ As with his last handful of albums, Mayall again shares production duties with Forty Below Founder Eric Corne who also handles engineering and mixing duties.  
The album boasts an impressive and diverse list of guest guitarists, all personal favorites of Mayall’s including Todd Rundgren, Little Steven Van Zandt of The E Street Band, Alex Lifeson from Rush, Joe Bonamassa, Larry McCray and Carolyn Wonderland who will be joining the band on tour. Also, on hand are Mayall’s dynamic Chicago rhythm section of Greg Rzab on bass guitar and Jay Davenport on drums, along with Billy Watts (Lucinda Williams) on rhythm guitar and Mayall’s regular horn section, moonlighting from their day job in The Late Show with Conan O’Brien’s house band. 
Eric Burdon from The Animals-Stu Leathwood from The Koobas
Keith Ellis from The Koobas-Roy Wood  from Woods and The o'jays-Jimi Hendrix from The Jimi Hendrix Experience-Noel Redding from The Jimi Hendrix Experience-Carl Wayne-John Mayall-Steve Winwood from Traffic-Trevor Burton from Steve Gibbons Band-Roy Morris The Koobas

The album was recorded at The Foo Fighters’ Studio 606 on the same legendary Sound City Neve console his one-time protégés from Fleetwood Mac used to record parts of the best-selling Rumors album.  
“This project has been a true labor of love for me and I can’t wait for people to hear the fireworks that took place,” beams Mayall. Nobody Told Me is an apt title for the blues icon who suffered a recent unexpected health scare shortly after recording the album. But, the seemingly ageless road dog, who famously takes no days off and carries his own gear on tour, has been given a clean bill of health and plans to return to his usual grueling touring schedule to support the release. 

John Mayall has actually run an incredibly great school for musicians. …Eric Clapton

John Mayall, he was the Master of It. If it wasn't for the British musicians, a lot of us black musicians in America would still be catchin' the hell that we caught long before. So, thanks to all you guys, thank you very much! …BB King

I had this friend in London, John Mayall of the Bluesbreakers, who used to play me a lot of records late at night. He was a kind of DJ-type guy. You'd go back to his place, and he'd sit you down, give you a drink, and say "Just check this out." He'd go over to his deck, and for hours he'd blast you with B.B. King, Eric Clapton - he was sort of showing me where all of Eric's stuff was from, you know. He gave me a little evening's education in that. I was turned on after that, and I went and bought an Epiphone. So, then I could wind up with the Vox amp and get some nice feedback. …Paul McCartney

Purchase Nobody Told Me, the new studio album from Blues Hall of Fame member, John Mayall boasts an impressive and diverse list of guest guitarists, all personal favorites of Mayall’s including Todd Rundgren, Little Steven Van Zandt of The E Street Band, Alex Lifeson from Rush, Joe Bonamassa, Larry McCray and Carolyn Wonderland who will be joining the band on tour. 
Nobody Told Me will be available Feb 22nd at

01 What Have I Done Wrong (featuring Joe Bonamassa)
02 The Moon Is Full (featuring Larry McCray)
03 Evil And Here To Stay (featuring Alex Lifeson)
04 That’s What Love Will Make You Do (featuring Todd Rundgren)
05 Distant Lonesome Train (featuring Carolyn Wonderland)
06 Delta Hurricane (featuring Joe Bonamassa)
07 The Hurt Inside (featuring Larry McCray)
08 It’s So Tough (featuring Steven Van Zandt)
09 Like It Like You Do (featuring Carolyn Wonderland)
10 Nobody Told Me (featuring Carolyn Wonderland)

For more information about John Mayall and the latest tour information visit 

Date  Venue        City
Tue 26 Feb 2019  Pakkahuone       Tampere, Finland
Wed 27 Feb 2019 Cirkus        Helsinki, Finland 
Fri 01 Mar 2019   Nalen Stora Salen        Stockholm, Sweden    
Sat 02 Mar 2019  Slagthuset  Malmö, Sweden  
Sun 03 Mar 2019 Rockefeller Oslo, Norway     
Mon 04 Mar 2019 Pustervik    Gothenburg, Sweden   
Tue 05 Mar 2019 Kulturhuset Viften        Rødovre, Denmark      
Wed 06 Mar 2019 Train Aarhus, Denmark
Fri 08 Mar 2019   Rosenhof    Osnabrück, Germany  
Sat 09 Mar 2019  Die Kantine Cologne, Germany      
Sun 10 Mar 2019 Colos-Saal  Aschaffenburg, Germany     
Tue 12 Mar 2019 Die Fabrik in Altona      Hamburg, Germany    
Wed 13 Mar 2019 Columbia Theater Berlin, Germany 
Thu 14 Mar 2019 Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Halle Halle, Germany  
Fri 15 Mar 2019   Forum Karlín       Prague, Czech Republic
Sun 17 Mar 2019 Klub Stodoła       Warsaw, Poland  
Mon 18 Mar 2019 Klub Studio Krakow, Poland  
Tue 19 Mar 2019 Akvárium Klub     Budapest, Hungary     
Wed 20 Mar 2019 Porgy & Bess       Vienna, Austria   
Thu 21 Mar 2019 Dom Im Berg      Graz, Austria      
Fri 22 Mar 2019   Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine     Udine, Italy
Sun 24 Mar 2019 Teatro Delle Muse        Ancona, Italy     
Mon 25 Mar 2019 Teatro Obihall     Florence, Italy    
Tue 26 Mar 2019 Auditorium Parco della Musica        Rome, Italy
Wed 27 Mar 2019 Teatro Politeama Genova      Genoa, Italy      
Thu 28 Mar 2019 Auditorium Santa Chiara       Trento, Italy      
Fri 29 Mar 2019   Campus Industry Music 43123       Parma, Italy      
Sat 30 Mar 2019  Pala Phenomenon Fontaneto d'Agogna, Italy    
Sun 31 Mar 2019 Les Docks   Lausanne, Switzerland 
Tue 02 Apr 2019  La Laiterie  Strasbourg, France     
Wed 03 Apr 2019 Le Splendid Lille, France       
Thu 04 Apr 2019  Zeche        Bochum, Germany      
Fri 05 Apr 2019   Hirsch        Nuremberg, Germany  
Sun 07 Apr 2019 Im Wizemann     Stuttgart, Germany     
Mon 08 Apr 2019 Muffathalle Munich, Germany
Tue 09 Apr 2019  Volkshaus   Zürich, Switzerland     
Thu 11 Apr 2019  Le Bataclan Paris, France      
Fri 12 Apr 2019   De Roma    Borgerhout, Belgium   
Sat 13 Apr 2019  Patronaat   Haarlem, Netherlands  
Sun 14 Apr 2019 De Oosterpoort   Groningen, Netherlands
Tue 16 Apr 2019  Ronnie Scott's     London, UK
Tue 16 Apr 2019  Ronnie Scott's     London, UK
Wed 17 Apr 2019 Ronnie Scott's     London, UK
Wed 17 Apr 2019 Ronnie Scott's     London, UK
Thu 18 Apr 2019  Ronnie Scott's     London, UK
Thu 18 Apr 2019  Ronnie Scott's     London, UK
Sat 18 May 2019 Doheny Blues Festival 2019   Dana Point, CA, US     
Tue 18 Jun 2019  Aladdin Theater   Portland, OR, US
Thu 20 Jun 2019  Tower Theatre    Bend, OR, US     
Sat 22 Jun 2019  Rio Theatre Santa Cruz, CA, US     
Tue 25 Jun 2019  Crest Theatre      Sacramento, CA, US    
Wed 26 Jun 2019 The Siren   Morro Bay, CA, US      
Thu 08 Aug 2019 Iridium      New York, NY, US
Fri 09 Aug 2019   Iridium      New York, NY, US
Sat 10 Aug 2019  Iridium      New York, NY, US

J   O   H   N
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on Interviewing the Legends
with Ray Shasho
BBS Radio

Also don’t forget to purchase a copy of my book entitled Check the Gs -the true story of an eclectic American family and their Wacky family business ... available now at You’ll live it!!!

Have a great week everybody!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Exclusive: John Mayall to Celebrate his 80th Birthday While Performing in Sarasota

By Ray Shasho

John Mayall Interview:

John Mayall is appropriately acknowledged as the “Father” or “Godfather of British Blues.” His magnificent musical journey spans over a half century. Mayall is a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and bandleader acclaimed for founding and pioneering The Bluesbreakers, a medley of musicians that integrated various lineups and prompted the careers of legendary artists such as Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Jack Bruce, John McVie, Roger Dean, Mick Fleetwood and Keef Hartley to name just a few. Many of the proficient musicians that Mayall inducted into his Bluesbreakers band are already in the Rock and Roll Hall of FameSo why hasn't John Mayall been inducted yet?

In 2008, John Mayall officially retired the name ‘Bluesbreakers’ and opened an exciting new chapter with The John Mayall Band. Mayall is revived and revitalized. His new band features a fearsome foursome of dynamic blues musicians. The John Mayall Band is … John Mayall (vocals, guitar, keyboards and harmonica), Rocky Athas (guitar), Greg Rzab (bass) and Jay Davenport (drums).

John Mayall will be celebrating his 80th birthday while performing with his band on November 29th at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium in Sarasota, Florida with special guests Larry McCray and Tucci. For tickets and further information visit or call (941) 954-4165 for more information. The Sarasota Municipal Auditorium is located at 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236.

 JOHN MAYALL grew up in a village near Manchester, England and initially learned about jazz and the blues by listening to his father’s record collection. Mayall spent two years at art school. At 18, he worked in the Royal Engineers for national service (military duties) as an office clerk in the south of England and Korea.

In 1962, Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies opened a new club devoted entirely to blues music. This became the catalyst for Mayall to give up his day job of graphic design and form a blues band. He moved from Manchester to London and began assembling musicians under the branding of 'The Bluesbreakers.' Mayall was thirty years old.

THE BLUESBREAKERS debut release was entitled John Mayall plays John Mayall featuring Roger Dean on guitar. After Eric Clapton quit The Yardbirds he was invited to play with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. A lineup of John Mayall (vocals, piano, Hammond organ and harmonica), Eric Clapton (guitar and vocals), John McVie (bass guitar) and Hughie Flint (drums) would lead to the band’s best- selling classic …Blues Breakers John Mayall with Eric Clapton (1966). Jack Bruce had also contributed to the recording. After the album hit the charts, Clapton and Bruce left to form Cream.

Peter Green replaced Eric Clapton on their next release A Hard Road (1967). Green and John McVie also had ambitions goals of starting their own band and formed Fleetwood Mac. The Bluesbreakers hired Mick Taylor for their next release entitled Crusade (1967). Taylor would eventually leave to join The Rolling Stones.
Throughout the years …Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Roger Dean and Jack Bruce revisited The Bluesbreakers while contributing on various studio recordings. John Mayall is highly respected for incorporating legendary band members and studio musicians under the Bluesbreakers umbrella.
In 1969, John Mayall moved from England to Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles.

Throughout the 70’s … Mayall incorporated jazz, pop and funk into his repertoire while working with such performers as Red Holloway, Blue Mitchell, Larry Taylor, and Harvey Mandel.

In 1982, John Mayall reformed with original Bluesbreakers Mick Taylor, John McVie and Colin Allen while embarking on a worldwide tour. The tour spawned a video concert film entitled ‘Blues Alive’ and featured guest artists Albert King, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Etta James.
In 1984, a new Bluesbreakers lineup was comprised of future legends Coco Montoya and Walter Trout.
Wake Up Call, the 1993 release by John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers featured guest artists Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Albert Collins and Mick Taylor. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award. Also in 1993, Texas guitarist Buddy Whittington joined The Bluesbreakers while making his debut on the Spinning Coin album.

The 2001 release, Along for the Ride featured Peter Green, Mick Taylor, John McVie, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Steve Miller, Billy Preston, Steve Cropper, Otis Rush, Gary More, Jeff Healey, Shannon Curfman and Jonny Lang.
John Mayall celebrated his 70th birthday during a fundraiser event called ‘Unite for Unicef’ in Liverpool, England and was filmed, recorded and released as a DVD and double CD in December of 2003. The concert featured old friends Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Chris Barber.
The BBC aired an hour-long documentary of John’s life and career entitled ‘The Godfather of British Blues.’ Mayall was also awarded an OBE (Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom) by The Queen’s Honours list.
In 2007, John Mayall released his 56th album, the critically-acclaimed … In the Palace of the King a tribute to Freddie King.
John Mayall has also released numerous live recordings on his own online label, Private Stash Records which are available on his website at

In 2008, John Mayall officially retired the name ‘Bluesbreakers’ and opened a new chapter with The John Mayall Band.
In 2009, John Mayall released Tough with his new band.

I had the rare privilege of chatting with John Mayall recently about the current tour, his incredible band of blues virtuosos and a musical career that has spanned more than 50 years.
Here’s my interview with singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and legendary leader of The Bluesbreakers … JOHN MAYALL.
Ray Shasho: Hello John, happy Friday the thirteenth.
John Mayall: “Is that what day it is … oh my God.”
Ray Shasho: You’re currently on a rather lengthy tour.
John Mayall: “Not sure which tour you’re talking about, we do several tours. We’ve got an east coast tour which is almost three weeks, is that the one you’re talking about?
Ray Shasho: So you correlate the tour as east coast or west coast in the states and maybe by continent when travelling abroad instead of classifying it as a worldwide tour?
John Mayall: “It’s just whenever the offers come in and where the agents can group together and we tour. The next one we’re doing is the east coast tour and like I say is about three weeks.”
Ray Shasho: You’ve got about eighty confirmed dates worldwide and counting, in my book that’s still a lot of touring.
John Mayall: “It’s really nothing …nothing at all.” (All laughing)
Ray Shasho: John, you’ll be making a rather rare appearance in Sarasota, Florida on November 29th at the Municipal Auditorium. I for one is extremely excited to have John Mayall performing in my backyard.
John Mayall: “We’ll certainly try and stir things up for you. I will also be celebrating my 80th birthday when we perform in Sarasota.”
Ray Shasho: I just can’t believe it.
John Mayall: “Yea, time rolls on doesn’t it?
Ray Shasho: It’s obvious you still have a passion for touring and you look incredible man …Do you have any secrets for looking young and keeping so incredibly fit?
John Mayall:No, I guess I’m just blessed with good genes I suppose. But I keep healthy and I’m always very active and always have been so. I don’t really see any signs of aging yet. Music keeps you young.”
Ray Shasho: We have a lot of Brits that live here in Sarasota, usually on a part-time basis, do you have any connections here?
John Mayall:Florida is a state that we don’t get to nearly often enough, but we don’t pick places, it always has to do with promoters in various areas and coming forward with gig offers. So it’s not really up to us.”
Ray Shasho: John, I really like your current band … Rocky Athas on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass guitar and Jay Davenport on drums … they’re all amazing musicians.
John Mayall: “They are pretty amazing; we’ve been together for five years now but it really doesn’t feel like anything at all, we just love playing together.”
Ray Shasho: They all have incredible resume too. What inspired you for putting this particular band together?
John Mayall: “Initially it was because I was taking a break after the disbanding of The Bluesbreakers and it coincided with Eagle Records wanting a new album. It was the last one on the contract that I have with them and that kind of triggered a new chapter.”
Ray Shasho: The band definitely captures that traditional classic blues sound and image onstage. I watched numerous You Tube videos from various 2013 live performances and the band sounds great! My favorite video was the group performing “Stormy Monday” the classic T- Bone Walker tune at B.B. Kings … just awesome!
John Mayall: “We just started doing that one again. A lot of things songs we lay dormant for several years and then decide to bring them out again … giving them a fresh life.”
Ray Shasho: John, it’s reassuring seeing the blues persevering and attracting audiences worldwide.
John Mayall: “Just judging by the amount of young players that always seem to be popping up … it will. Some of them are better than others, but the whole point about it is they are all attracted to the blues and want to play it.”
Ray Shasho: I’ll admit, I’ve been worried about the blues genre sustaining. Younger generations may not be able to sense or experience what it takes to conceive a bona-fide blues song … maybe too preoccupied with their cell phones.
John Mayall: “Anybody can get the blues because the world in a tangle the way it is; there are plenty of things to get you depressed about. Smartphone’s aren’t for everybody, there is an amazing amount of young players who devote all of their time to learning the guitar or whatever instrument …it’s usually guitars that seem to attract everybody.”
Ray Shasho: You play a variety of instruments effortlessly and you’re also an incredible harp player. I’ve never been able to master the harmonica, were there any special techniques that you used in learning how to play?
John Mayall: “It’s all self-taught and I just bumble my way through it into whatever best way I can. I don’t know how to explain it; I guess I do the best I can with any instrument I get attracted to. But they’re just tools in order for you to express yourself and that’s really the upshot of it.”
Ray Shasho: There were so many great blues artists from the very early days. Kim Wilson of the Thunderbirds introduced me to Harmonica Frank Floyd who actually played the harmonica without holding it or assistance of a neck brace while singing at the same time. And Maria Muldaur turned me on to the legendary Memphis Minnie.
John Mayall: “There was a lot to listen to out there. Memphis Minnie was one of the very few and very popular female blues singers and guitar players in the 30’s. She was a friend of Big Bill Broonzy who saw it all from that era of the 30’s and 40’s.”
Ray Shasho: John, what do you remember about growing up in England during World War II?
John Mayall: We had the bomb shelters in the schools and had air raid drills. So I guess that was exciting I suppose. It was all part of what was going on. I was about eleven or twelve so I remember a lot of it. We lived about twelve miles from Manchester and Manchester was bombed pretty heavily. You could see the sky was red from the bombs.”
Ray Shasho: Was it difficult finding blues music while growing up in England?
John Mayall: “I had my father’s record collection right from when I was a kid and so I was kind of weaned on jazz and blues … mainly on jazz I suppose. 78’s were the only thing invented at that time, so there were plenty of 78’s to get the background of what was going on.”
Ray Shasho: Jim McCarty told me that Eric Clapton actually auditioned for The Yardbirds. Did he have to audition for The Bluesbreakers?
John Mayall: “No, he was a known quantity by then. The Yardbirds were a pop band from the beginning although they were doing blues material. Their final direction showed where they were really at.”
Ray Shasho: John, here’s a question that I ask everyone that I interview. If you had a ‘Field of Dreams’ wish like the movie, to play, sing or collaborate with anyone from the past or present, who would that be?
John Mayall: “I guess Big Maceo Merriweather was one of the people that I missed. He’s my idol on piano. So he’s the first one that comes to mind. I just feel lucky because I’ve played with most of the people who are no longer with us, so it’s great to have had that experience. But there are lots of people I would have loved to heard play … Lead Belly… Blind Lemon Jefferson … All the pioneers of boogie-woogie … just so many people, the list is endless.”
Ray Shasho: John, thank you so much for being on the call today but more importantly for all the incredible music you’ve given us and continue to bring. We’ll see you in Sarasota on November 29th for your 80th birthday.
John Mayall: “Excellent Ray, we’ll see you in Sarasota.”

John Mayall’s 80th Birthday Concert starring The John Mayall Band will be performing on Friday November 29th at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium in Sarasota, Florida with special guests Larry McCray and Tucci. For tickets and further information visit or call (941) 954-4165 for more information. The Sarasota Municipal Auditorium is located at 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236.
John Mayall official website
John Mayall tour schedule
John Mayall on Facebook
John Mayall on Myspace
John Mayall Historic Live Shows (Never before released live recordings from the 70’s to the 90’s) available to purchase at CD Baby!

Very special thanks to Jane Ebdon

Coming up NEXT … My interview with Julian Lennon

Contact classic rock music journalist Ray Shasho at

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