John Mayall

Boulton Center, Bay Shore, NY

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Photos by Arnie Goodman

The one thing we could count on since the early ’60s is that John Mayall would be touring with a great band. Mayall will always be known for his Big Three guitarists: Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor, but there have been many more. Mayall has a keen eye for great talent both in musicians and music; when he hand-picked many of these legends they were unknowns, and he’s also able to come up with a great body songs to bring out all his band members’ talents. Last but not least, John Mayall himself is great all-around musician, excellent on vocals, guitar, keyboards and harmonica.

Mayall swears that this is his best band, with Rocky Athas on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass and Jay Davenport on drums. They came out roaring at the Boulton Center with “Why Did You Go Last Night,” “Parchman Farm,” “Dirty Water” and my own favorites, “Walking on Sunset” and “Congo Square.”

Always a generous bandleader, Mayall ended the set with “Room to Move,” which gives everybody a chance to solo, something the crowd obviously had waited for, and the encore, the John Mayall standard “Hideaway.”

Nobody in the audience was disappointed, they just wanted more from a legend and must-see for any music fan. Mayall also has a brand new album, Find Way to Care, out on Forty Below Records. Brit John Mayall has done his part in saving American music.

—Arnie Goodman

 

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