Album Reviews

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers

Live in 1967 - Volume Two

Artist:     John Mayall's Bluesbreakers

Album:     Live in 1967 - Volume Two

Label:     Forty Below Records

Release Date:     3/10/2016


Everyone knows and goes reflexively ape-shit about Clapton’s stint and Mick Taylor‘s tenure with the Bluesbreakers. But, along with Free’s Andy Graser, Peter Green is the least discussed and critically recognized of the guitarists who lit up Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. First he was in, then he was out and, when Clapton left for good to crank up Cream, Peter Green found himself back with Mayall, barnstorming sweaty London clubs like The Marquee, The Bromley and Klook’s Kleek with his future Fleetwood Mac‘ers McVie and Fleetwood, sparring with Mayall’s formidable vocals, B3 and harp.

This second deeper, archival delve, resulting sound wise in a two-steps-up-from-a-decent-bootleg, finds Green relishing his spotlight bluesman role. His clean exhortations cut through these primordial recordings just as they cut through the psychedelic haze fifty years gone. His fluidity soars above the aural smudge, which fortunately, also reveals Mayall’s ferocity. A man possessed by this swampy American export, chasing demons through originals “Tears in My Eyes,” “Chicago Line,” (where the past drops its veils to uncover a signature McVie bass solo) and “Please Don’t Tell.” T-Bone’s weary “Stormy Monday” and Otis Rush’s “Double Trouble” also give first hand accounts to the band’s raw, uncontested power blues.

– Mike Jurkovic

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