REVIEW: John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers “Live in 1967-Volume 3”


John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Live in 1967-Volume 3

The importance of blues musician John Mayall in the arena of rock music is pivotal. Considering how many famous musicians received their tenure with his band through the decades. Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood & John McVie, Cream’s Eric Clapton & Jack Bruce, the Rolling Stones’ Mick Taylor & Aynsley Dunbar, Keef Hartley, Jon Mark & Johnny Almond, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor (Canned Heat & Tom Waits) & Coco Montoya among so many.

This particular 8-track set Live in 1967-Volume 3 (Drops Sept 8–Forty Below Records) was produced by John Mayall & Eric Corne. It features the 3 Fleetwood Mac alumni. Green (lead guitar), Fleetwood (drums) & McVie (bass). Though Mayall (vocals/harmonica/organ) came from England he settled & worked from L.A. for decades.

This is the 3rd & final volume of Mayall’s Bluesbreakers live in 1967. The music was captured on a one-channel reel-to-reel recorder in London unadorned by a dedicated fan Tom Huissen. Largely unheard in nearly 50 years Mayall managed to secure these vintage tapes, restore them technically & allow dedicated listeners to hear the grooves laid down on these early performances despite rough patches in reproduction.

So, while these tunes aren’t meant to impress via the sound quality, they are a historical document for Mayall completists. admirers of the blues & the early efforts of 3 members of Fleetwood Mac who were all thinner, had more hair & could stay up past midnight.

There are some vintage blues tunes in this set that are covered, with 3 Mayall originals & one by Green. So, it’s a well-rounded set by young players who have yet to make a name for themselves while Mayall already had made some head-way with Clapton in 1965. The performances have enthusiasm.

The vocals seem to suffer most with glaring distress but Mayall’s harmonica, the bass, lead guitar on “Brand New Start,” does get by with an evident tight performance from that ’67 date. The vocals & guitar are better on “Tears In My Eyes,” & the instrumentals “Greeny” & “The Stumble” also allowed the guitar soloing to be captured superbly. The energy output is obvious on several songs. It’s too bad Mayall didn’t have the insight at that time to record many of his early shows professionally.

Mayall (began his career in 1956 — his recording career began with Decca in 1963). He retired the Bluesbreakers name in 2008. Mayall at 89 is one of the oldest blues rock musicians still performing. His latest LP “The Sun is Shining Down” was released in 2022. Impressive run & they think the Rolling Stones have lasted.

Highlights – “Brand New Start,” “Tears In My Eyes,” “Greeny,” “Your Funeral And My Trial” & “The Stumble.”

B&W photos on CD by John Slade. CD @ Amazon +

Enjoy our previous coverage here: John Mayall (part one) – The First Generation 1965-1974 – 35 CD Career Retrospective – Studio Albums

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