John Mayall "Living The Blues"

The “Godfather of British Blues” will grace the stage this season at The Lyric Theatre with a night of soul-quenching sound. A pioneer of blues music for over 50 years, John Mayall and his original band, the Bluesbreakers, featured some of the greatest musicians of all time, including Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, and Mick Fleetwood to name a few. With hits such as “All Your Love”, “Hideaway”, and “Crocodile Walk”, John Mayall has earned his place as one of the most influential blues musicians of all time.

Born in 1933, John Mayall grew up in a town outside of Manchester, England. Inspired by his father’s extensive record collection, Mayall fell in love with the blues. At age 14, the aspiring musician went to Manchester’s Junior School of Art where he continued his musical education, playing the guitar, piano, and harmonica. Taking inspiration from the sounds of Leadbelly, Albert Ammons, and Pete Johnson among others, John Mayall devoted himself fully to the blues.

However, it wasn’t until 1962 when Mayall heard that a club was opening up in Ealing,dedicated to blues music, that the musician finally found his calling. Mayall moved from Manchester to London and started the Bluesbreakers. With their fresh sound and raw talent, the Bluesbreakers quickly rose in popularity, and soon John Mayall would be backing John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, and Sonny Boy Williamson in their first tours through England. In 1966, Mayall teamed up with the ex-Yardbird guitarist Eric Clapton for a ground-breaking album that was named one of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine.Although Clapton left to form the band Cream shortly after, John and the Bluesbreakers continued their success, releasing a unique drummer-less live album in 1969 that immediately achieved gold status.

In the 1970s, John Mayall moved to California where he continued working with some of the greatest contemporary recording artists. A decade later, moved by nostalgia and fan support, Mayall decided to reform the original Bluesbreakers, joining with John McVie, Mick Taylor, and a new drummer, Colin Allen, for a few tours and a video concert called Blues Alive. After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback, John decided to permanently bring the Bluesbreakers back, and after a long search process, launched the new Bluesbreakers band in 1984, featuring Coco Montoya and Walter Trout. By 1993, Texas guitarist Buddy Whittington had joined, making his recording debut on the album Spinning Coin.

In 2005, after nearly 50 years of playing the blues, John Mayall was awarded a prestigious OBE by The Queen’s Honour list. Although Mayall permanently retired the Bluesbreakers band in 2008, the veteran blues musician couldn’t stay away from the stage for long, and in 2009, Mayall put together a new band to record an album with Eagles Records. His latest studio album, Find a Way to Care, is a testament to his enduring legacy in the world of blues. With the recent release of Live in 1967 Volume II and a brand new studio album in the works, John Mayall continues to reign as the Godfather of British Blues. Don’t miss John Mayall this season at The Lyric Theatre.