|1. A World of Hurt|
|2. Along for the Ride|
|3. Put It Right Back|
|4. That's Why I Love You So|
|5. Yo Yo Man|
|6. If I Don't Get Home|
|8. Early in the Morning|
|9. Something About My Baby|
|10. So Many Roads|
|11. World War Blues|
|13. She Don't Play By The Rules|
Mayall has had a great run of albums since 93's 'Wake Up Call' with the possible exception of the rather workman like 'Blues For Lost Days' and his live shows have had a definite spark of late but I was wondering if he'd get lost among his special guests (the '& friends sticker' put me off buying it for ages).
It is without a doubt a star studded affair with Garry Moore, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Mick Fleetwood, Billy Gibbons, Johnny Lang, Otis Rush, Steve Cropper, Steve Miller, Andy Fairweather Low, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Shannon Curfman, Red Holloway, Billy Preston, Jeff Healey, John McVie, Chris Rea and the current Bluesbreakers in attendance, but, I hear you cry, is it any good.
Well, yes it works quite well in places. The choice of tracks, 12 covers and 1 original all suit John's still thin reedy voice and give good space for the guests to do their thing.
Jeff Healy is first up and delivers a fiery solo on 'A World of Hurt',
Billy Preston is not on his finest form on the albums title track and sound a little rougher around the edges than usual but the duo works well enough to be an above average Mayall track.
Billy Gibbons joins the Bluesbreakers for a spirited version of Walter Trout's 'Put It Right Back' with a lovely solo that is right out of the Rio Grande Mud.
'That's Why I Love You So' has Johnny Lang snaking his wily way across this gospel inflected track, great backing from Crystal Taliefero & Wendy Moten.
'Yo Yo Man' has Peter Green, John McVie, Steve Miller and Mick Fleetwood on board for a joyful country blues stomp with some nice slide from Greeny.
'If I Don't Get Home' is a real slow burner with a great Peter Green style solo from the very wonderful Gary Moore.
'Testify' is a great duet with Shannon Curfman who also adds some very tasty lead guitar.
'Early In The Morning' guitarist Chris Rea adds a rather restrained vocal response to Mayall call and surprisingly no guitar to this old warhorse.
Andy Fairweather low (I've still not forgiven him for Wide Eyed and Legless) is possibly the least identifiable voice on 'Something About My Baby', which has both a great piano solo from Mayall (this is odd in its self) and a real buzz saw of a solo from the frets of Buddy Whittington.
Another guitarist not playing his axe is Otis Rush who is his usual forceful self on the vocal to 'So Many Roads'. Buddy Whittington once again shows why he is the right man to follow in the shoes of Clapton, Green, Taylor, Mandel, Montoya, and Trout etc...
Eric Bibs excellent 'World War Blues' once again features Billy Preston this time just on clavinet. John digs out the harmonica for one of the best solo's he's played in years.
The only Mayall original 'California' has a more than a touch of 'Take Five' about it and contains Mayall's weakest vocal of the set which is a shame as it has a very good solo performance from Red Holloway and a very strange and very, very, very short solo from folk blues legend Davy Graham (it's an almost well why bother).
The closer 'She Don't Play By The Rules' features a funky beat, a great Mayall vocal (?) and Mick Taylor on rather laid back form.
If you already like Mayall buy it you'll like it, if you've never heard Mayall start with 'Hard Road', 'The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton' & 'Crusade' and you'll forgive him the 70's & 80's (who else had a Mayall ashtray from that period).
Mayall has had a great run of albums since 93’s ‘Wake Up Call’ with the possible exception of the... Read more
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