14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Mayall at his best,
This review is from: Blues from Laurel Canyon (Audio CD)
Who would believe that this album is 35 years old!!!! Any afficionado of the British Blues Boom should ensure this is in their collection. Featuring a young Mick Taylor, who still plays pretty mean guitar on his own and Carla Olsen's albums, the boss of British Blues (now about 70 years of age) provides a mixture of subtle sophisticated jazz-blues (Miss James, First Time Alone) and hard hitting in-your-face numbers such as 2401, the Bear and Walking on Sunset). But what marks this album out is the pure sophisticated skill of Mick Taylor (still a teenager at that time, if I'm not mistaken) which culminates in a highly developed solo in Fly Tomorrow. This is the same Mick Taylor who later joined and left the Rolling Stones, presumably because his talents were undervalued by his having to play second fiddle (sic) to Keith Richards. Following in the footsteps of the now legendary Eric Clapton (yes even he could play real mean blues in those days)and the undoubted genius of Peter Green, Mayall had unearthed yet another master of the six-string. This album marks the zenith of a set of 5 Decca releases featuring Taylor - the memorable Crusade, much in the style of Bluesbreakers and Hard Road, Bare Wires (Mayall's first foray into Jazz-Blues fusion and Diary of a Band Vols 1 & 2 - a pair of live albums eminently missable because of the poor mixing from an eight-track tape deck.
But enough of my prattling, if you're new to the 60's/70's Blues Boom, take my word as someone who has followed it from the beginnings, you should get your hand on this, even if you find Mayall's somewhat strangulated vocal tones a bit much at times. It marks the end of an era and not until the Blues Reunion of 82 and the Bluesbreakers featuring Walter Trout and Coco Montoya, did the "man" return to his natural calling.