click to enlarge

John Mayall- Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton
June 5, 2001

John Mayall/Vocals, Piano, Organ, Harmonica, Eric Clapton/Guitar & Vocals on ""Ramblin,'' John McVie/Bass, Hughie Flint/Drums

1. All Your Love (Rush, Dixon)
2. Hideaway (F. King, Thompson)
3. Little Girl (Mayall)
4. Another Man (arr. Mayall)
5. Double Crossing Time (Mayall, Clapton)
6. What'd I Say (Ray Charles)
7. Key To Love (Mayall)
8. Parchman Farm (Allison)
9. Have You Heard (Mayall)
10. Ramblin' On My Mind (Johnson)
11. Steppin' Out (Frazier)
12. It Ain't Right (Jacobs)
13. Lonely Years
14. Bernard Jenkins

Review (by Tommy Chung)
In 1966, Eric Clapton was arguably (some say unarguably) the best Blues guitarist in the world; he was at the height of his power. If Eric Clapton did not record a single thing after this recording with John Mayall, he would still stand as one of the greatest Blues player ever. Some 35 years later, the music still sounded great, it has lost none of its magic. The recording was ground-breaking and made history. The sound of Les Paul through a cranked up Marshall - the power, the touch of the man, his expression on the guitar, were all way ahead of time.

Long before 1966, John Mayall had been a crusader for the Blues in England. Mayall was the one guy who single-handedly brought the attention of the British to the Blues. In the swinging 60's, Mayall was undoubtedly the father of the British Blues. The strongest feature of Mayall as a musician is not his singing, harp or vocal ability, it is his natural instinct in spotting talent. After Clapton, he got Peter Green to join the band. When Peter packed it in, he grabbed Mick Taylor. John Mayall seems to have this unerring instinct to spot talent. "Bluesbreakers" was a John Mayall album, but Clapton just stole the whole show, pulled the carpet right under Mayall's feet. But having said that, I do not think Clapton at the time could have done a solo recording. For a start, he couldn't sing. It was Mayall who provided the perfect setting, a springboard for Clapton to showcase his talent.

All the tracks on the recording were great, I cannot even choose which are the highlights. But if you insist, All Your Love, Hideaway, Stepping Out. Before the session, no one played the Blues Clapton did. Clapton does not only show us how it is done, but also how it can be done. Like all great musicians, Eric Clapton learned from the masters, notably Freddie King, B.B. King, Robert Johnson, assimilated what he learned and turn it into something of his own. The rhythm section was John McVie and Hughie Flint. Flint was undoubtedly the best British Blues drummer ever to emerge. No one can play shuffle like him, not even Charlie Watts.

If you want to buy one CD that epitomizes the British Blues, this is it. Maybe you want to get Fleetwood Mac's "Mr. Wonderful" as well. But this is it. Many years later, Clapton released "From The Cradle." To be honest, I really wish he hadn't done that, it just spoiled the legend. "From The Cradle" was stiff, lifeless and sounded unnatural and concocted. But we are forever thankful to Eric Clapton for showing us the light.

Extended Listening

-Eric Clapton- From The Cradle

Make your own free website on Tripod.com