Personalities | John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers | Sixties | Jazz & Blues
(Vocal/instrumental group, 1963–present)
Talented bandleader John Mayall (vocals, piano, organ, harmonica), born in Macclesfield, Cheshire in 1933, is largely responsible for igniting the popularity of British blues as well as the careers of famed guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) and Mick Taylor (the Rolling Stones). Mayall’s 1966 debut album Blues Breakers, using Chicago blues as a model, established the reputation of Clapton and also featured John McVie (bass) and Hughie Flint (drums). The album reached number six on the UK charts. Powerfully realized, it remains the seminal British electric blues album and began a streak of Bluesbreakers classics, including A Hard Road (with Green, 1967) and Crusade (with Taylor, 1967).
Mayall began a parallel solo career with the underrated The Blues Alone (1968) that peaked the next year, following his relocation to California with The Turning Point and its FM-radio staple ‘Room To Move’. Mayall continues to perform with a version of his Bluesbreakers and remains one of the few white blues performers whose songwriting equals that of his heroes Muddy Waters and J.B. Lenoir.
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