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29 Jan 2017

John Mayall “Talk About That” 2017 a British Blues Legend new album on January 27, 2017

John Mayall “Talk About That” 2017 a British Blues Legend  new album  on January 27, 2017
British blues legend and Blues Hall of Fame member John Mayall has finished up a new CD titled Talk About That, scheduled for January 27, 2017 release by Forty Below Records, and that’s good news indeed! Working with his longtime band members Rocky Athas (guitar), Greg Rzab (bass), and Jay Davenport (drums), the talented multi-instrumentalist Mayall co-produced Talk About That with Forty Below President Eric Corne at the House of Blues Studio in Encino, California.

Talk About That features eleven tracks, including eight original songs and smokin’ covers of Memphis soul legend Bettye Crutcher’s “It’s Hard Going Up,” bluesman Jimmy Rogers’ “Goin’ Away Baby,” and rocker Jerry Lynn Williams’ “Don’t Deny Me.” Of the original tunes, the New Orleans-flavored “Gimme Some of That Gumbo” features a three-piece horn section to spice up the recording. The album also features former James Gang/Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh performing on the Mayall originals “The Devil Must Be Laughing” and “Cards On The Table.”

“When I first had the idea for the title track, ‘Talk about That,’ I wanted to write lyrics that were about aspects of life that were running through my head,” says John Mayall in a press release for the new album. “I also wanted to give the song a modern groove that would convey the fun mood driving the piece. Greg and Jay laid down a really infectious rhythm for me to feature my keyboard chops and bring the song to life with a really funky feel driving it.” Mayall’s “The Devil Must Be Laughing,” which deals with the current political climate, was recorded in a single take and features Walsh’s dynamic fretwork. …..
LOS ANGELES, CA – Iconic musician and Blues Hall of Fame member John Mayall will release his latest CD, Talk about That, on January 27 from Forty Below Records. Joining Mayall (vocals, keyboards, harmonica and guitar) and Greg Rzab (bass), Jay Davenport (drums) and Rocky Athas (guitar) as special guest is legendary guitarist Joe Walsh, who plays on two tracks, “The Devil Must Be Laughing” and “Cards on the Table,” both John Mayall compositions. The songs showcase Walsh’s amazing guitar work and are destined to be two of the many highlights on this new disc. Talk about That will be available for pre-orders at both and iTunes starting December 9. 
Produced by John Mayall (who also designed the album package) and Forty Below Records president Eric Corne (who also engineered and mixed), Talk about That was recorded at House of Blues Studio in Encino, California, and contains 11 tracks: eight originals, plus covers from Memphis soul music songwriter Bettye Crutcher (“It’s Hard Going Up”), blues great Jimmy Rogers (“Goin’ Away Baby”) and rock singer/songwriter Jerry Lynn Williams (“Don’t Deny Me”). The album also showcases a three-piece horn section that adds extra punch on several tracks, including the infectious New Orleans-flavored “Gimme Some of that Gumbo.”
“When I first had the idea for the title track, ‘Talk about That,’ I wanted to write lyrics that were about aspects of life that were running through my head,” says John Mayall. “I also wanted to give the song a modern groove that would convey the fun mood driving the piece.  Greg and Jay laid down a really infectious rhythm for me to feature my keyboard chops and bring the song to life with a really funky feel driving it.”
Throughout his career, John Mayall has always written timely songs that reflect what he sees going on in the world around him, whether it’s war, poverty, social injustice or personal introspection. Such is the case with “The Devil Must Be Laughing,” which deals with the current political and world climate. And that incentive also brought him in touch with Joe Walsh, who contributes some percolating guitar work that melds perfectly with the song’s theme.
“A day before we recorded ‘The Devil Must Be Laughing,’ we got a message through the studio owner that Joe Walsh wanted to come by and possibly play on a track or two as a guest,” recalls Mayall. “Who was I to say no to that idea!  So, Joe turned up at noon on the appointed day and with only a quick listen, plugged in and we did the song in one take.  The second song closely followed, and with a smile and a quick photo, Joe was done and on his way.  What a kick for all of us that day!”
For Joe Walsh, playing on a session with one of his musical heroes also held a special place. “It has been a bucket-list item since 1970 to play with John Mayall,” states Walsh. “John had a run of GREAT British guitarists (one after another) with his ‘Bluesbreakers’ albums, and that’s how many of us in the States became aware of them.  Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor – I studied them all for hours and became a much better guitarist as a result. The albums were legendary stuff and I have wanted to work with John for years and years, wondering what it would be like.
“Finally got the chance – and he was the complete gentleman and fine, fine musician I had always hoped he would be. When you meet a hero who helped shape your career – it’s a wonderful feeling to find they’re even cooler than you always thought they were.”
The recording sessions for Talk about That also represent the last recordings with Mayall’s quartet band lineup, as shortly after they were completed, guitarist Rocky Athas left the band to pursue his solo career. Starting with the recent fall tour dates of the British blues “Godfather,” his band became a trio with Mayall, Rzab and Davenport.
In September, John Mayall issued the following statement:
“By now, many of you will have heard the dramatic news that I will now be performing live shows as a trio. I feel I should explain how it all came about in a chain of events that led to my decision.  Due to severe storm conditions recently, guitarist Rocky Athas was unable to get out of Dallas for my recent festival shows that led to my performing as a trio.  Having never performed anywhere or at any time without a guitar sidekick, I found that I was able to explore new territories in a trio configuration playing organ, keyboards, harmonica and guitar.  Needless to say I was surprised at how different and stimulating the experience was for me as a performer.
“When I told Rocky Athas of my decision, he was very understanding and hopefully his popularity in my band for the past seven years will be increased as he resumes his solo career.  To me it seems fitting that the final guitar position in my band featured one of the nicest and most talented guys I’ve known and the best in his field. We all wish him well.
“So now, as Greg Rzab, Jay Davenport and I embark on several weeks of intensive touring all around the States, we hope you all will enjoy the fireworks coming your way as my live show calendar brings us to your expectant ears.”
The John Mayall trio will continue to tour throughout the fall and into early 2017 in the U.S., followed by a lengthy European tour in February. The American tour includes several days onboard the “Legends Cruise,” leaving Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and sailing from January 19 – 23……………………..
There are an awful lot of ‘Grandfather of the Blues/Rock/Jazz/Funk’ figures around but none are more the true progenitor of our modern Blues/Rock scene than John Mayall and this album, including the Bluesbreakers and live sets will be around release number 60 – the first being in 1965.

The amazing thing is that he doesn’t sound like a man whose first album was over 50 years ago and who has been, as they say, ‘through the mill’.

The songs on this album are powerful, evocative and steeped in the many forms of Blues that Mayall has been a part of. His vocals are gruff but clear and his piano and keyboards and harmonica are as good as they ever were.

The link up with another legend in Joe Walsh on The Devil Must Be Laughing and Cards On The Table reminds you of just how many great guitarists he has led over the years – Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya, Buddy Whittington – and what great music he made with them.

The ‘house band’ for this album includes Rocky Athas, a guitar band leader of repute from Texas, Greg Rzab, ex-Buddy Guy, on bass and percussion as well as Jay Davenport on drums whose CV includes Sugar Blue, Junior Wells, Valerie Wellington, Pinetop Perkins, John Littlejohn, Jimmie Johnson and a stack of Chicago stalwarts.

So you might think that this is a band of superstars and you’d be right. You might also think that they are just ‘earning a buck’ playing with a wizened old has-been and you couldn’t be further from the truth.

The whole album has a sense of completeness about it. The songs are great, some of Mayall’s best work in ages, and the playing is respectful and loaded with passion. Even on a track such as Jimmy Rogers’ Goin’ Away Baby which is pretty well stock Chicago Blues the song has a groove and swing that lesser artists couldn’t get close to.

There are so many high spots on the album, including Mayall’s piano on It’s Hard Going Up against some divine horns or The Devil Must Be Laughing where his Hammond underpins Walsh’s guitar to create some real depth – it is very close to one of Walter Trout’s darker moments and chilling as a description of the world today – but the funk of the title track or Blue Midnight make the album worth buying for those alone and add in the New Orleans strut of Gimme Some Of That Gumbo and I found myself dancing with sheer joy.

Mayall has never really been away but this came out of the blue and as a starter for 2017 it is brilliant….by Andy Snipper,…… 
01. Talk About That
02. It’s Hard Going Up
03. The Devil Must Be Laughing
04. Gimme Some of That Gumbo
05. Goin’ Away Baby
06. Cards on the Table
07. I Didn’t Mean to Hurt You
08. Don’t Deny Me
09. Blue Midnight
10. Across the County Line
11. You Never Know

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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