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  • John Mayall Discusses "Find A Way To Care"

    Posted September, 2015

    JohnMayallbyMaureenClark001Cropped2If all I wrote was, “John Mayall is a blues institution,” I would’ve said plenty and it would start a conversation that would last hours. The legendary blues man is, of course, the founder of the UK’s John Mayall and the Blues Breakers. That band, founded in 1960’s, had a stellar group of musicians who went on to become blues and rock greats in their own right.  Names like Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, John McVie, Walter Trout, Harvey Mandel, Coco Montoya and many others. 

    Even more astonishing is that the eighty-one year old icon is still recording and touring around the world. In fact, he has just released his sixty-second album entitled, “Find A Way To Care”. 

    To discuss that album, I contacted Mr. Mayall at his California home. Cordial and still quite British, I started out by asking him if this disc was, in fact, his sixty-second album, to which he said:

    “Yes, it does sound about right. The thing is, those are all the original albums and, then, there are countless others which are compilations and repackagings and things like that. Those ones I can never keep track of but the important thing is to stick with the originals.”

    When I asked how “Find A Way To Care” was different to record from the other sixty-one albums, with his very proper EverythingKnoxvilleLogoEditedBritish accent he replied quite philosophically. 

    “It’s all the passage of time and experience, you know? If you’re talking about stuff from the sixties, obviously, there was a lot of immaturity in some respect and there was also an innocence about it and strength to it, in that respect. I think the{mprestriction ids="*"} passage of time, the more you play and the more years that add up, I guess you just keep on going.”

    With recording technology and techniques changing drastically since he first recorded, I asked him if he recorded straight to digital or did he do like some other rockers like Joe Walsh or Rick Derringer are doing and record in analog first before transferring the recording into digital.

    JohnMayallbyJeffFasano002Photo by Jeff Fasano“I have no idea. I’m a firm believer in keeping up to date with all the latest technology. That’s the way I’ve always been.”

    Albums can often be a long and laborious process. Sometimes, it can take months to get an album in the can. When I asked Mayall how long his latest offering took to record, his answer was a head-spinner.

    “Well, the band came in for three days. Two of them live in Chicago and one of them lives in Fort Worth. So, they came in for three days and I did some overdubs on the forth day. The following week, we did the mixing.” 

    When I expressed my amazement over how fast the album was completed, the blues icon said: 

    “Yeah, I mean, we’ve been together for five years and everything’s first take. We know what we’re doing. I’ve always believed that the first or second take of anything is where you get the freshness and the spirit captured.

    “We all know each other. We can mind read and all that. It’s really spectacular. Ha! Ha!”

    I love Mayall’s treatment of Muddy Waters’ “Long Distance Call” and told him as much.  Knowing that musicians don’t like to pick a favorite song because it’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite kid, I asked John if there is a track off of this album that he would point to as a calling card to people to entice them to buy it.

    “It’s almost an impossibility – it all depends on what you’re mood is. ‘Drifting’ (referring to ‘Drifting Blues’) is straight-forward blues. But, then, on the other hand, ‘Ain’t No Guarantees’ is a good stomping one so I just depends what your mood is.”

    The title cut is one of four tunes that Mayall wrote on this CD. It comes across as both reflective and instructive. When askedJohnMayallbyMaureenClark001Photo by Maureen Clark about the story behind the song, he confessed:

    “I really don’t know how to explain the song. When I’m writing a song, I want to make it as interesting as possible. Also, it should reflect the mood and the story that you’re telling. It came together very quickly once you know what the story is. I’m a great believer in positivity.”

    I have twice interviewed one of John’s former band mates, Walter Trout, who recently has had an amazing recovery from a liver transplant. Mayall had this to say about Walter Trout:

    “Walter’s a pretty amazing character. First of all, he’s survived death. That’s a bit of a remarkable thing, you know. His operation was successful. He’s back strong and he’s back in business, again. I saw him fairly recently. I sat in with him. It was just like old times. As a composer and musician, he’s always coming up with new stuff. I haven’t heard his new album, yet. It’s yet to be released. It’s somewhat biographical and about all that he’s been through. He’s a very creative person with whatever he does.”

    As for what’s next for the blues legend, he says:

    “That’s pretty much it. It’s quite a big chunk of the year that we’ve got coming up on the road. The album is just out. The dates are already filling up for next year, which is great. There’s also going to be a volume two of the live stuff from 1967 with Peter Green, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood. So, volume two of that will be coming out in the new year. Apart from that, that’s all I’ve got going at the moment. I think it’s quite enough. More than most people.”

    As our chat was wrapping up, I asked John Mayall, “When you go to that great blues gig in the sky, how do you want to be remembered and what do you hope your legacy will be?” He answered without hesitation or timidity:

    “Well, I hope that people appreciate all the music that I’ve done because I’m quite confident that I don’t sound like anyone else. There’s a wealth of stuff in the music of mine for people to dig into. I think there’s quite enough going on there, already. If I die tomorrow, there’s quite a lot for people to deal with.”{/mprestriction}

  • Rumours - Deluxe Reissue

    rumourscoverRumours – Deluxe Reissue
    Artist: Fleetwood Mac
    Label: Warner Bros.
    Reviewed: March 3, 2013

    In February 1977, I was a high school senior preparing for graduation and facing the cold, real world. Rumours was released that same month and quickly dominated the airwaves with songs such as Go Your Own Way, Don’t Stop, and You Make Loving Fun. That album still enjoys airplay and dominance in the private listening devices of fans around the world. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 36 years since that album blasted its way into the American psyche, making Fleetwood Mac one ofrock’s most enduring, beloved and successful bands.

    The band is circulating a fresh round of Rumours this year with expanded and deluxe versions of the album in celebration of its 36th anniversary. Rumours made the band one of the most iconic bands of the 1970s and garnered wide critical praise, earned the Grammy® for Album of the Year, and has now sold more than 40 million copies worldwide since its 1977 debut.

    The expanded edition’s three CDs includes the original album and the b-side “Silver Springs,” a dozen unreleased live recordings from the group’s ’77 world tour, and an entire disc filled with unreleased takes from the album’s recording sessions. The deluxe edition includes all of the music from expanded version, plus an additional disc of outtakes a DVD that features “The Rosebud Film,” a 1977 documentary about the album, and the album on vinyl. RUMOURS is currently available from Rhino as the expanded edition ($24.98) and the deluxe edition ($99.98). Digital versions are also available.

    In celebration of the release, the current lineup of the band, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, both original members since 1967, and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who joined the band in 1975, will kick off and their first U.S. tour since 2009 in April. The 34-date jaunt featuresstops in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago and a special appearance at the historic Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Tickets for the first run of shows are on salenowat LiveNation.com.

    The disc of 12 unreleased live recordings from the band’s 1977 Rumours tour features performances from concerts in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville and Columbia, S.C. The songs include album tracks like The Chain, OhDaddy and Songbird as well as World Turning and Rhiannon, two tracks from the group’s 1975 eponymous release.

    Producers also have compiled a selection of 16 unreleased recordings from the album’s sessions including early takes of Go Your Own Way, I Don’t Want To Know and the popular b-side Silver Springs. There are also several demo recordings, including one for the outtake Planets of the Universe, plus an instrumental version of Never Going Back Again.

    The deluxe edition of Rumours features three additional pieces. First is an 18-track compilation of session outtakes originally released in the 2004 reissue of the album. Next is the original album on 140-gram vinyl. Finally, there is a DVD with “The Rosebud Film.” This 1977 documentary by Michael Collins includes interviews, rehearsal footage and live performancesof: World Turning, Rhiannon, Say You Love Me, Go Your Own Way, You Make Loving Fun and I’m So Afraid.

    Regardless of your listening budget, there’s a commemorative package that you can afford to pick up for your own listening library.

    Track Listing

    Disc 1
    1. “Second Hand News”
    2. “Dreams”
    3. “Never Going Back Again”
    4. “Don’t Stop”
    5. “Go Your Own Way”
    6. “Songbird”
    7. “The Chain”
    8. “You Make Loving Fun”
    9. “I Don’t Want To Know”
    10. “Oh Daddy”
    11. “Gold Dust Woman”
    12. “Silver Springs” b-side

    Disc 2: Live, 1977 “Rumours” World Tour
    1. Intro
    2. “Monday Morning”
    3. “Dreams”
    4. “Don’t Stop”
    5. “The Chain”
    6. “Oh Daddy”
    7. “Rhiannon”
    8. “Never Going Back Again”
    9. “Gold Dust Woman”
    10. “World Turning”
    11. “Go Your Own Way”
    12. “Songbird”

    Disc 3: More from the Recording Sessions
    1. “Second Hand News” (Early Take)
    2. “Dreams” (Take 2)
    3. “Never Going Back Again” (Acoustic Duet)
    4. “Go Your Own Way” (Early Take)
    5. “Songbird” (Demo)
    6. “Songbird” (Instrumental, Take 10)
    7. “I Don’t Want To Know” (Early Take)
    8. “Keep Me There” (Instrumental)
    9. “The Chain” (Demo)
    10. “Keep Me There” (With Vocal)
    11. “Gold Dust Woman” (Early Take)
    12. “Oh Daddy” (Early Take)
    13. “Silver Springs” (Early Take)
    14. “Planets Of The Universe” (Demo)
    15. “Doesn’t Anything Last” (Acoustic Duet)
    16. “Never Going Back Again” (Instrumental)

    Disc 4: 2004 Reissue Roughs & Outtakes
    1. “Second Hand News”
    2. “Dreams”
    3. “Brushes (Never Going Back Again)”
    4. “Don’t Stop”
    5. “Go Your Own Way”
    6. “Songbird”
    7. “Silver Springs”
    8. “You Make Loving Fun”
    9. “Gold Dust Woman #1”
    10. “Oh Daddy”
    11. “Think About It”
    Early Demos
    12. “Never Going Back Again”
    13. “Planets Of The Universe”
    14. “Butter Cookie (Keep Me There)”
    15. “Gold Dust Woman”
    16. “Doesn’t Anything Last”
    Jam Sessions
    17. “Mic The Screecher”
    18. “For Duster (The Blues)”

    “The Rosebud Film” by Michael Collins

    Vinyl LP
    Side 1
    1. “Second Hand News”
    2. “Dreams”
    3. “Never Going Back Again”
    4. “Don’t Stop”
    5. “Go Your Own Way”
    6. “Songbird”
    Side 2
    1. “The Chain”
    2. “You Make Loving Fun”
    3. “I Don’t Want To Know”
    4. “Oh Daddy”
    5. “Gold Dust Woman”

    Fleetwood Mac Live
    2013 Tour Dates

    4/04/13 - Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena
    4/06/13 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
    4/08/13 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
    4/09/13 - Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
    4/11/13 - Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
    4/13/13 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
    4/16/13 - Toronto, ON @ The Air Canada Centre
    4/18/13 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
    4/20/13 - Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
    4/23/13 - Ottawa, ON @ Scotiabank Place
    4/24/13 - Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
    4/26/13 - Pittsburgh, PA @ CONSOL Energy Center
    4/28/13 - St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Center
    4/30/13 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
    5/01/13 - Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
    5/03/13 - Little Rock, AR @ Verizon Arena
    5/04/13 - New Orleans, LA @ Jazz & Heritage Fest
    5/12/13 - Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre
    5/14/13 - Saskatoon, SK @ Credit Union Centre
    5/15/13 - Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
    5/17/13 - Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome
    5/19/13 - Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
    5/20/13 - Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
    5/22/13 - San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion San Jose
    5/25/13 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
    5/26/13 - Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Arena
    5/28/13 - Anaheim, CA @ Honda Center
    5/30/13 - Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center
    6/01/13 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
    6/04/13 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
    6/05/13 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
    6/07/13 - Tampa, FL @ Tampa Bay Times Forum
    6/08/13 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ BB&T Center
    6/10/13 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
    6/12/13 - Detroit, MI @ Joe Louis Arena
    6/14/13 - Chicago, IL @ Allstate Arena
    6/15/13 - Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
    6/18/13 - Montreal, QC @ Bell Center
    6/19/13 - Albany, NY @ Times Union Center Arena
    6/21/13 - Boston, MA @ Comcast Center
    6/22/13 - Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre
    6/24/13 - Charlotte, NC @ Time Warner Cable Arena
    6/26/13 - Des Moines, IA @ Wells Fargo Center
    6/29/13 - Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena
    6/30/13 - Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena
    7/03/13 - Los Angeles, CA @ STAPLES Center
    7/05/13 - San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
    7/06/13 - Sacramento, CA @ Sleep Train Arena