Friday, May 24, 2013

Singing the blues... in Folsom

Tonight, I saw one of the legends of our time... John Mayall, playing with the latest incarnation of his Bluesbreakers, the John Mayall Band, at Folsom's Three Stages.

So many well-known musicians have played with him (and it's definitely them who played "with John Mayall", rather than the other way round, because they didn't make it really big until later)... Mick Taylor, Andy Fraser, Clapton, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood being just a few.

John Mayall surrounds himself with outstanding musicians; his band today is no exception. Rocky Athas ("Cocky Rocky" for you Lizzie fans) on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass, (what the heck did he just do with that bass???), Jay Davenport on drums. (He made me want to learn to play the drums... I can't do the multiple-rhythms-with-different-limbs-thing, no way, but his energy made me want to try to do that...)  The Mayall-Rzab musical duel was clever and funny and ... wow. How it all. Just. Worked.

The blues is the blues is the blues: best heard live, and best with musicians who know how to weave their virtuosity tight together. That's what they did tonight; the solos were stupendous, but the whole was wonderful. 

John Mayall will be eighty years old later this year. He wears blue jeans and a ponytail and a smile. Has recorded well over fifty albums. And he's out there touring the world. Remember that when you're feeling a little tired... he's out there, playing to standing ovations. Nearly eighty. Amazing.

(I found out about this show from Sacramento's Morpheus Music. You can subscribe to their newsletter for info about upcoming shows.)

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