John Mayall – A Special Life

 

Legendary Godfather of the Blues, John Mayall will be releasing his first new studio album in five years, A Special Place on Forty Below Records on May 13, 2014. It is considered to be one of the finest and most personal records of his career.

John Mayall goes back to his roots on the new album with an eclectic mix of songs centered in the blues, but with diversions into rock and Americana.

Backing Mayall on the new album are Texas guitarist Rocky Athas and a Chicago-based rhythm
section of Greg Rzab on bass and Jay Davenport on drums.

Accordion legend C.J. Chenier makes a powerhouse guest appearance on a couple of tracks,
including the opener, “Why Did You Go Last Night,” written and previously recorded by his
father, Zydeco Icon Clifton Chenier.

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Elliott Randall – Virtual Memory

I am excited to share that Elliot Randall‘s new CD, Virtual Memory is available for purchase.

If you are not familiar with Elliott Randall you should be.

I first saw Elliott Randall with Randall’s Island  in 1971 when they were the opening act for John Mayall‘s band (USA Union vintage). I dug Randall’s Island and loved when Elliott Randall came back out to play “Reelin In The Years” with Mayall 😉

Elliott Randall is a consummate guitar perfectionist evidenced well by his latest recording which marks his 50th year of his “life in the music business”.

The tracks are uniquely diverse yet weave a cohesive blend for the attentive listener. The wide spectrum of genres recorded will appeal to the subtlest of music tastes.

You’ll marvel at the guest stars who play with Elliott, beginning with Mick Abrahams whose work I have always admired from Jethro Tull and Blodwyn Pig (Dear Jill). This YouTube video of Elliott and Mick will give you some flavor 😉

THE MUSICIANS

Guitars: Elliott Randall, Mick Abrahams, Steve Donnelly, Tommy Emmerton; Piano/Keyboards: Paul Griffin, Wayne Brown, Paul ShafferPete Murray, Eric Johnson; Drums: Allen Herman, Jamie Oldaker, Andy Treacey; Bass: Mo Foster, Andy Pask, Chris Bishop, “Level” Neville Malcolm; Woodwinds: Paul Fleisher, Sam Rivers, Frank Walden, Marty Kersich, Trumpet & Flugelhorn: Martin Shaw, Al Chez; Trombone: Kevin Osborne; Vibraphone: Hugh Wilkinson

SoundCloud Definitive Sample

Don “Sugarcane” Harris’s Vintage Era

Cover of "Usa Union"
Cover of Usa Union

I was listening to John Mayall‘s USA Union (1970) recording this afternoon. What really caught my ear was the stellar performance of Don “Sugarcane” Harris on electric violin.  USA Union was a continuation of  John Mayall’s  musical jazz/blues period which featured “no drums” that began with The Turning Point (Live -1969) and Empty Rooms (Studio – 1970).

John Mayall’s USA Union band consisted of:

John Mayall – Electric guitar, keyboards, harmonica and vocals

Harvey Mandel – Electric guitar

Larry “The Mole” Taylor –  Acoustic and electric bass

and Don “Sugarcane” Harris – Electric violin

Sugarcane Harris was in high demand from 1969 – 1971, his vintage years. Frank Zappa was a major fan of the American rock duo Don and Dewey so he recruited Sugarcane for his jazz avant-garde recording, Hot Rats. Frank Zappa continued to use Sugarcane on Burnt Weenie Sandwich, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, and Chunga’s Revenge.



Our favorite place to hear live music: Infinity Music Hall and Bistro

Why we love Infinity Hall!

The intimacy is wonderful. Infinity Hall was built in 1883 and Mark Twain spoke from that very stage. The architecture of the building is a cross between a Swiss chalet and a tall barn structure.

We like the fact that artists are very accessible here. We have met Stanley Jordan, Martha Davis(who was lovely to us), Dave Mason, Bill Kirchen and John Mayall. They have signed autographs for us and shared time with us as fans.

The upstairs seating on the rail is our favorite part. We can have a wonderful meal (from Infinity Bistro) and watch a concert in close proximity on the stage.

The Infinity Hall Blog

We are going there tonight to see the singer, songwriter Jimmy Webb who has written some of our most favorite songs.

https://theconcertslut.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/jimmy-webb-infinity-music-hall-june-26-2010/

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