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John Mayall: Live From Austin Texas

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Description:
From the vaults of the award-winning PBS Austin City Limits TV show, this is the latest release in the acclaimed Live From Austin, TX series.

You don t exactly have to be a rock & roll historian to know that the 60 s rock sound that revolutionized popular music got much of its raunch, rawness and soulful edge from the neglected masters of American blues. What many of today s rockers may have forgotten, however, is that Manchester-born singer-guitarist John Mayall was one of the leaders of that revolution. After four decades, he s still called the Father of British Blues for good reason. His band The Bluesbreakers provided fertile ground for the likes of Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, John McVie, and Jack Bruce, among other alumni. Over an incredibly short four years, these Brits and their American counterparts took the essence of traditional blues and transformed it into the foundation of much of modern rock (think Cream, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, etc., etc.).

This Austin City Limits session was recorded September 13, 1993, showcasing Wake Up Call, the latest release from the 90 s edition of the Bluesbreakers, which besides Mayall included Coco Montoya, Rick Cortes and Joe Yuele. Montoya in particular shines as he tears off one seamless guitar solo after another. Always musical movers and shakers, they mix it up this time in a melting pot of blues spiced with a little jazz, gospel and rock, but it doesn t get any better than Jimmy Reed s Ain t That Lovin You or Junior Wells heartbreaker I Could Cry.

Blues is one of the most honest forms of music because it tells real stories about real people with real emotion. Who can t relate to that? Just as the blues has a timeless, universal appeal, the music of John Mayall today is as true to his purist vision, yet modern expression, as it was back in 1963.

Track listing:
1 I Want To Go
2 Ain t That Lovin You Baby?
3 Maydell
4 Wake Up Call
5 I m A Sucker For Love
6 Nature s Disappearing
7 I Could Cry
8 Bear
9 Mail Order Mystics

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: John Mayall
  • Directors: Gary Menotti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: New West Records
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000V6BE1M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,089 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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By Kurt Harding VINE VOICE on November 21, 2007
Format: DVD
I was a little hesitant at first about buying John Mayall: Live From Austin Texas since my experience with the releases from the archives of the famed Austin City Limits hasn't always been entirely positive. But the opportunity arose to buy this at a very good price, so I took the plunge.
Though the DVD started shakily with a tentative rendition of I Want To Go, by the time the band tore into Maydell, it was plain that I was in for a treat. By the time it got to I'm A Sucker For Love, the group had reached full stride. Coco Montoya is never better than when he plays with Mayall and on "Sucker" launches a dazzling guitar attack in counterpoint to Mayall's keyboard bravado. They genuinely appear to be enjoying every minute of the concert! In addition, Joe Yuele proves his mettle on the drums and it soon becomes apparent why Mayall has kept him around for so long.
Mayall's oeuvre is huge and had I been the one to choose the songs for him to perform I would have chosen mostly different ones. But fans have to live with what he has chosen and for the most part, he makes the best of his choices. In addition to the two songs previously mentioned, my favorites here are Nature's Disappearing, I Could Cry, and Mail Order Mystics, that last being one of Mayall's trademark slaps at some of the cultural sillinesses of the "love" generation.
Overall, Live From Austin Texas offers more great moments from a career that has had far more than its share of them. Despite its brevity and a couple of weak cuts, this is a DVD that deserves a proud place in any blues fan's music library.
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For all of those critics who have constantly chastised John Mayall for being known as just a bandleader and not a capable musician you definitely need to check this DVD out. I for one have never subscribed to this theory and having seen him in concert many times I know the man can play and he always acquits himself well. On "Live From Austin " he plays superb keyboards, scorching rythmn guitar, and he absolutley torches the harmonica on the last tune, "Mail Order Mystics", which also features David Grissom on lead guitar. His vocals are especially strong on this outing too. Coco Montoya is at his usual best on this DVD to boot. Just give it a listen and you will realize that John Mayall is a very serious and talented musician....oh yes, and by the way, he also just happens to be a bandleader too.
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OK. If you are a John M. fan, I guess you could give this a five, but reviews are about your opinions of an artist, and unfortunately, I'm not a big fan. I try to be. I want to love anyone who plays the blues, but I just don't think Mayall is very good. He has been very smart in surrounding himself, though his career, with very good musicians. Without them he would be nobody. He can't play much of a piano, nor harmonica worth beans, and his voice is really weak. A lot of his songs are not really blues as well. They sound very pop and light rockish. He just doesn't have much soul or richness. I do give him major credit for hanging in there and doing what he obviously loves to do. He's just not my style when I think of good blues musicians and music. The best part of the DVD is Coco Montoya who plays many really good solos if you like blues music that has a harder more rock sound to it, personally I don't. If you like Stevie or Gary Moore, you will probably like his sound and playing. I think he is very good but not the kind of blues player who does a lot for me. I would suggest that you get Mayall's other DVD, "John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers and Friends - 70th Birthday Concert," first, or even his, "Jammin' With the Blues Greats." I think these are much better DVDs because of all the guest artists, and from these DVDs, you can see if you really like John Mayall and his style of blues.
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