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A master class in contemporary blues, topped off with a helping of Mayall's trademark lyrical wit and even a guest appearance by Joe Walsh. --People Magazine
John Mayall Scores Again with Talk About That
By Barry Kerzner
John Mayall is now 83 and shows no signs of slowing down. His latest album, Talk About That, out on Forty Below Records is at once classic Mayall, and so much more.
At this stage, Mayall has nothing left to prove to anyone. He is still relevant and in fact triumphant because he hasn't stopped pushing his own boundaries, and he s never stopped exploring and expanding his musical vocabulary. That he is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is almost criminal.
Talk About That is Mayall's 66th album. On this outing he plays keyboards, harmonica and guitar as well as serving up his familiar vocal stylings. He is joined by Rocky Athas on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass, and Jay Davenport on drums. The fellas are tighter than Murderers Row throughout. The 11 tracks contain eight originals and three covers. Production and mixing here are effective in really showcasing the layers of instrumentation, especially when the horns drop in for a visit. The sound quality is stellar too.
In our opinion, this is the some of the best music that Mayall has laid down in years. Talk About That is exciting, varied, and satisfying, and will be viewed as a milestone work, in much the same way 1993 s Wake Up Call, and 2003 s 70th Birthday Concert have been.
There is so much to love on this album, it s hard to know where to begin. We have the inspiring rendering of the classic Goin' Away Baby, with an updated feel that tips a hat to the original, but oh how the band stretches out and throws down here. There s guest Joe Walsh bringing his biting, bluesy fretboard dancing to the fore on The Devil Must Be Laughing, and fine work on Cards On The Table as well.
The band s back-beat is stout and solid throughout; it doesn't waver. It is the foundation upon which this masterpiece is built. Greg Rzab on bass reminds us of the melodic work of James Jameson of the Funk Brothers. His integration with Jay Davenport on drums is beyond... well, just beyond. Rocky Athas on guitar is a breath of fresh air. He thrills, he excites, he seduces, he calms, and he touches us. What more could anyone ask of a band?
We sat there, completely lost in I Didn't Mean To Hurt You, and we lingered there. Don t Deny Me, with its delightful Stax flavor was deeply gratifying. Blue Midnight is jazzy, breezy, and put a big smile on our face.
If for some incomprehensible reason fans have not snagged a copy of Talk About That their very own, what are you waiting for? --American Blues Scene
A brand new masterpiece from a man who has made masterpieces for decades. The legendary John Mayall, now at 83, is delivering his heartfelt blues with as much fire as ever. His is a mighty band, which starts and ends with the great solidity of drummer Jay Davenport, who lays down a greatly soulful and driving foundation for each of these songs, as crisp as it is funky. On top of that we get Mayall wailing sometimes on Hammond organ, sometimes harmonica, sometimes guitar. Rocky Athas plays both lead and rhythm guitar, with Greg Rzab is on bass. The amiable Joe Walsh lends some gritty lead guitar on the great song The Devil Must Be Laughing, matching the intensity of Mayall s Hammond playing and soulful exhortative vocals. The whole thing is like a priceless lesson in rhythm and blues, hearing the great propulsive grooves this band provides for the bluesman to ignite.
It s Hard Going Up lives in that great Mose Allison-like realm of whimsical, wary wisdom married to a charged blues, opening the door to great life lessons: It s hard going up, he sings, but twice as hard coming down. Resounding like a modern classic is Blue Midnight, a smooth bluesy incitement which weds a perfect Mayall guitar solo, all passion and electric soul, with a funky Mayall keyboard solo. Yes. Mayall s a man of musical multitudes still burning into his ninth decade with blues of the ages. While countless rock stars who came in his wake long ago burnt out or faded away long ago, he s still doing it, still living and singing in the incendiary heart of the blues.
-American Songwriter Magazine by Paul Zollo --American Songwriter Magazine
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language : English
- Product Dimensions : 4.77 x 3.56 x 0.12 inches; 1.28 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Forty Below
- Original Release Date : 2017
- Run time : 47 minutes
- Date First Available : November 5, 2016
- Label : Forty Below
- ASIN : B01M8NHUA0
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #115,231 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If you like John Mayall and have followed his music through the ups and downs beyond his heyday, you will hear what I mean. The entire album is exciting except perhaps for Gimme Some of That Gumbo which isn't a terrible song, just slightly commercial.
The title cut sets a rollicking pace, followed by a fine remake of It's Hard Going Up. Then comes a slow, mournful piece about war and terrorism that evokes earlier work and allows Mayall to showcase his keyboards and voice while guest Joe Walsh delivers some electrifying guitar work. The rest of the album offers a variety of moods and closes out with You Never Know, a fine meditative piece that allows Mayall's piano skill to shine and leaves the listener craving more.
To me, this is Mayall's best album since Stories and one that should be looked back upon as a latter-day classic from the grand master of British blues.I listened to it non-stop on a recent 900 mile trip from my home to Denver and found it hard to go on to something else. Go on and buy it. You won't be sorry.
Top reviews from other countries
All in all, a great collection which is easily up there alongside any of John's last half dozen CDs,. No blues enthusiast should be without it.