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John Mayall

Live at the Marquee 1969

(Eagle Rock; US: 3 Jun 2008; UK: Available as import)

For a true fan of UK blues legend John Mayall, this 1969 show at London’s famed Marquee Club will prove to be a most interesting relic from his post-Bluesbreakers era in the late ‘60s. Though billed as a “special edition”, this otherwise straight reissue from Spitfire Records’ initial 2000 release of this show, originally recorded for posterity for a documentary on Mayall featured in theaters in the early ‘70s, harbors pretty much the same set as The Turning Point, a phenomenal live album from Bill Graham’s Fillmore East that sonically dwarfs this otherwise tinny and bootleg-ish document. However, while you can certainly argue the case against picking up this album, especially if you already have a copy of The Turning Point, this Marquee show offers up its own salvageable surprises for hardcore Mayall heads, including the snippet of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” his band breaks into during “So Hard to Share” and two tasty renditions of the song “California”, which offers up a quintessential taste of the Laurel Canyon folk-blues sound Mayall honed after he left London for the Golden State.

Rating:

Ron Hart is currently enjoying his 11th year as a professional music journalist. In addition to PopMatters, he has also written for such publications as CMJ, Billboard.com, SPIN.com, The Village Voice, Gear, Paper, SHOUT NY, Paperthinwalls.com, Blender, Yellow Rat Bastard, Good Times, Paste, and Barnesandnoble.com among others. He is also the editor and publisher of the Interboro Rock Tribune, a free NYC music zine now in its 6th year in print. Please give us traffic on our website at http://www.irtmag.com.


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8 Feb 2010
This, his 57th studio album, is meat-and-potatoes Mayall -- a solid record, albeit a non-adventurous one, from a spirited veteran bluesman who still has things to say and songs to sing.
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