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John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers: Blues for The Lost Days

British blues pioneer John Mayall has fronted countless editions of The Bluesbreakers since its inception in 1966. Several stellar guitar slingers have passed through its ranks during that time, including Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel and Freddy Robinson. The latest hotshot to hold down that coveted chair is Buddy Whittington, who provides some sparkle on Blues For The Lost Days (Silvertone), Mayall’s 40th-or-so album as a leader. A fine guitarist himself, Mayall nonetheless is more known for his blistering harmonica work, which he ably showcases on the album’s opener, “Dead City.” On the autobiographical “All Those Heroes” he pays tribute to blues greats he grew up listening to. Everyone from Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf to Big Maceo and Blind Blake are addressed here. Another autobiographical offering is the title track, in which Mayall tells the tale of the formation of the Bluesbreakers and the birth of London blues. Tenor sax great Red Holloway puts in a cameo appearance, soloing on “Stone Cold Deal” and “How Can You Love Like That.” And guitarist Whittington is showcased on the Freddie King instrumental, “Sen-Say-Shun.”

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