John Mayall
" Big Man Blues n "
Blues Boulevard Records

Blueswax Rating 8

Repackaged and Reshuffled

Through some unknown reasons this CD has bounced around from one company to another and has been reissued several times under different titles. These include Road Show, Road Show Blues, A Big Man, The Adventures of John Mayall, Lost and Gone, and it is now back for more as Big Man Blues. Go figure? And you'd have to say that this recording has seen an unusual amount of reissues where little has changed other than the title names, the cover art, and some reshuffling of tracks. Is it worth all the fuss? Yes and no, but no matter it's a worthy addition to the historic Mayall catalog, though far from his best.

The original release was recorded in Los Angeles in 1980 with James Quill Smith on guitar and background vocals, Kevin McCormick's bass, Soko Richardson on drums, Maggie Parker's vocals, and Christiaan Mostert on sax and flute. All in all there are nine tracks with two being recorded live, and it's kind of light time-wise at less than forty minutes in length. Of the seven studio tracks the most memorable is "A Big Man," which is pretty soulful and funky for Mayall. I was hopeful for the "Talk To Your Daughter" cover, but was somewhat disappointed with the arrangement and performance. The live tunes make this album worthwhile with a great cover of Jimmy Reed's "Baby, What You Want Me To Do" and a hair-raising and sizzling "Mexico City," authored by Mayall. By the way: I wasn't thrilled with the sound quality on both the studio tracks, and less so on live tunes. In summary, this disc is probably most recommended mostly for avid Mayall fans. That is unless you already have one of the numerous and previous reissues, where the songs remain the same.

Bob Putignano a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. He is also the heart of Sounds of Blues at Bob maybe contacted at:

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