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John Mayall – A Special Life

by Debra C. Argen
John Mayall - A Special Life
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British Bluesman John Mayall’s latest release, A Special Life on the Forty Below Records label features band members guitarist Rocky Athas, bass guitarist Greg Rzab, and drummer Jay Davenport, with a guest appearance by C.J. Chenier who adds his impact on this memorable release. Blues lovers are in for a treat with John Mayall – A Special Life from the legendary John “The Godfather of British Blues” Mayall.

John Mayall – A Special Life: Why Did You Go Last Night, Speak Of The Devil, That’s All Right, World Gone Crazy, Floodin’ In California, Big Town Playboy, A Special Life, I Just Got To Know, Heartache, Like A Fool, Just A Memory 

John Mayall – A Special Life: John Mayall: vocals, piano, organ, harmonica, clavinet, lead guitar on tracks 5 and 7; Rocky Athas: lead and rhythm guitar except on track 7; Greg Rzab: bass guitar and percussion on track 9; Jay Davenport: drums; C.J. Chenier: vocals on track 1 and 8, accordion on track 1  

John Mayall – A Special Life was produced by John Mayall and Co-Produced by Eric Corne on the Forty Below Records label.   

John Mayall, singer, songwriter, musician, producer, knows no boundaries; his work transcends time, and at 80 years of age (he was born on November 29, 1933), his energy is clearly focused on his latest release, A Special Life. Since the beginning, he has made his mark on the world of blues, and his former band, The Bluesbreakers included such legendary luminaries as Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel, Walter Trout, and Coco Montoya, and that is just the tip of the musical iceberg in his “who’s who” of talent he has played with over the years.  

The cover art is gorgeous and features John Mayall’s guitar laden with turquoise, coral, and silver, and musicians who like to play along while listening will appreciate the keys noted for each of the songs on the inside cover.  

The release opens with the Zydeco legend Clifton Chenier song, Why Did You Go Last Night, which features guest C.J. Chenier adding vocals and accordion on his father’s song that captures the listener’s attention with the instrumental intro that segues into the catchy lyrics, “Oh, pretty baby, why did you go last night…” and the band’s ability to blend chords into a delicious musical cocktail. Shake it up, baby!  

Next in the line-up is the Sonny Landreth song, Speak Of The Devil, followed by the Jimmy Rogers song, That’s All Right, a foot stomping blues number. The 11-track release continues the magical vibe with three new Mayall songs, and a remake of an old Mayall favorite with World Gone Crazy, the title track, A Special Life, Heartache an especially fine instrumental piece with Greg Rzab adding percussion, and Just A Memory.

John Mayall takes over lead guitar on the Albert King song, Floodin’ In California which opens with a killer drum intro and speaks of the floods in Los Angeles and San Francisco, then the band slides into the Eddie Taylor song, Big Town Playboy. Rocky Athas moves over as lead guitarist again on the Mayall title track, A Special Life with John showing his prowess and why he was recognized and awarded an O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire) for his lifetime music contribution.   

C.J. Chenier is back on the Jimmy McCracklin song, I Just Got To Know, adding his vocals, and then the band segues into the Mayall song, Heartache. Next in the line-up is the Greg Rzab and Rocky Athas song, Like A Fool.   

The release closes with the aptly named Mayall song, Just A Memory, and what a memory it is; blues lovers do not miss out on purchasing A Special Life, and if at all possible, get yourself out of your chair, or wherever else it is that you like to listen to music, and get yourself to a John Mayall concert in Europe or in the United States. A Special Life is indeed special, and one that is all the better when shared. 

For information on John Mayall – A Special Life as well as information on upcoming tour dates, please visit the website: www.JohnMayall.com 

Listen to a sampler of John Mayall – A Special Life at www.FortyBelowRecords.com 

Follow John Mayall on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/JohnMayallBlues 

Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience 

Websites where you can procure John Mayall – A Special Life: Amazon, BarnesandNoble, and CDUniverse

© August 2014. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com  All rights reserved.

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