John Mayall’s latest release, Nobody Told Me, is out now and available for purchase.
Nobody Told Me, the new studio album from Blues Hall of Fame member, John Mayall boasts an impressive and diverse list of guest guitarists, all personal favorites of Mayall’s including Todd Rundgren, Little Steven Van Zandt of The E Street Band, Alex Lifeson from Rush, Joe Bonamassa, Larry McCray and Carolyn Wonderland who will be joining the band on tour. Also, on hand are Mayall’s dynamic Chicago rhythm section of Greg Rzab on bass guitar and Jay Davenport on drums, along with Billy Watts (Lucinda Williams) on rhythm guitar and Mayall’s regular horn section, moonlighting from their day job in The Late Show with Conan O’Brien’s house band.
The album was produced by Mayall and Forty Below Records founder Eric Corne at The Foo Fighters’ Studio 606 on the same legendary Sound City Neve console his one-time band mates from Fleetwood Mac used to record parts of the best-selling Rumors album.
Ahead of yet another Uk tour this time billed “85th Anniversary tour”I was lucky enough to be afforded the opportunity of a chat with the legendary blues artist himself John Mayall for Madness To Creation.
Fans can find Mark Dean’s work at the following locations:
Mark: Hi, is that John? Hello. Hi, it’s Mark here. We have an interview scheduled.
John Mayall: That’s right. Yes.
Mark: Okay. , it’s a little bit of a step back in time for me because I remember when I was growing up my father actually had a copy of that first blues breakers studio album in his collection.
John Mayall: Yes.
Mark: So as I say, it’s just a little bit of a step back in time. You’ve been described in many glowing terms, legend, innovator. Just wondered how you, yourself, personally viewed your own extensive musical career.
John Mayall: Well, you know, I came into the business really until later I was 30 years old and the reason why I turned to music at that time professionally was with Alexis Korner and Miles Davis the whole British Blues Movement began in London back in 1962 and I’m 63. So that’s really, , you know, some of this music I’ve been playing all my life, for private enjoyment now became something that I could enter the field and then do the intensive work to becoming professional. So that’s the way it all started for me. And, its been going on ever since.
Mark: And you still here doing this, this wondered how do you explain your longevity in the music business? You are still playing concerts tours and you’re still releasing albums.
John Mayall: Well, I think I’ve been, the main thing is that you’ve got to be original in an honest and the things that you’re trying to communicate to people. So as long as you’re giving something that they can relate to and the audience relate to what you’re doing, then you’re on the right track, you know? So I’ve always found that, you know, to keep, keep up to date with things on the transmitted that way through music.
Mark : Of course. You have yet another UK series of dates lined up in November. Do you find as you get older than the touring part of what you do becomes more difficult?
John Mayall: No, no sense at all really? As long as you are enjoying what you’re doing. Um, yeah, I think that age really doesn’t have any impact unless, unless you have been in poor health or something that, yeah, it makes it difficult to use to do. But, you know, luckily I’ve, uh, I’ve been good. I’m in good shape and I am looking forward to having a great tour over the UK.
Mark I mean, you said you’ve had an extensive musical career and have this tour approaching How do you go about selecting the setlist? How do you pick what songs to play? You’ve got quite an extensive back catalog-a task like that cant be easy for you..
John Mayall: Well I will play a completely different show every night. So every night we’re going to choose from a different set of songs.. So, I make sure that we were not playing the same show every night. I put together a set that will please us musicians and and like I said, I’m playing new stuff that is on the current album from now, and also include some of the older material, but there’s so much, so much to choose from.
Mark: Of course you’ve created music with many of the musical greats, from Clapton, and Peter Green in those early days right up the likes of Billy Gibbons and Gary Moore. Who would you say should we say has personally taught you the most out of all the artists that you have worked with and created music with?
John Mayall: Well, I think every musician I’ve ever worked with, uh, I choose them because they have an individual style. Yeah. So, if you’re talking about guitar players, its just a simple six string instrument, but it’s amazing the differences of each musician can bring to it. So, I picked musicians for the individuality and the way they play.
Mark: Are there any artists that you would have liked to create music with or, actually missed the opportunity to create music with?
John Mayall: Well, I’m sometimes asked that particular question not, quite often anyway, but, I never really come up with another thing that can be done. Um, so I, I have to say that, you know, I’ve always chosen musicians to work with Current musicians,….
Mark: Yeah, of course. You have lived over in the United States for many years. Do you see yourself as American these days?
John Mayall: Well, I am always British, you know, I just live in America, I don’t think it’s ever really lost my accent and, uh, you know, I just like, like the climate over here and have lived here half my life now. I think as time goes on that uh, you know, every person picks a place where they want to settle down in and and be the right environment for him. So that’s all I can say about that.
Mark : There have been quite significant changes in the music industry since you first started out back in the sixties. . I’m thinking specifically in terms of revenue streams. When you first start off record labels were paying artists for albums, you generated income from sales , the whole music industry has changed. Is it more difficult these days to become an active musician? Earning your living by just playing music
John Mayall: The music that I played seems to appeal for every generation that comes along. So it’s my job to, you know, to play music that is current and, uh, you know, in my, in my own, in my own music and performances and make sure that we’re getting the energy and the variety of people can relate to.
Mark: Do you feel as an artist you have individually and creatively more freedom? These days you’re not being dictated to by record labels unlike where previously they would demand you go out touring for months on end.
John Mayall: Well, I don’t know, you know, you know, people have records out and it depends on the individual artists really. But, you know, fortunately there’s enough of an audience out there that I can play, you know, concerts all over the world in clubs and the term available to me. So we like to go on tour and communicate with people.
Mark: Yeah. Looking back at your extensive musical legacy, how do you feel about it? I mean it must be something that brings great personal satisfaction, pride when you reflect on what you have achieved?
John Mayall: It does but you know, the main thing is that you shouldn’t take it for granted and you should always be striving for new things and the new energies you can communicate to people. So I’m a strong believer in that and always have been.
Mark: You don’t go back and re examine and be overtly critical on some releases and say that I could have done this, or that could have been done differently.?
John Mayall: No, I don’t. I don’t think you really, anybody has any control on those things. You do what’s best for you in life and, and uh, hopefully make the best of it initially to ration that you come up against.
Mark: Do you still have hopes, dreams and ambitions?
John Mayall: Well, you know, my main thing is to keep healthy and keep doing the music, and avoid any damage. So, you know, that’s my main intention.
Mark: Are you still learning? In terms of your level of proficiency and ability.
John Mayall: Playing, playing, playing all the time. It’s a different experience and you know, I never played the same thing twice. At least, you know, hopefully you’re not playing the same thing twice and you do the best you can.
Mark: What in your life, are you most proud? Is it something maybe in your personal life or is it maybe something that particular album or song that you’ve created?
John Mayall: Well, the thing I’m most proud of is being able to be appreciated for all these years, you know? So I think that’s a great achievement. Some say you’ve done this and that … Yeah. So as long as I can, create respect, n and continue doing what I’m doing, then the advice is on the right track.
Mark: You must have done many interviews over the years and just wondered if the roles were reversed. Who would you like sit down and do a 1-1 interview? It’s, if the roles were reversed is there anybody that you would like to maybe sit down and ask the questions may be personal hero or a source inspiration.
John Mayall: Really. I don’t, I don’t really think you’re good, honestly, that, you know what I mean? I take everything as it comes.
Mark: Okay. That wraps it up for me. Thank you very much for talking to me. I’m looking forward to seeing the show in November in Manchester
John Mayall: Well, there you go. Thanks for talking to me see you all in November.
Mark : Cheers, John. Thank you.
And there you have it! John Mayall will be touring the world in support of “Nobody Told Me”. Check out the tour dates below:
Thu. 6/13 through Sun. 6/16- Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle, Washington
Tue. 6/18- Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon
Wed. 6/19- John G. Shedd Institute For The Arts in Eugene, Oregon
Thu. 6/20- Tower Theatre in Bend, Oregon
Sat. 6/22- Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, California
Sun. 6/23- Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland, California
Tue. 6/25- Crest Theatre in Sacramento, California
Wed. 6/26- The Siren in Morro Bay, California
Fri. 6/28- Club Madrid in Henderson, Nevada
Fri. 7/26- The Token Lounge in Westland, Michigan
Sat. 7/27- Arbeitoer Hall in Bay City, Michigan
Sun. 7/28- Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan
Tue. 7/30- Shank Hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Wed. 7/31- S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston, Illinois
Thu. 8/1- City Winery in Chicago, Illinois
Fri. 8/2- Sat. 8/3- Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, Illinois
Sun. 8/4- City Winery in Nashville, Tennessee
Mon. 8/5- Grand Theatre in Frankfort, Kentucky
Tue. 8/6- The Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio
Thu. 8/8 through Sat. 8/10- Iridium in New York, New York
Sun. 8/11- The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Tue. 8/13- Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Massachusetts
Wed. 8/14- Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, Massachusetts
Fri. 8/16- Rochester Opera House in Rochester, New Hampshire
Sat. 8/17- Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts
Sun. 8/18- Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Connecticut
Tue. 8/20- Sellersville Theater 1894 in Sellersville, Pennsylvania
Wed. 8/21- Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, Maryland
Thu. 8/22- The Hamilton Live in Washington D.C.
Fri. 8/23- Tin Pan in Richmond, Virginia
Sat. 8/31- Lake Park in Lewisville, Texas
Sat. 9/28- La Belle Electrique in Grenoble, France
Sun. 9/29- Alpilium in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France
Mon. 9/30- Sala BARTS in Barcelona, Spain
Tue. 10/1- Sala Bbk Musiketan in Bilbao, Spain
Wed. 10/2- Teatro Colon in La Coruna, Spain
Thu. 10/3- Centro Cultural De Belem in Lisbon, Portugal
Fri. 10/4- Centro de Artes Escencias y de la Musica in Salamanca, Spain
Sat. 10/5- Sede Afundacion Pontevedra in Pontevedra, Spain
Sun. 10/6- Teatro de la Laboral in Gijon, Spain
Tue. 10/8- Teatro Nuevo Apolo in Madrid, Spain
Wed. 10/9- Teatro Cervantes in Malaga, Spain
Fri. 10/11- Very Big Experience in Alicante, Spain
Sat. 10/12- Sala Moon in Valencia, Spain
Sun. 10/13- Zentral in Pamplona, Spain
Wed. 10/16- Muhle Hunziken in Rubigen, Switzerland
Thu. 10/17- Konzertfabrik Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland
Sat. 10/19- Kulturzentrum Kammgam in Kaiserlautern, Germany
Sun. 10/20- Substage in Karlsruhe, Germany
Mon. 10/21- Jazzhaus in Freiburg, Germany
Wed. 10/23- Capitol in Hannover, Germany
Thu. 10/24- Kulturetage in Oldenburg, Germany
Fri. 10/25- Gasthof zur Linde in Affalter, Germany
Sat. 10/26- Tante Ju in Dresden, Germany
Sun. 10/27- HsD Gewerkschaftshaus in Erfurt, Germany
Mon. 10/28- Q Factory in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tue. 10/29- De Casino in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Wed. 10/30- Het Depot in Leuven, Belgium
Thu. 10/31- Metropool in Hengelo, Netherlands
Fri. 11/1- Muziekgieterij in Maastricht, Netherlands
Sun. 11/3- The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Mon. 11/4- The Tyne Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Wed. 11/6- York Barbican in York, United Kingdom
Thu. 11/7- G Live in Guildford, United Kingdom
Fri. 11/8- Albert Hall in Nottingham, United Kingdom
Sat. 11/9- Cadogan Hall in London, United Kingdom
Sun. 11/10- Buxton Opera House in Buxton, United Kingdom
Tue. 11/12- De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-On-Sea, United Kingdom
Wed. 11/13- Cheltenham Town Hall in Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Thu. 11/14- The Lighthouse in Poole, United Kingdom
Fri. 11/15- The Alban Arena in St. Albans, United Kingdom
Sun. 11/17- Cambridge Corn Exchange in Cambridge, United Kingdom
Mon. 11/18- RNCM Theatre in Manchester, United Kingdom
Tue. 11/19- Birmingham Town Hall in Birmingham, United Kingdom
Wed. 11/20- Palace Theatre in Westcliff-on-sea, United Kingdom
For tickets and further information on any of the gigs listed above, click here.
Fans can find JOHN MAYALL at the following locations:
- Photo Credit: David Gomez