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We asked John to pick 10 tracks that he would want you to have if you were interested in learning about the blues. These are tracks taken from John Mayall's personal collection. He says: "Go to the source!"     Get Real Player Now!
1. Big Maceo: "Chicago Breakdown"
"I first heard this powerful track when I was in the army in 1952 and Maceo has been one of the heaviest influences on my piano playing. He played and recorded mostly in Detroit and was usually accompanied by Tampa Red on guitar. He was left-handed, which accounts for the relentless drive of all his songs. He wrote "Worried Life Blues", which is probably more familiar to fans of Eric Clapton, who included it on "From The Cradle".
2. Ray Charles: "What'd I Say?"
"Ray Charles is probably more widely known as a soul singer but this track from the early album "Ray Charles Live" shows his wonderful blues piano and gospel influences. The whole album is a classic from start to finish!"
3. Robert Johnson: "Hell Hound On My Trail"
"If ever there was a definitive sound of the Delta blues evoking the nomadic lifestyle of the depression era, this stands for all time as one of the true classic."
4. Cannonball Adderley: "Work Song"
"I love just about everything that Cannonball Adderley ever recorded! This live cut, from one of many albums, was written by his cornetist brother Nat and is yet another example of roots music connecting up with jazz in an unmistakable way. It really cooks"!
5. Art Blakey: "Moanin'"
"As I have been recognized as a bandleader over the years, so was the great drummer leader Art Blakey, whose Jazz Messengers were a springboard for many many major jazz men. This track features pianist Bobby Timmons, again showing the big influence that blues has when integrated into a modern funky jazz framework."
6. Freddy King: "Going Down"
"There was no one quite like Freddy when it came to tearing up an audience whether live or in the studio. This searing cut, written by Don Nix, from a live album, defines modern rock blues."
7. J. B. Lenoir: "Alabama March"
"This beautiful acoustic version of one of the truly unique bluesmen features a chilling commentary on the early civil rights movement, as it began to stir in the late ╬50Ôs. J.B.Ôs high pitched voice and slinky guitar shine like gold."
8. Albert Ammons: "Shout For Joy"
"Albert Ammons was my first major boogie woogie exponent and this cut was the inspiration that drew me to the piano when I was 14 years old. His timing and rock steady beat and melodic ideas illustrate how the ultimate examples of boogie can build to great creative heights."
9. Sonny Boy Williamson: "Don't Start Me Talkin"
"Sonny boy was a tough man to get along with but from our first meeting in the London early sixties, we got along just fine and he taught me alot about harmonica. This cut has one of my favorite pianists in the ensemble, Otis Spann, who was best known in his lifetime as Muddy Waters' pianist and he can be heard on most of Muddy's classic recordings."
10. Cripple Clarence Lofton: "Streamline Train"
"Cripple Clarence was a legendary unorthodox pianist entertainer from Chicago. His original composition, "I Don't Know", was later recorded by many other bluesmen, including a rendition by The Blues Brothers, which was reworked as "Hey Bartender". "Streamline Train", however, is a classic example of boogie woogie stride piano in its purest form."


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