Patrick O’Heffernan. Host, Music FridayLive!,
I have been listening to John Mayall ever since I outgrew doo wop, Although he was in England and I was in California, he introduced me to that unique American art form, the blues, a gift I will be eternally grateful for. I will also be eternally grateful that he had the good sense to leave England for the California sunshine, where I could l see him live – which I have several done times. Mayall’s albums were – and are – stuffed with songs each of which has an individual personality and yet all sound like they come from the same family. Today he is releasing “Nobody Told Me”, his 36th album in a career that spans a half century, and I am honored to talk with him about it and about his remarkable career.
Patrick. Congratulations on the new album out today. I understand it came together pretty quickly – is that right?
John. When I make an album, it doesn’t take much more than a week; you know, three days in the studio for the backing tracks and in this case, we sent the backing tracks when they were completed to various notable guitar plays who wanted to join in on it.
Patrick. You brought together a fabulous group of musicians. I understand your thought on this album was to have a lot of guests artists. Did you just put out the call among friends and professionals you know and see who called back, or did you strategically pick the everyone on the recording?
John. Yes. I think that Eric Corne, the label manager, did a lot to spread the word about that, it is probably because I didn’t have a specific list but all these notable guitar players want to do it and they came forward. The one who was in town in Los Angles was Joe Bonamassa, the others just sent the completed backing tracks and they did a wonderful job.
Patrick. Your song “What Have I Done Wrong” is good, solid blues – great solid blues. Joe Bonamassa is on that song – along with some other artists. was he in the studio with you when you recorded it.
John. Yes, he was in LA so he was very eager to come down and put his mark on it. As you just said, really fiery stuff.
Patrick. is that the way you like it, to record with folks in the studio as much as you can?
John. Well, the intention is to capture the live feeling of it. We never do more than a couple of takes for any song. If it starts to get more than that it is obviously not quite the right one. We have to feel really enthused about the tracks. Normally we do everything as close to live as we can and then we put the odd bits and pieces on afterward and I do the vocals afterwards. It is a building process and we enjoy every minute of it.
John Mayall https://www.johnmayall.com/
Nobody Told Me. released 2/22/19 available on the website and all digital platforms worldwide.
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