An Evening with John Mayall

Recently signed by Forty Below Records, the legendary “Godfather of British Blues,” John Mayall, released his first studio album in five years, A Special Life, on May 13. John Mayall’s place in music history has been assured ever since he put together the first of his bands, known as the Bluesbreakers in 1963. Besides his own work, John also backed blues greats John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker and Sonny Boy Williamson on their first English club tours. When Eric Clapton quit the Yardbirds, John quickly offered him the job as his new guitarist and the band recorded the all-time best-selling classic album, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton. The new album, A Special Life, serves as further testament to John Mayall’s boundless talent, vitality, and ever-dynamic personality.  Recorded at Entourage Studios in North Hollywood, Mayall produced the album himself as well as created the original cover art and design, with co-production, engineering, and mixing by Eric Corne.  Backing Mayall on the new album are five year veteran band members Texas guitarist Rocky Athas and the Chicago-based rhythm section of Greg Rzab on bass guitar and Jay Davenport on drums. A Special Life includes three new songs penned by John and a reworked Mayall classic to go along with covers of Jimmy Rogers (“That’s All Right”), Albert King (“Floodin’ in California”), Sonny Landreth (“Speak of the Devil”), Jimmy McCracklin (“I Just Got to Know”) and Eddie Taylor (“Big Town Playboy”), plus a new song written by Greg and Rocky. Accordion legend C.J. Chenier makes a powerhouse guest appearance on a couple of tracks, including the opener, “Why Did You Go Last Night,” written and previously recorded by his father, Zydeco icon Clifton Chenier. John Mayall and his band embarked on a major two-month tour of Europe and have now returned to the U.S. to begin touring around the country with the album’s release, headlining major concert venues as well as performing at festivals throughout the spring and summer. Join us as we welcome Mayall to The Clive Davis Theater for an in-depth discussion, moderated by GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli, and a special, stripped-down performance.