British blues master John Mayall, who turns 85 on 29 November, will release his new album Nobody Told Me on Forty Below Records on 22 February. It features an impressive list of guests, all personal favourites of the guitarist, including Alex Lifeson of Rush, Todd Rundgren, Joe Bonamassa, Larry McCray, Carolyn Wonderland and Steven Van Zandt from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and his own Disciples Of Soul.
Mayall has again co-produced the new set with Eric Corne, the founder of Forty Below, who also engineered and mixed it. It was recorded at Foo Fighters’ Studio 606 on the vintage Neve console that provides a connection with Mayall, since Fleetwood Mac — featuring his former Bluesbreakers band members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie — used the desk to record the bestselling Rumours.
Nobody Told Me also features Mayall’s current band of Chicago rhythm section Greg Rzab (bass) and Jay Davenport (drums), along with Billy Watts (Lucinda Williams) on rhythm guitar. The record also features his regular horn section, whose other notable residency is in the house band for The Late Show with Conan O’Brien.
Mayall is now well again after serious illness earlier in the year caused him to cancel all of his live dates for the middle part of 2018. A statement on his Facebook page in June said that the blues legend had had “a tough time with his health in the last few weeks,” but the indefatigable Mayall now has now recovered, and plays a run of shows with his band in California this week.
Mayall has already announced an extensive European tour beginning in February next year, and will add a UK leg to the itinerary in the spring. “This project has been a true labour of love for me,” he says, “and I can’t wait for people to hear the fireworks that took place.”
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