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AS THE ELDER STATESMAN OF BRITISH BLUES, it is John Mayall's lot to be more renowned as a bandleader and mentor than as a performer in his own right. Throughout the '60s, his band, the Bluesbreakers, acted as a finishing school for the leading British blues-rock musicians of the era. Guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor joined his band in a remarkable succession in the mid-'60s, honing their chops with Mayall before going on to join Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and the Rolling Stones, respectively.
John Mayall served ably as "The Guardian" of the American blues scene in Britain — the original keeper of the flame across the Great Pond. Throughout the '60s up until this day, he's made it his mission to nurture British talent. Because of this the blues world has remained vital, and because of that we're eternally grateful.
Few artists could pull an audience on the strength of a name and reputation alone. And even fewer would be in the lobby signing CDs and cheerfully shaking hands.