John Mayall

Often referred to as “The Godfather of British Blues,” John Mayall has an impressive musical career that spans over 50 years. The English blues singer, pianist, harmonica player, guitarist, and songwriter founded the band, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in the 1960’s—a band whose members included many celebrated blues and blues rock guitarists, such as: Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya and Buddy Whittington.

Attracted by the West Coast climate and culture, Mayall then made his permanent move from England to Los Angeles in 1969 and began forming bands with American musicians. Throughout the next three decades, Mayall became further revered for his many jazz/rock/blues innovations featuring such notable performers as Blue Mitchell, Red Holloway, Larry Taylor, and Harvey Mandel. Mayall’s popularity continued with a succession of dynamic albums including the Grammy-nominated “Wake Up Call” that featured guest artists Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Albert Collins and Mick Taylor.

In 2008 Mayall made the decision to permanently retire the Bluesbreakers name and in 2009 started a new era of touring with band members Rocky Athas on guitar, Jay Davenport on drums and Greg Rzab on bass. They toured together for over seven years, averaging about 100 shows a year, and are featured players on John’s last four studio albums. John has also recently released a couple of never before heard live albums from 1967 featuring Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, which along with the new studio albums have been enthusiastically received by critics and fans alike.

In August 2016 there was another big shift when thunderstorms prevented Rocky Athas from attending a festival, compelling John, Greg and Jay to perform as a trio. The sound they came up with lent an amazing new slant to John’s music and he made the bold decision to move to the trio format. They have toured the USA, India and Europe in this format, and have had enthusiastic responses from audiences everywhere. A sample of the fireworks they create onstage was released in February entitled “Three For the Road.” Recorded in Germany in 2016, this live CD has been very well received, garnering excellent reviews!

Always one step ahead, John has now hired a new member to be added to all live shows starting in May. Her well-known name is Carolyn Wonderland and she will be the first ever woman to hold the position of lead guitarist in any of John’s bands. She will also be one of the featured guitar players on John’s next studio album that will also feature Todd Rundgren, Joe Bonamassa and Larry McCray on selected cuts. The road continues!

Phil Wiggins & Eleanor Ellis

The National Heritage Fellow and multiple W.C. Handy blues award winner Phil Wiggins is open for all types of events. With more than 40 years experience including a dozen albums critically acclaimed albums (Flying Fish and Alligator Records, among others), appearing in numerous films and staged productions, Phil is ready to add masterful harmonica to any project.

Phil’s credentials as harmonica player, songwriter and bandleader have been honed over more than 40 years of playing with some of the greatest names in the blues. During his formative years he has played with blues luminaries including Esther Mae Scott, Flora Molton, John Jackson, Archie Edwards, Johnny Shines, Robert Lockwood, Wilbert “Big Chief” Ellis, Sunnyland Slim, Robert Lockwood, Henry Townsend, Honeyboy Edwards, and Lonnie Pitchford.

He spent 32 years in the great Piedmont blues, double W.C. Handy Blues Award winning duo of Cephas & Wiggins. Since the passing of his partner John Cephas, Phil has performed with Dom Turner, Nat Reese, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Taj Mahal, the Holmes Brothers, Corey Harris, George Kilby Jr., Guy Davis, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, Lauren Sheehan, the Rev. Wilkins, Branford Marseilles, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, the MSG Acoustic Blues Trio, and many more.

Eleanor Ellis has developed a distinctive and personal approach to the music, and has played at festivals and clubs throughout the United States, in Canada and in Europe. According to one reviewer, “More than copying one artist or another, Ellis distills the elements of the originals and transmits them, intact, in her own expressive way.” She credits her musical reach to such greats as Memphis Minnie, Skip James and other early recording artists, as well as to the influence of the blues players she has personally known.

$45 | $32 | $19.75



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