You all know the long list of guitar players that were Bluesbreakers at one time or another, from Johnny Unitas to Fran Tarkenton, but did you know that John is touring currently without a guitar player other than himself? On the cd, his regular guitar player of 7 years is there, and Joe Walsh even guests for lead on one and slide on another. Joe is good, if not easily recognized (he used a completely different guitar tone). Eight of the eleven songs are Mayall originals. I have heard several successful business leaders I have worked with refuse to take credit for their success and reveal that their secret was to surround themselves with folks much smarter than they. I’ve long thought that Mayall’s strength was his ability to hire good musicians, but I haven’t heard him say that and he takes a big role in the performances here.
This rhythm section is rock solid and Rocky Athas is a damn good guitar player. There isn’t anything wrong with the players, they are getting everything they can out of the material. There’s horns on a few songs, they provide a punch on Gimme Some of that Gumbo. In the title track, John offers braggadocio and topics for discussion. I dig the funky sound the band gets. It goes without saying that anybody can talk a good game, but how many of us will be fronting a trio at age 83? Should I live that long, pissing myself will be my greatest trick. It’ll be awful tired by then because it's my greatest trick now.