just released a new archival recording that features Peter Green, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood in 1967. The album is a bootleg, in the truest sense of the word, the source tapes owned by a fan who only recently gave them over to John Mayall. This is the only live album of this line up to see the light of day, and it is a true testament to the strength of Peter Green's guitar skills, and the rhythm section of McVie and Fleetwood, who would, in a matter of months, leave to start Fleetwood Mac. But for a few brief, shining moments they were BluesBreakers, and they were magnificent.
Audiophiles be advised; this is a bootleg. 1967. Reel to Reel. As such, the sound quality is what one would expect of booted material from that era. Except that Mayall turned the tapes over to Eric Corne of Forty Below Records, and he has done a fine job cleaning up and restoring the source material. And a funny thing happened in the process. Instead of detracting from the end product, it actually enhances the listener's experience.
The bootleg, lo-fi nature of this release serves to act as a time capsule moment, in which the listener is transported to the year 1967. Much like watching reruns of old black and white shows like Hullabaloo and Shindig!, the vintage quality of the album provides both a historical document, and a passport to "back in the day." It is possible to imagine yourself in a smoke filled club, listening to Mayall and company evangelize their vision of the blues. To be a fly on the wall...
At this point in his career Mayall could see his departed bandmates, Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, and the monster group that Cream had become. But in the spring of 1967 he couldn't see that his then-current band would go on to become one of the monster acts of the 1970s.
Mayall is his usual masterful self on keyboards, harp and guitar. It is his band, and despite the prodigious talent that was Peter Green, Mayall was in charge. As a result the band is tight, focused, and frighteningly good. Listening to this record one can only imagine what a Buddy Guy or Stevie Ray Vaughn collaboration with Peter Green might have produced. This album is a must have for any serious fan of blues guitar.
Check out "The Stumble." Green's guitar work is stunning, jaw-dropping, revelatory, and any other adjective you can summon. See for yourself. Me, I'll be "back in the day."