Godfather of British Blues John Mayall
Live at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall proudly presents the “Godfather of British Blues” John Mayall on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Tickets for will go on sale this Friday, February 27 at 10 a.m.
John Mayall was born 29th of November 1933 in Macclesfield, an English town near the industrial hub of Manchester. The eldest of three from humble working class origins, and in the shadow of WWII, this skinny English lad grew up listening to his guitarist father’s extensive jazz record collection and felt drawn to the blues. Strongly influenced by such greats as Leadbelly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith, and Eddie Lang, from the age of 13 he taught himself to play and develop his own style with the aid of a neighbor’s piano, borrowed guitars, and secondhand harmonicas.
From an art college training, to three years with the British Army in Korea, to a successful career in graphic design, Mayall’s blues singing and playing took a back seat until he reached the age of 30. From 1956 until 1962, he was performing publicly on a part-time basis fronting The Powerhouse Four and, later on, The Blues Syndicate. It was then that Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated pioneered what was to become known as The British Blues Boom of the Late 60’s. Alexis was quick to encourage and help Mayall make his move to London where he soon secured enough club work to be able to turn professional under the name John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. After a couple of years and a constant turnover of musicians, he met his soulmate in Eric Clapton, who had quit the Yardbirds in favor of playing the blues. This historic union culminated in the first hit album for the Bluesbreakers and resulted in worldwide legendary status.
After Clapton and Jack Bruce left the band to form Cream, a succession of great musicians defined their artistic roots under Mayall’s leadership, and he became as well known for discovering new talent as for his hard-hitting interpretations of the fierce Chicago-style blues he’d grown up listening to. In 1969, with his popularity blossoming in the USA, Mayall released the a drummer-less acoustic live album entitled The Turning Point, from which his song “Room To Move” was destined to become a rock classic. He received a gold record for this album. Throughout the 70’s, 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.
In 1982, Mayall (together with Mick Taylor and John McVie) decided to re-form the original Bluesbreakers for a couple of tours and a video concert film entitled Blues Alive. Public reaction convinced Mayall to return to his driving blues roots and create a new incarnation of the Bluesbreakers. The 90’s kicked in with the release of several Mayall albums that have set new standards in rock blues: Behind The Iron Curtain, Chicago Line, and the Grammy-nominated Wake Up Call. To date, Mayall continues to strive to remain true to the timeless music that first inspired this skinny young British lad, living in the shadow of WWII, to teach himself the guitar, harmonica and piano so many years ago.
Tickets for this seated show go on sale this Friday, February 27 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available for purchase at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and St. Augustine Amphitheatre Box Offices, ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and by phone at (800) 745-3000.
SHOW: John Mayall
VENUE: Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
DATE: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 TIME: Doors 7:00 p.m. / Show 8:00 p.m. TICKET PRICES: $38.00 – Reserved Seating