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John Mayall w/The Holmes Brothers
@ The Cabooze, May 10, 1998

John Mayall
The Cabooze, 5/10/98
Photo © 1998 by Tom Asp. All rights reserved
Unassuming, with graying almost white hair pulled back in a pony tail, Mayall was walking about the Cabooze prior to his set talking to fans, signing autographs (he was carrying his own marker because he knew he would be asked) and enjoying the opening act. The Holmes Brothers opened the evening with their unique blend of gospel, soul, blues and country and some of the most engaging harmony in blues today (The Holmes Brothers will return to the Twin Cities July 31 at the Blues Saloon. Also see a review from last year.).

Mayall is a true road warrior. He was out there early and left late setting up and taking down his own equipment and making himself available to his fans. Perhaps best know for his Blues Breaker days of British blues/rock, Mayall’s bands have been the jumping off point for some remarkable guitar players over the years (Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Coco Montoya).

Wendell Holmes
The Cabooze, 5/10/98
Photo © 1998 by Tom Asp.
All rights reserved
Buddy Whittington on lead guitar is carrying on that Mayall tradition of exceptional guitar players, with his expressive, clean, clear tones. And when he cranked it up a few times he just about blew the roof off, helping to make this one remarkable show.

Mayall, who has reached almost icon status in the music business, is a very good keyboard player with his harmonica playing coming in a close second. He is always conscious of his audience, playing to them, and along with his seasoned band, he really is a tour-de-force in a club setting

During the Holmes Brothers opening set, I saw Mayall standing by the sound board nodding his head in time to the music and enjoying the Holmes Brothers ethereal harmonies. During Mayall’s set I saw Wendell Holmes standing by the sound board grooving to the music and appreciating Mayall’s performance. You couldn’t find some more down to earth, laid back musicians who know how to play up to the audience and deliver exceptional shows night after night.

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Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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