BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
At the ripe old age of 84, an age when most people have long since thought of retiring and spending their golden years either cruising the world or perfecting their golf swing, John Mayall is still engaged in doing what he’s always done, that is, storming the world’s stages and playing the blues. Having apparently retired his long serving band the Bluesbreakers, at least for now, Mayall seems content to tour as a threesome with bassist Greg Rzab and drummer Jay Davenport in tow. Confining himself to keyboards, harmonica and vocals, he rips through a series of uptempo covers (his own “Lonely Feelings” and Streamline” serve as the only original entries in this ten song set) with the commitment and conviction of a man a fraction of his age. Hearing his smooth piano stride on “The Sum of Something” and “Big Town Playboy” is a marvel in itself, but so too, his singing is as expressive as ever, proof positive that as a master showman, he’s lost neither his verve nor his vitality. Sampling at a series of shows recorded in Germany in March of last year, Three for the Road proves quality control is still intact. Indeed, at a time when the blues is often merely an excuse for others to rehash a familiar formula, John Mayall treats it with freshness and finesse.
DOWNLOAD: “Lonely Feelings,” “The Sum of Something,” “Big Town Playboy”