John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers

Road Dogs

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John Mayall's stature in the world of blues-rock cannot be understated, as his Bluesbreakers outfit was the launching pad for such renowned players as Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, and Peter Green. And while there are no musicians as recognizable as Clapton on the Bluesbreakers' 2005 release, Road Dogs, Mayall (who handles vocals, piano, harmonica, guitar, and synthesizer duties) has assembled a worthy supporting cast -- Joe Yuele (drums), Buddy Whittington (guitar), Hank Van Sickle (bass) and Tom Canning (organ/piano). While the production may be a bit "cleaner" than it was on his classic-'60s era work, Road Dogs should definitely please fans of modern day blues-rock. As evidenced by the solo on "So Glad," Whittington has obviously studied his Clapton, while Mayall and co. have no problem cooking up a bluesy swamp stomp on the title track. Elsewhere, "To Heal the Pain" puts forth the usual "love is the answer" message -- and while it's an amiable message, others have similarly regurgitated it countless times over the years. Of course, Road Dogs is not the groundbreaking blues-rock of 1966's Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton (aka "The Beano Album"), but it shows that the veteran bluesman is still rockin' along at the age of 71. And most importantly, Mayall is remaining true to the style he helped popularize decades ago.

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