Rolling with the Blues chronicles seven John Mayall concerts played between 1972 and 1982. Mayall had given up trying to maintain and support a regular backing group by the early '70s, and was instead working with different configurations for specific gigs. For the 1972 Frankfurt show that opens this two-disc set (a third disc is a DVD interview with Mayall from 2002), Mayall works with a lineup of Keef Hartley on drums, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Clifford Solomon on sax, Freddy Robinson on guitar, and Victor Gaskin on upright bass. Red Holloway replaces Solomon on sax for a second show in Frankfurt a year later in 1973. A 1980 show in Huntington Beach, CA, finds James Quill Smith on guitar. Two 1982 concerts, one in Minneapolis and one in Chicago, feature John McVie of Fleetwood Mac on bass, while two shows in Italy later in the year, one in Rome and one in Lugo, sport a stripped-down lineup of Mick Taylor, Steve Thompson, and Colin Allen. For all these personnel differences, the sound is remarkably consistent and the live recordings are quite balanced, although things red-line occasionally and now and then there are some obvious dropouts, but nothing too serious. Among the highlights are the over 12-minute jazz blues "Got You on My Mind" and a scuffling "No Holds Barred" from the 1972 Frankfurt show and an appropriately ragged John Lee Hooker homage, "John Lee Boogie," from the 1980 Huntington Beach performance.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2