John Mayall

Wake Up Call

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Fuelled by Coco Montoya's searing but economical string-slashing, drummer Joe Yuele, and bassist Rick Cortes, John Mayall has managed to keep a stable core of Bluesbreakers together in recent years. Mayall rarely does the same album twice, and Wake Up Call finds him returning to a basic, physical sound after 1990's more progressive/highly produced A Sense of Place. The harp whiz has rarely flirted with the pop charts over the decades, a track record that will likely handicap the title track - a potential hit featuring guest vocalist Mavis Staples and some take-charge riffing from former mate Mick Taylor. For pure guitar joy though, Montoya turns the trick all on his own with barnburners "Loaded Dice" and "Nature's Disappearing."

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