The Malta Independent 16 June 2024, Sunday
View E-Paper

The Malta International Blues Wine Festival 07

Malta Independent Monday, 11 June 2007, 00:00 Last update: about 11 years ago

This summer in July, Malta will have the pleasure to welcome and experience one of the original pioneers of blues. One may sample local or foreign fine wine free of charge and listen to good blues orientated music near the sea in Bugibba. The legendary John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers will be hitting our shores on the 16th July.

John Mayall was born 29th of November 1933 in Macclesfield, a small English village near the industrial hub of Manchester--a far cry at that time from the black American blues culture we are familiar with today. The eldest of three from humble working class origins, and in the shadow of WWII, this skinny English lad grew up listening to his guitarist father's extensive jazz record collection and felt drawn to the blues. Strongly influenced by such greats as Leadbelly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith, and Eddie Lang, from the age of 13 he taught himself to play and develop his own style with the aid of a neighbor's piano, borrowed guitars, and secondhand harmonicas.

From an art college training, to three years with the British Army in Korea, to a successful career in graphic design, his blues singing and playing took a back seat until he reached the age of 30. From 1956 until 1962, John was performing publicly on a part-time basis fronting The Powerhouse Four and, later on, The Blues Syndicate. It was then that Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated pioneered what was to become known as The British Blues Boom of the Late 60's. Alexis was quick to encourage and help John make his move to London where he soon secured enough club work to be able to turn professional under the name John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. After a couple of years and a constant turnover of musicians, he met his soulmate in Eric Clapton, who had quit the Yardbirds in favor of playing the blues. This historic union culminated in the first hit album for the Bluesbreakers and resulted in worldwide legendary status.

  • don't miss