John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers Come to George Mason

Posted: October 26, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

John Mayall
John Mayall

Born in England in 1931, John Mayall pioneered the British blues boom of the late ‘60s. The son of a semiprofessional guitar player, Mayall taught himself the basics of guitar and boogie-woogie piano by age 14.

Celebrating a decade-spanning career, he brings his current lineup of Bluesbreakers – Buddy Whittington, Hank Van Sickle and Joe Yuele – to the Center for the Arts on Friday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m., along with contemporary bluesmen Robben Ford and Eric Bibb.

In 1964, after moving to London and performing in clubs, Mayall formed the Bluesbreakers and released his first single, “Crawling up a Hill.” The following year, he hired Eric Clapton, and the landmark “Bluesbreakers” album broke into the UK charts, putting Mayall on the musical map.

Rock and blues musicians the world over have played with and been influenced by John Mayall. In 2001, he released his 51st album, entitled “John Mayall and Friends – Along for the Ride.” This 40th anniversary commemoration featured musicians who worked with Mayall during his long career, including Otis Rush, Jeff Healey, Billy Gibbons, Steve Miller and Billy Preston.

Robben Ford is a four-time Grammy-nominee who has distinguished himself in a variety of genres, from R&B to jazz-fusion. The guitarist/singer’s first love has always been the blues, an idiom he has explored at several points in his richly varied career. Ford has played with his brothers in the Charles Ford band and has backed harmonica great Charlie Musselwhite.

Eric Bibb enjoys great success in Europe and in the U.S. acoustic folk-blues scene. He is the son of ‘60s folk and musical theatre singer and television personality Leon Bibb. His uncle was world famous jazz pianist and composer John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Bibb got his first guitar when he was 7; at age 16, he was invited by his father to play guitar in the house band for his television show, “Someone New.” In 1996, he was named “Best Newcomer” by the British Blues Awards.

A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, will be held on the hall’s Grand Tier beginning at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $40, $32 and $20. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com.

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