British blues legend John Mayall is among the veteran musicians who will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at a ceremony held today, May 4, at the Halloran Centre Theatre in Memphis.
Mayall, of course, helped fuel interest in American blues in his home country and was the leader and frontman of the influential band The Bluesbreakers, whose lineups during the 1960s included Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Mick Taylor.
Mayall, who turned 82 in November, tells ABC Radio that getting inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame is “pretty exciting,” adding, with a laugh, “It’s about time.”
Mayall maintains that he’s gotten used to being overlooked by the mainstream music world, noting, “That’s been the story of my life, you know. I’m kind of an underground figure even today, and people haven’t really cottoned on in the general public.”
Having said that, John points out, “I have my faithful following and that’s really the most important part. It’s very good to have an honor like [the Blues Hall of Fame induction], so I’ll be pleased to go there and get it.”
The other performers being inducted alongside Mayall are founding Paul Butterfield Blues Band guitarist Elvin Bishop, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson and The Memphis Jug Band.
Meanwhile, Mayall remains just about as prolific and active as ever. He currently has a series of U.S. tour dates lined up through an October 7 appearance at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas, and he tells ABC Radio that he’ll be filling his calendar with more shows as the year progresses.
John’s most recent studio album, Find a Way to Care, was released in 2015, and he’s already finished a new record that’s expected to arrive next year. In addition, a second volume of rare live recordings by a short-lived version of The Bluesbreakers that featured future Fleetwood Mac members Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie will hit stores this Friday. The 13-track collection, Live in 1967 — Volume Two, was recorded by a Bluesbreakers fan named Tom Huissen, who’d sneaked a reel-to-reel recorder into gigs at various London clubs during the spring of that year.
Here are all of Mayall’s upcoming U.S. tour dates according to his official website:
5/7 — Costa Mesa, CA, Segerstrom Center for the Arts
5/8 — Ventura, CA, Discovery Ventura (with Charlie Musselwhite)
5/14 — Boca Raton, FL, Florida Jazz and Blues Jam
5/21 — Annapolis, MD, Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival
5/22 — Richardson, TX, Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival
5/28 — Avon, CO, Beaver Creek Blues, Brews & BBQ
6/15 — Del Mar, CA, San Diego County Fair
6/16 — Phoenix, AZ, MIM Music Theater
6/17 — Tucson, AZ, Rialto Theatre
6/18 — Flagstaff, AZ, Orpheum Theater
6/19 — Santa Fe, NM, The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing
6/21 — Oklahoma City, OK, ACM@UCO Performance Lab
6/22 — Fort Worth, TX, Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge
6/23 — Austin, TX, One World Theatre
6/24 — The Woodlands, TX, Dosey Doe
6/25 — San Antonio, TX, Tobin Center for Performing Arts
8/20 — Wausau, WI, Big Bull Falls Blues Fest
9/17 — Niagara Falls, NY, Niagara Falls Blues Festival
10/7 — Helena, AR, King Biscuit Blues Festival
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