In The Palace Of The King By John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers - Out April 17 On CD
New York, NY (March 2, 2007)—Eagle Rock Entertainment, through its wholly-owned Eagle Records subsidiary, will release the latest studio album from the legendary British bluesman John Mayall on April 17. In The Palace Of The King is Mayall’s 56th album, a tribute to the late Freddie King (1934-1976). “He was a big man from Texas,” sings Mayall on one of the tracks. “He played an even bigger guitar. He was the king of the Kings, born to be a superstar.”
“The Bluesbreakers have been associated with the music of Freddie King right from the beginning,” explains Mayall. “So, it was a logical step for the band to record an album of songs written by him or closely associated with him.”
Don Nix's "Goin' Down" is probably the best known song here, with its hefty backbeat, furious bass and a vocal that comes rollin' and a'tumblin' like stones falling down a hill. In a similar blues-rock vein, the autobiographical "Palace of the King," written by Nix, Leon Russell and Donald "Duck" Dunn, gets an energetic dusting down, with Mayall navigating an uncharacteristically joyous lyric.
At the other end of the emotional spectrum, there is Russell's minor-key lament "Help Me Through The Day," this time sung by Mayall in a voice steeped in sweet sad emotion and fleshed out by some superb horn arrangements and soloing. Bluesbreaker guitarist Buddy Whittington, himself a Texan, from Fort Worth, takes the lead vocals on "Big Legged Woman," putting a dynamic spin on yet another Leon Russell classic, co-written by Chuck Blackwell.
For fans of instrumental work-outs, "Cannonball Shuffle," in which composer/special guest guitarist Robben Ford is backed by John on harmonica, Buddy Whittington on rhythm guitar, drummer Joe Yuele, bassist Hank Van Sickle and organist Tom Canning laying out a faultless groove. "You want to get as much variety as possible," Mayall says of these selections. And these are the songs that I thought were the most interesting."
The album is rounded out by two of Mayall's own compositions, a horn-drenched slow blues, "Time To Go," and a sprightly boogie-woogie piano strut, "King Of The Kings."
Mayall will support the release with a national tour of the U.S. in April (including a stop at BB King’s in New York City on April 20). The Bluesbreakers consist of Mayall on vocals, guitar and piano; Buddy Whittington on guitar; Hank Van Sickle on bass; and Joe Yuele on drums.
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