John Mayall, 80 and Still the Best in Blues

As the 25th anniversary of the wildly popular Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival approaches, you must appreciate the influence of one icon who will take the Blues stage to celebrate a career twice as long as the festival. John Mayall will be highlighting this years’ Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival as part of his 80th birthday international tour.

The alumni of Mayall’s legendary group, the Bluesbreakers, includes some of the most influential rock and blues leaders of all time. John Mayall, former Manchester, England graphic artist, who began putting musicians under the Bluesbreakers’ banner after moving to London in 1962.

He has recruited some of the most talented performers of all time. After Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds, John recruited Clapton to become the Bluesbreakers’ lead guitarist. Just as their first album together rapidly climbed the British and international charts, Clapton and now legendary bassist Jack Bruce left to form Cream with energetic drummer, Ginger Baker.

John Mayall wasn’t finished yet–he’s still not finished 50 years later. Bluesbreakers’ alumni Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood left to create Fleetwood Mac, while Andy Fraser began Free and Mick Taylor graduated to join the Rolling Stones.

It was 1982 that John re-formed the original Bluesbreakers, sans Mick Fleetwood, who was unable to participate. After signing drummer Colin Allen, John Mayall’s reunited Bluesbreakers, with John McVie and Mick Taylor went on tour and made "Blues Alive," a popular video concert. During the 1990s, John got together with Green, Taylor, Fleetwood and McVie, along with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Steve Miller, Billy Preston and others to make more great performances on the Blues stage.

Now ready to make the 25th anniversary Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival memorable over Memorial Day weekend, John Mayall will help the festival add to the $1.5 million previously raised for charity. The Mayall Bluesbreakers’ magic continues.