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John Mayall | Nobody Told Me

The British blues icon is still going strong on his star-studded 36th studio set.

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John Mayall cannot be stopped. Nor should anyone dare tell him to. More than 50 years after his first album, the 85-year-old British blues icon isn’t just going through the motions — he’s still going strong and at the top of his game. Granted, he doesn’t do it alone. On his 36th studio album Nobody Told Me, Mayall — whose previous lead guitarists have included Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor — is joined by a roster of high-profile guests including Joe Bonamassa, Todd Rundgren, The E Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt and even Rush’s Alex Lifeson, who cuts loose on a strong cover of Jeff Healey’s Evil And Here To Stay. Which is not to suggest that his current soloist (and first female lead guitarist) Carolyn Wonderland is any slouch on her three authentic old-school tracks, either. But ultimately and as always, the disc belongs to Mayall, who can (and does) still menacingly growl a gruff line, bellow a beefy chorus and blast a honking 12-bar harmonica solo without breaking even a courtesy sweat. You know any other octogenarians can pull that off, let me know. Until then, consider yourself told.