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John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers

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(1963 – 2008)

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers were a pioneering English blues band, led by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist John Mayall, OBE. Mayall used the band name between 1963 and ‘67 then dropped it for some fifteen years, but in 1982 a ‘Return of the Bluesbreakers’ was announced and the name began to be re-used. The name became generic without a clear distinction which recordings could be credited just to the leader or to leader and his band. The Bluesbreakers have included luminaries such as:

* Eric Clapton (April–August 1965, November 1965–July 1966) and Jack Bruce, who both left to form Cream,

* Peter Green, who had replaced Clapton, played until August 1967, when he departed with Mick Fleetwood and then also enticed Bluesbreaker John McVie a few weeks later to form Fleetwood Mac

* Mick Taylor (August 1967–July 1969) who later joined The Rolling Stones, and reunion tours in 1982–83 and 2004,

* Harvey Mandel, Walter Trout, Larry Taylor (later in Canned Heat),

* Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Randy Resnick, Aynsley Dunbar, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser (Free), Chris Mercer, Henry Lowther, Johnny Almond and Jon Mark (later of Mark-Almond).

The Bluesbreakers were formed in January 1963 and became an ever-evolving lineup of more than 100 different combinations of musicians performing under that name. Eric Clapton joined in 1965 just a few months after the release of their first album. Clapton brought the blues influences to the forefront of the group, as he had left The Yardbirds in order to play the blues.

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