Influenced by Bare Wires

Veteran British blues artist John Mayall has brought out a number of albums that I have found to be influential that I will discuss over the oncoming weeks. 1967 release Bare Wires is one of those albums.

I never really had this album until recently. My friend Peter Woodman had this on vinyl and I used to listen to it over at his house. I did buy the CD sometime in the 80s, but I was living in Victoria Park at the time and had my CD collection knocked off once every 18 months or so and one of these times was shortly after buying this album. I didn't bother to replace it until last year, but I try to get to everything eventually you see.

Bare Wires experimented with the traditional Chicago blues formats that Mayall had been playing with previously. A product of its times, it is sometimes psychedelic in nature (check out the trippy cover). This influenced me in that it made me realise that with a little bit of tweaking, the blues could be turned into something a bit more hipper and arty. Not that the blues is ever unhip, but the sequencing and experimental approach on this record make it better than the sum of its parts.

If you listen to this album, don't turn the volume up when Mayall does the whispering thing, he is not saying anything significant and you will likely blow your speakers or your ears or maybe both.

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