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The 12th Annual Pittsburgh Blues Festival

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA

Gods of British Blues, Fathers of British Rock

The Yarbirds

John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers

The Yardbirds


1. Train Kept A-Rollin'
2. Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout The News
3. Drinking Muddy Water
4. Crying Out For Love
5. Heart Full Of Soul
6. My Blind Life
7. The Nazz Are Blue
8. I Ain't Done Wrong
9. Shapes Of Things
10. Mystery Of Being
11. Rack My Mind (incl. guitar/harmonica jam)
12. Over Under Sideways Down
13. Back Where I Started
Closing Medley
14. For Your Love
15. Still I'm Sad
16. Dazed and Confused

17. I'm A Man

My Concert Review

(7/24/06) The Yardbirds sounded fantastic! With just drummer Jim McCarty and rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja from the original incarnation of the band, they managed to create a sound very faithful to that of the original Yardbirds, with new members John Idan on bass guitar and vocals (that sound very much like Keith Relf), Billy Boy Miskimmin on harmonica, and Ben King on lead guitar. King's telecaster tone and technique were a perfect match for the old Yarbirds numbers, and sounded fantastic on the new songs they played as well.

The band opened with the rollicking Train Kept A-Rollin'. They played a lot of classics like Shapes Of Things and Heart Full Of Soul, and even one of my favorite Yardbirds songs that I didn't expect to hear - The Nazz Are Blue. There was a really cool lead duel between the guitar and harmonica during Rack My Mind. The band lead the audience in a 'Hey' chant for Over Under Sideways Down. Of the new songs, Crying Out For Love stood out most in my mind; it was a really great piece and Ben King served up some delicious guitar. The set closed out with a medley, starting with For Your Love, switching into an excellent run through Still I'm Sad, and then finishing with a selection from Dazed and Confused, which totally rocked!

The band played one encore, the blues classic I'm A Man, and just like the rest of their performance, it sounded great and just like vintage Yardbirds. I really enjoyed seeing these guys live, and I even got them to autograph a copy of their 2003 comeback album Birdland for me!

John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers


(The Bluesbreakers play for a bit and then John Mayall joins the stage)
Every Day I Have The Blues
Somebody's Acting Like A Child
Walking On Sunset
Have You Heard
Hideaway (incl. Led Zeppelin Guitar Jam Intro)
Burned Bridges
Kona Village
Blues For All Of You
Room To Move

All Your Love

My Concert Review

(7/24/06) John Mayall, as long as he's been around, sounds great and looked to be in top shape this evening. Switching between piano, vocals, harmonica, and even a little guitar, John Mayall commanded the set. His Bluesbreakers (Buddy Whittington on guitar, Pittsburgh native Hank Van Sickle on bass, and Joe Yuele on drums) were in excellent condition too, as they played a couple numbers before Mayall joined the stage, and I would not have minded listening to a whole set with just the Bluesbreakers playing - the guitarist was outstanding and an excellent blues vocalist to boot.

The majority of the material played during the set was taken from the classic Mayall albums Blues From Laurel Canyon and Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton, as well as his latest album, Road Dogs. Have You Heard was an excellent extended jam, and before cutting into Hideaway, the guitarist played a heart-stopping medley of Led Zeppelin guitar riffs and solos, including some of the best selections from Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, The Lemon Song, Stairway To Heaven, even Kashmir! If hearing The Yardbirds play Dazed and Confused wasn't enough, this ensured that tonight's show was an excellent concert for a Led Zeppelin fan to attend.

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers ended their set with the classic harmonica workout Room To Move, proving Mayall's mastery of the instrument, and then returned for an encore of the Otis Rush classic, All Your Love. It was an outstanding show, and some solid grooving blues jams. I was floored by the talent of the guitarist, but then, John Mayall (like The Yardbirds) always did have a flair for hiring great guitarists!

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