John Mayall enjoys working.
Which is why he’s still touring after 50 years in the music business.
The legendary blues musician is gearing up for another album – that is, after his tour is over.
“Being on the road is a way of life,” he says during a recent interview from his California home. “The best part about being able to do a show is that each night we have a different set. The set goes back more than 50 years all the way up to the latest album. I get to play keyboards, harmonica and guitar. It’s lovely.”
Over the course of his career, Mayall has served as a pioneer of blues music, which helped him earn the nickname Godfather of British Blues. In the late 1970s and early ’80s, his appeal in the States began to cross over. His bands have included such members as Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Steve Winwood, to name a few.
And since 2013, after signing with Forty Below Records, Mayall has seen a resurgence in his career.
His most recent album, “Find a Way to Care” also introduced him to a new audience.
“There have been so many different outfits,” he says. “Some have lasted longer than others. The Bluebreakers were the same for about 10-15 years. I’ve been fortunate to share the stage with other legends. It’s always been about the music.”
Mayall, 82, hasn’t slowed down one bit.
He aims to do 100 shows per year and many times surpasses it.
“There’s nothing like being on the road,” he says. “There was only one point in my career where I actually saw money from my record sales. For me, being on the road is the way that I get paid. The industry has changed so much, yet remained the same. Touring is the way for us small guys to make some money.”
Mayall’s new music won’t be out until the end of the year, and he managed to get some great guests.
“We have Joe Walsh guest on it,” he says. “We had a great time playing together and can’t wait to see the album released later this year. Then we will tour for that album as well.”