Find a Way to Care is the latest release from longtime British bluesman John Mayall. Having worked with musicians such as Eric Calpton, John McVie, and Jack Bruce, Mayall has cemented his legacy within the canon of blues rock music and is set to further solidify that reputation with Find a Way to Care.
The album begins with “Mother in Law Blues,” a classic, swingingly melodious, B. B. King-inspired tune that features hard, deliberate vocal intonation and a large dose of heartfelt harmonica. “The River’s Invitation” is probably the most horn-heavy track on the album. This ska focus (when coupled with the organ) is strongly reminiscent of Peter Gabriel’s smash hit “Sledgehammer.” “Ain’t No Guarantees” continues the heavy organ use and takes a trip to the Motor City with vocals that remind the listener of native son Bob Seger before exhibiting a Chubby Checker swing with “I Feel So Bad.”
The album’s title track features a measured slide of echoing guitar and a metrically even horn line that carries its ascension into the chorus before delivering an excellent example of musicianship with a striking guitar solo. “Long Distance Call” is the prototypical tavern tearjerker and “I Want My Money Back,” in spite of its toe-tapping melody, calls to mind Howlin’ Wolf in this litany of abuses leveled at a manipulative woman. When viewed as a single, linear narrative, the album’s protagonist doesn’t seem to be too put off by women as he enters into “Ropes and Chains,” a self-assuredly relentless attempt to win the affection of an irresistible creature of charcoal-black sensuality.
“Long Summer Days” is a reflective, fun-loving remembrance of days spent in golden sunshine with boyhood friends and “Drifting Blues” is a drastic shift in tone as it features slow piano and light cymbal work which gives this ballad of isolation and marginalization a stroke of watercolor jazz. “War We Wage” features an empathetic guitar solo that accompanies the speaker’s fruitless fight against ever-present memory and “Crazy Lady” rounds off this eclectic album with a jumping piano and a bit of humorous sentiment that references Randy Newman’s poetic madman style.
Listeners who value a diverse, lyrical taste and a heavy dollop of classic blues music will enjoy Find a Way to Care, an album that fulfills on every level.
The Review: 7.0/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Mother in Law Blues
– Ain’t No Guarantees
– Find a Way to Care
– I Wan’t My Money Back
– Drifting Blues
The Big Hit
– Find a Way to Care
Review by McKinnie Sizemore