“Tough” is John’s sixth studio album for Eagle Records and is well titled with a harder hitting feel and a real edge that sets it apart from his recent albums. After a long period with a stable line-up of the Bluesbreakers, “Tough” sees Mayall working with a new group of musicians that has clearly revitalized him and acted as a spur to his creativity. Although in his 70s, Mayall shows no sign of slowing down. Affectionately regarded as the “Godfather of British Blues”, Mayall’s influence on the genre cannot be overestimated in a career stretching back to the mid-sixties that has nurtured the talents of Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Coco Montoya, and more! In a genre that has always cherished experience “Tough” proves that John Mayall still has what it takes.
The overall tone of this album is gritty and urban, current and strong; a study in the struggle of the current state of the world, the difficulties with human relationships, the pitfalls of temptations and, finally, the promise of hope—because the stories in these 11 songs are told from a voice of strength. In the 44 years since his first record release and at almost 76 years old, this is John Mayall’s 57th official album. Produced by John Mayall himself, this album is also the debut of his new band lineup, making this is a new start with fresh new blood.
The players make up John Mayall’s touring band, consisting of his latest guitar phenomenon from Texas, Rocky Athas; a blues rhythm section from Chicago—Greg Rzab on bass guitar and Jay Davenport on drums; Tom Canning on organ and piano; and, of course, John Mayall on keyboards, organ, harmonica, guitar and vocals.
Pressed on 180g vinyl, “Tough” is packaged in a double gatefold LP sleeve. As an added feature, the vinyl release includes a digital download card, allowing the owner to get a digital copy of the entire album.
• 180g Vinyl
• Double Gatefold jacket
2. Just What You’re Looking For
3. Playing With a Losing Hand
2. How Far Down
3. Train To My Heart
2. Numbers Down
3. That Good Old Rockin’ Blues
2. The Sum of Something