I slept through my planned swim this morning (stupid cats) so, yeah, today has become a 100% Recovery Day, what might be my last for a while as next week marks a return to the normal long distance training program.
I’m still keeping the core workout today (Day 96) however – as per usual – since I’m not likely going to get around to them this weekend. On a whim then, I’m also picking up where I left off last year with my functional/strength workouts (now I just call them “Core” workouts) with one of the last John Mayall albums in my collection, ‘Back to the Roots‘.
I was going through all my John Mayall albums this time last year and got within one or two of completing all my albums. This is a double album released in 1971 on Polydor. Recording sessions for the album took place in 1970, both in California and London where Mayall invited some former members of his band, notably ex-Bluesbreaker guitarists Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor. Also joining Mayall are Sugarcane Harris (a blues violinist I might add), Johnny Almond (sax), and Keef Hartley. The album ultimately hit #52 in the U.S. and #31 in the U.K.
Truthfully, Mayall’s compositions aren’t all that impressive in comparison to some of his other albums, but the sidemen frequently shine, especially Clapton (who was fresh from recording ‘Layla‘ around this time). My personal favorite is ‘Prisons on the Road‘; it’s the total schiznit (and not just for Clapton’s guitar work, but for John’s stellar boogie woogie piano).
The album is mostly mellow, which spans many blues styles, and even touches on elements of softer jazz-rock, which Mayall had been experimenting with at the time. Likewise, Mayall certainly believes in expressing his forthright opinions, and at times some of the lyrics are a little too preachy, but that’s a minor quibble. In fact, the whole album feels like ‘ol “Cranky John” is exorcising a few demons from his closet based on song titles like ‘Accidental Suicide‘, ‘Groupie Girl‘, ‘Marriage Madness‘, ‘Home Again‘, ‘Mr. Censor Man‘, and ‘Unanswered Questions‘. It’s still a pretty pleasant listen though while planking, squatting and what have you.
It’s also long enough that I can enjoy if off the mat as well, as a means of coping with the usual Friday bullshit here in Corporate Hell.
It also helps that I have a delicious Turkey Cobb sandwich and a bowl of Carrot, Ginger & Coconut soup from The Kitchen to look forward to as a reward.