Historically some attribute this position to Alexis Korner as he was the founder of perhaps the first British Blues band, however, in terms of influence, there is no doubt that the title belongs to John Mayall – The Father of British Blues.
In 1963 I saw the American Folk – Blues Caravan when it visited Britain.
The music they made connected with me and shaped the rest of my musical ‘life”
Within two years I was playing my own version of Blues with Dartford based band “The Flee-Rakers” and had commenced the long hard road that I continue to tread today.
When John Lee Hooker toured the UK a year or so later I made it my mission to see him.
He was backed by an English band fronted by John Mayall. I didn’t realise it at that time but Johns influence was to become an ever present through my life. He showed me that “white” guys can feel and sing their own blues. Even at this early stage, John was a great blues artist, however it took the popularity of former Yardbird guitarist, Eric Clapton to bring Johns music to a much wider audience. Mike Vernon persuaded Decca to record the band on the strength of their huge “underground” following. The resulting 1966 “Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton” (Beano) album is recognized today as pivotal recording in the history of British blues.