The real talent of British-blues elder statesman John Mayall has always been that of a recruiter as much as a musician. It's not surprising then that his latest, "Along for the Ride," features a host of celebrity players, like Otis Rush, Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green, Johnny Lang, Billy Preston and Jeff Healey. Although much of the material is very average, Mayall does spur some dynamic performances.
ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons lays down some ripping leads in "Put It Right Back" and guitar whizzes Healey and Gary Moore add stinging signatures to their tracks. But like a baseball all-star game, a lot of the prodigious talent here seems underused on this vanilla collection of competent but never spectacular blues.