Thursday, December 16, 2010

The List:


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mountain at Fillmore East 12-31-70

Humble Pie at Fillmore East 1971

Quicksilver Messenger Service

Mike Bloomfield

"He didn't get a chance to expand the mission of his soul, but those few albums he played on – those are enough," says Carlos Santana, referring to Mike Bloomfield's death in 1981, of a drug overdose at age 37, and the key recordings Bloomfield left behind. Bloomfield helped Bob Dylan go electric with his work on Highway 61 Revisited (those are Bloomfield's skyward spirals on "Like a Rolling Stone") and two albums with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, including 1966's raga-blues monster, East-West. (Check out Bloomfield's winding, epic solo on the title track.) A native of Chicago, Bloomfield studied the local electric-blues legends like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf up close while he was growing up, and he packed those lessons into a piercing clean-treble tone and solos that took off with fluid, modal-jazz ecstasy. "Michael always sounded like a salmon going against the current," Santana says. "He comes from B.B. King. But he went somewhere else."

Butterfield Blues Band

Paul Butterfield was born and raised in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. After studying classical flute as a teenager, he developed a love for the blues harmonica, and hooked up with white, blues-loving, U of Chicago physics student Elvin Bishop. The pair started hanging around black blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Junior Wells. Butterfield and Bishop soon formed a band with Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay (both of Howlin' Wolf's band). In 1963, a watershed event in introducing blues to a white audience in Chicago occurred when this racially mixed ensemble was made the house band at Big John's, a folk music club in the Old Town district on Chicago's north side. Butterfield was still underage (as was guitarist Mike Bloomfield, who was already working there in his own band).