Wednesday, December 16, 2009
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).