Help me out with Mike Bloomfield

freddairy

Member
Messages
78
The first Butterfield record made more of an impression on me as a young guitarist than Super Sessions.
East West is fantastic too.

The Guitar Player record is really good. I'd argue WDIA is the greatest tone out of a Stratocaster.

Mikes my guy, my biggest influence he died before I was born but I love the guy!
 

Laurence

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,967
It's hard to judge him in todays world. You'd have to travel back in time to catch his spark. Things wrere different back then, and he was a shooting star.

"If you love these blues, play them as you please" may not be his finest work, but it's his most complete. Mike could play in any style.

 

Laurence

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,967
I will also say the only time I was able to see him perform live he was all smacked out and sucked. I felt bad for him and was really disappointed. I admired him so much.
 

RCCola

(|@ / \ @ |.)
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,344
Mike Bloomfield was a talented musician and musicologist. He played piano, and I think other instruments, in addition to guitar. In one of his interviews, he said his band had a songbook of 200 songs they could put into their sets.

That first Butterfield definitely inspired a whole generation of players - even those around his own age (including Jerry Garcia)

I thought his RnB/Cropper playing in here is quite impressive/tasteful and shows his abilities beyond straight 12 bars:


How many players were doing this in the 60s? or even since:


The end of that solo, GE Smith talking about it (@ 3:00). GE also lists some of the seminal Bob Dylan songs Bloomfield played on:

 

GulfportBound

Member
Messages
8,222
One of the great mysteries of the Bloomfield repertoire---does the complete recording of this performance exist and will it be included on a future remastering of this album?

 

GulfportBound

Member
Messages
8,222
No Bloomfield lore is complete without Al Kooper’s account of the Like A Rolling Stone session.
Mike Bloomfield sat down and started playing, and I went, whoa! Because I had never heard any white person play like that before. And he was about my age, and he just, that finished off my guitar career, just like that, in one afternoon. He got rid of me in a hurry.---Al Kooper, who was supposed to play guitar on the session but ended up sneaking behind the organ instead---and making his own place in "Like a Rolling Stone's" impact.

We began our relationship playing together that day on the track "Like a Rolling Stone" and took to each other immediately. And why not? From that day forward our careers paralleled in amazing ways. We both played on the Highway 61 album that brought Dylan into the hit parade; then, we both played in blues bands (he in the Butterfield band and me in the Blues Project); then we quit our respective blues bands to form horn bands (he the Electric Flag and me Blood, Sweat & Tears). Now it get particularly weird: we then both got thrown out of the horn bands that we started*, much like the Frankenstein story, with us playing the part of the slain doctor.---Al Kooper, booklet notes for the Sony Legacy "Roots & Blues" series intro to Bloomfield (covering his 1964 audition for John Hammond, Butterfield, the Flag, the Super Session album and concerts), Don't Say That I Ain't Your Man, 1994.

It was very much like a marriage. You took the good with the bad. And death did us part.---Al Kooper, summarising his friendship with Mike Bloomfield.

(Kooper was off only on how Bloomfield left the Electric Flag. It's true that there were rumours in 1968 that either Bloomfield would quit or the band would dump him, especially with Buddy Miles's shuck-and-jive style on stage moving him into being seen as the band's de facto leader by then---Miles also managed somehow to get his own cronies into the band whenever a Flagman left the group, beginning when he maneuvered Michael Fonfara into the band to replace Barry Goldberg. Bloomfield took a hike after A Long Time Comin' was finished. According to Guitar King, Bloomfield may actually have been a member of the Electric Flag when he agreed to join Kooper for the project that became Super Session, obliged to play a couple of last shows with them before leaving. Miles did keep the Flag going for one more album, but it's easy to see in hindsight that that may have been just a warmup for his eventual taking what was left of the Flag and forming his Buddy Miles Express from the ashes.)
 

guitarjazz

Member
Messages
21,121
Mike Bloomfield sat down and started playing, and I went, whoa! Because I had never heard any white person play like that before. And he was about my age, and he just, that finished off my guitar career, just like that, in one afternoon. He got rid of me in a hurry.---Al Kooper, who was supposed to play guitar on the session but ended up sneaking behind the organ instead---and making his own place in "Like a Rolling Stone's" impact.

We began our relationship playing together that day on the track "Like a Rolling Stone" and took to each other immediately. And why not? From that day forward our careers paralleled in amazing ways. We both played on the Highway 61 album that brought Dylan into the hit parade; then, we both played in blues bands (he in the Butterfield band and me in the Blues Project); then we quit our respective blues bands to form horn bands (he the Electric Flag and me Blood, Sweat & Tears). Now it get particularly weird: we then both got thrown out of the horn bands that we started*, much like the Frankenstein story, with us playing the part of the slain doctor.---Al Kooper, booklet notes for the Sony Legacy "Roots & Blues" series intro to Bloomfield (covering his 1964 audition for John Hammond, Butterfield, the Flag, the Super Session album and concerts), Don't Say That I Ain't Your Man, 1994.

It was very much like a marriage. You took the good with the bad. And death did us part.---Al Kooper, summarising his friendship with Mike Bloomfield.

(Kooper was off only on how Bloomfield left the Electric Flag. It's true that there were rumours in 1968 that either Bloomfield would quit or the band would dump him, especially with Buddy Miles's shuck-and-jive style on stage moving him into being seen as the band's de facto leader by then---Miles also managed somehow to get his own cronies into the band whenever a Flagman left the group, beginning when he maneuvered Michael Fonfara into the band to replace Barry Goldberg. Bloomfield took a hike after A Long Time Comin' was finished. According to Guitar King, Bloomfield may actually have been a member of the Electric Flag when he agreed to join Kooper for the project that became Super Session, obliged to play a couple of last shows with them before leaving. Miles did keep the Flag going for one more album, but it's easy to see in hindsight that that may have been just a warmup for his eventual taking what was left of the Flag and forming his Buddy Miles Express from the ashes.)
Thank you. Great info.
I did several sessions for Roger 'Jellyroll' Troy back mid-80's. Great singer. Didn't really talk about Bloomfield but he had known him: https://www.buckeyebeat.com/jellyroll.html
 

NSW

Member
Messages
116
I’ve adored Bloomfield since listening to my dad’s vinyl copy of A Long Time Comin’ in HS in the 90s. It wasn’t until years later I learned he’s also an amazing acoustic guitar player

 

rwe333

Member
Messages
16,371
Bloomfield said that "If You Love These Blues, Play Em As You Please" was his best recording. Released in 1976 by Guitar Player Records (offshoot of the magazine), it quickly went out of print. Not sure of it's availability now...
 

56Tweed

Ge Fuzz-o-holic
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,077
I'm a big fan, though I was not alive in his hay day. What I find interesting about him is that he had such a deep mastery of the blues and different styles. I think that is why many of the old school Chicago guys embraced him. He also tried to go new places. While I love the first PBBB album, East-West is really interesting to me and started to go beyond the blues. East-West is a great example of that. Follow that up with Super Sessions and the Electric Flag work and I feel like he had a bit of a unique vision.

From a playing perspective, I think he played with an erratic energy is hard for many to equal.
 

GulfportBound

Member
Messages
8,222
The Bloomfield box with bonus DVD documentary is great.
My only quibble is that Al Kooper edited a few too many of the signature pieces on behalf of highlighting MB. (Especially the box's version of "His Holy Modal Majesty," but others as well.) I get what he was thinking, but removed from their complete contexts it dulled the impact of his playing to a certain degree and does no favour to someone discovering MB for the first time through the box set.
 




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