Thursday, March 21, 2013


Paul Butterfield was the first white harmonica player to develop a style original and powerful enough to place him in the pantheon of true blues greats. It's impossible to overestimate the importance of the doors Butterfield opened: before he came to prominence, white American musicians treated the blues with cautious respect, afraid of coming off as inauthentic. Not only did Butterfield clear the way for white musicians to build upon blues tradition (instead of merely replicating it), but his storming sound was a major catalyst in bringing electric Chicago blues to white audiences who'd previously considered acoustic Delta blues the only really genuine article. His initial recordings from the mid-'60s -- featuring the legendary, racially integrated first edition of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band -- were eclectic, groundbreaking offerings that fused electric blues with rock & roll, psychedelia, jazz, and even (on the classic East-West) Indian classical music. As members of that band -- which included Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop -- drifted away, the overall impact of Butterfield's music lessened, even if his amplified harp playing was still beyond reproach. He had largely faded from the scene by the mid-'70s, and fell prey to health problems and drug addiction that sadly claimed his life prematurely. Even so, the enormity of Butterfield's initial impact ensured that his legacy was already secure. 

Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Unicorn Coffee House, Boston, MA
Spring 1966

set 1

01   Look Over Yonders Wall
02   Born In Chicago
03   Love Her With A Feeling
04   Get Out of Life Woman
05   Don't Say No To Me
06   One More Heartache
07   Work Song

set 2

08   Thank You Mr. Poobah
09   Serves You Right To Suffer
10   Got A Mind To Give Up Living
11   Walking By Myself
12   Baby Please Don't Go
13   World Is In An Uproar
14   Got My Mojo Working

Paul Butterfield - harp, vocals
Mike Bloomfield - guitar
Elvin Bishop - guitar
Mark Naftalin - keyboard
Jerome Arnold - bass
Billy Davenport - drums


Anonymous said...

Thank you. This is a classic show with the original lineup. Sound is quite good and great setlist. I believe Elvin and Mark are the only ones still with us, sadly. Liked this version of the band before all of the horns including a young David Sanborn. Larry

nasty52 said...

Another stunning live blues show thanks again

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