How the late guitarist shunned the spotlight and undermined his entire legacy
Michael Bloomfield 'From His Head to His Heart to His Hands' Box Set Review | Album Reviews | Rolling Stone ›
A bar-mitzvahed Chicago son who baby-sat Muddy Waters’ grandkids, Mike Bloomfield was no average Sixties guitar hero. But hotshit player doesn’t begin…
Look what arrived in the mail today! Pre-ordered from Amazon and delivered on the day of release. Mike Bloomfield, the first box set to bring together Mike’s amazing catalogue of work: From His Head To His Heart To His Hands.
Mike Bloomfield was one of the first rock & roll guitar heroes and, to many musicians around in his ’60s heyday, he remains one of the greatest guitarists that ever was. Born in Chicago in 1943, he was one of the first white boys to truly absorb Chicago blues and find his own distinctive voice within the style, then he expanded far beyond its stylistic confines before settling into its changes as home. He was the fuel that fired Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited and he was the dynamite in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, playing with a manic vigor that was notably absent in many of the British blues gods or the Californian jammers who followed in his footsteps. Those few years difference between Bloomfield and the class of the late ’60s—everybody from Hendrix and Clapton to Krieger and John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service—made all the difference, as Bloomfield came of age during the rise of electric blues in the late ’50s and early ’60s. As a teenager, he trekked down to the South Side of Chicago to hear, then play, blues with the masters who regularly gigged in the Windy City. By his own estimation, he sat in with “every living musician who played electric blues,” a boast that may have been an exaggeration but not by much. Certainly, his playing illustrated a crucial difference from those other, better-known ’60s guitar heroes who largely learned the blues via vinyl: he absorbed the intricacies of a wealth of blues, jazz, folk and country styles, finger-picking with the same dexterity that he played single-note solos.
Mike hanging with Simon and Garfunkel, Monterey Pop 1967
Woody Herman, Since I Fell For You, 1971
lovely soulful playing by Mr. Bloomfield
The Electric Flag, Gettin’ Hard, 1967
The Electric Flag, Over Lovin’ You, live at Monterey Pop 1967
been waiting forever for someone to put this online, plus I love the little Mike clip at the end
Bloomfield and the Wolf, Chicago 1964
Mike Bloomfield, Sleepy John Estes, Yank Rachell and Hammie Nixon with Bob Koester in the studio, Chicago 1963
by Ray Flerlage
Charlie Musselwhite, Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield, Chicago 1965
Mike Bloomfield and Jerry Garcia hanging out, c. 1968