John Mayall´s Bluesbreakers – With Paul Butterfield (1967)

FrontCover1This 4 track EP is probably one of the rarest John Mayall records ever.

On November 26, 1966, Paul Butterfield, leader of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, was touring England. He met up with John Mayall, one of England’s pre-eminent blues bandleaders, his band the Bluesbreakers an incubator for talent ranging from Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor to Jack Bruce, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. The Butterfield band, at that very moment, had two guitar greats in its ranks: Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop.
Butterfield, a powerful singer who learned his trade sitting in with black blues bands (including Muddy Waters) on Chicago’s South Side, was a virtuoso harmonica player whose lyrical style owed plenty to Little Walter. Mayall played keyboard, his own custom built guitars, piano and organ.
Butterfield and Mayall recorded four songs, but in deference to the Butterfield Blues Band’s Elektra recording contract, British Decca released the EP only in England. The Bluesbreakers lineup at this point was Peter Green, John McVie and drummer Aynsley Dunbar. (by Rich Kienzle)

A summit meeting of the leading U.S. and U.K. blues-rock bandleaders of their time resulted in this four-song, seven-inch EP, which, like most such projects, didn’t add up to the sum of its parts. By either man’s standards, it’s routine, if unobjectionable. Mayall takes a much stronger role than Butterfield; “Riding on the L&N” is about the best cut on a disc that also has a version of Junior Wells’ “Little By Little” and one Mayall original, “Eagle Eye.” Personnel is not listed on this rarity; one could reasonably assume from the date of release that it features the Peter Green version of the Bluesbreakers, but rock reference books are in conflict as to whether Mick Fleetwood and/or Peter Green appear on the disc or not. (by Richie Unterberger)

So … listen to two masters of what we call “white Boy blues”



John McVie + Peter Green with Paul Butterfield, 1966


Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Peter Green (guitar)
John Mayall (voclas, harmonica)
John McVie (bass)
Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)



Backcover, autographed by John Mayall himself


01. All My Life (Robinson) 4.22
02. Riding On The L. And N. (Burley/Hampton) 2.26
01. Little By Little (Wells/London) 2.43
04. Eagle Eye (Mayall) 2.49



Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Same (1965)

frontcover1The Paul Butterfield Blues Band is the debut album by Paul Butterfield, released in 1965 on Elektra Records, EKS 7294 in stereo, EKL 294 in mono. It peaked at #123 on the Billboard pop albums chart. In 2003, the album was ranked number 476 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, moving up to number 468 in the revised 2012 list, and also is ranked at #11 on Down Beat magazine’s list of the top 50 blues albums.

In late 1964, a friend of Elektra house producer Paul Rothchild told him that the “best band in the world was on stage at a blues bar in Chicago.” Rothchild took a plane to Chicago to see the Butterfield quartet, and later the same night went to a different club and saw guitarist Mike Bloomfield with a different band. According to Rothchild, it was at his impetus that Paul Butterfield hired Bloomfield as his second guitar alongside Elvin Bishop. The Butterfield rhythm section of Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay had been hired away from Howlin’ Wolf.

Sessions were arranged for December, 1964, but these were abandoned for live recordings from the Cafe Au Go Go in New York City after the band’s appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. The earlier studio recordings were eventually released on The Original Lost Elektra Sessions in 1995. Upon hearing the live tapes, Rothchild still remained dissatisfied, and the band went into the studio in September 1965 in an attempt to record the album for the third time. The guitar solos were all played by Bloomfield, Bishop relegated to rhythm guitar. Keyboardist Mark Naftalin was drafted in at the September sessions and asked to join the band by Butterfield, expanding it to a sextet.

The album presents band originals and songs in the style of electric Chicago blues. It is one of the first blues albums recorded in America featuring a white singer,[citation needed] trailing a few years behind the British blues movement where white singers and musicians had been performing and recording blues since the 1950s.


Even after his death, Paul Butterfield’s music didn’t receive the accolades that were so deserved. Outputting styles adopted from Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters among other blues greats, Butterfield became one of the first white singers to rekindle blues music through the course of the mid-’60s. His debut album, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, saw him teaming up with guitarists Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield, with Jerome Arnold on bass, Sam Lay on drums, and Mark Naftalin playing organ. The result was a wonderfully messy and boisterous display of American-styled blues, with intensity and pure passion derived from every bent note. In front of all these instruments is Butterfield’s harmonica, beautifully dictating a mood and a genuine feel that is no longer existent, even in today’s blues music. Each song captures the essence of Chicago blues in a different way, from the back-alley feel of “Born in Chicago” to the melting ease of Willie Dixon’s “Mellow Down Easy” to the authentic devotion that emanates from Bishop and Butterfield’s “Our Love Is Drifting.” “Shake Your Money Maker,” “Blues With a Feeling,” and “I Got My Mojo Working” (with Lay on vocals) are all equally moving pieces performed with a raw adoration for blues music. Best of all, the music that pours from this album is unfiltered…blared, clamored, and let loose, like blues music is supposed to be released. A year later, 1966’s East West carried on with the same type of brash blues sound partnered with a jazzier feel, giving greater to attention to Bishop’s and Bloomfield’s instrumental talents. (by Mike DeGagne)


Jerome Arnold (bass)
Elvin Bishop (guitar)
Mike Bloomfield (guitar)
Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)
Sam Lay (drums, vocals on 05.)
Mark Naftalin (organ)


01. Born In Chicago (Gravenites) 2.55
02. Shake Your Money-Maker ( James) 2.27
03. Blues With A Feeling (Jacobs) 4.20
04. Thank You Mr. Poobah (Bloomfield/Butterfield/Naftalin) 4.05
05. Got My Mojo Working (Morganfield) 3.30
06. Mellow Down Easy (Dixon) 2.48
07. Screamin’ (instrumental) (Bloomfield) 4.30
08. Our Love Is Drifting (Butterfield/Bishop) 3.25
09. Mystery Train (Parker/Phillips) 2.45
10. Last Night (Jacobs) 4.15
11. Look Over Yonders Wall (Clark) 2.23



I was born in Chicago at nineteen and forty-one
I was born in Chicago at nineteen and forty-one
Well, my father told me
“Son, you had better get a gun”

Well, my first friend went down
When I was seventeen years old
Well, my first friend went down
When I was seventeen years old

Well, there’s one thing I can say about that boy
He gotta go

Well, my second friend went down
When I was twenty one years of age
Well, my second friend went down
When I was twenty one years of age

Well, there’s one thing I can say about that boy
He gotta pray

Well, now rules are alright
If there’s someone left to play the game
Well, now rules are alright
If there’s someone left to play the game

All my friends are going
And thing’s just don’t seem the same
Oh, thing’s just don’t seem the same, babe

Written by Nicholas George Gravenites

Paul Butterfield Band – Rockpalast 1978 (2010)

PaulButterfieldFrontCover1Long before Blues Traveller, there was this band called The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, led by the vocal & harmonica talents of Paul Butterfield. Many aspiring blues and rock musicians passed through Butterfield’s band throughout the 1960’s & 1970’s and went on to greater fame, Mike Bloomfield being one of the most famous. Here on this 1978 concert DVD, recorded for the Rockpalast German TV show in Essen at the Grugahalle, Butterfield and his ‘non’ blues band rip it up on an all too short 45 minute set that incorporates blues and funk into a hard rockin’ set of covers and originals.

Many great guitar players have made their way through the ranks of Butterfield’s bands over the years, and this show is no exception. Hot shot player Buzz Feiten and 19 year old phenom Peter Atanasoff are the guitar duo for this show, and they lay down plenty of mean licks and wild solos. Feiten should be a stranger to no one, as he’s appeared as a session man for virtually everyone in rock, pop, jazz, and R&B over the last 40 years, as well as leading his own ensembles and creating a new tuning system for guitar players. His commanding riffs and fiery solos are all over the place here, injecting plenty of rock and fusion firepower into tunes like “Fair Enough”, ‘Goin’ Down”, “Born Under Bad Sign”, and the scorching extended wah-wah break on “Fool In Love”, perhaps one of the best wah-wah solos you’ll ever hear. Though most of this is pretty rocking stuff, the band do share a tender moment with the audience on the classic “Just When I Needed You Most”, with Butterfield adding a great vocal. For fans of wild jams, wait till you see Butterfield, Feiten, and Atanasoff dueling it out on some fiery guitar & harmonica exchanges on the raucous “Be Good to Yourself”.


Much like what John Mayall did throughout the 60’s, introducing talented young players to the world through his music, Butterfield basically did the same with his band. It’s a shame Paul passed away a decade after this show was recorded, as we all probably missed out on more hot young blues and rock players that he surely would have found to help flash out his vision. If you’ve never experienced the skills of Buzz Feiten, give this a watch and prepare to be amazed.

This is blues rock of the highest order folks, with some of the most scorching guitar licks you are ever going to hear. Check it out. (by Pete Pardo)

Paul Butterfield certainly had his demons. He abused alcohol, he became addicted to heroin, and he suffered from bouts of severe depression — all of which eventually made him less productive than he could have been. Butterfield wasn’t as visible or as consistent in the late ’70s as he had been in the 1960s, but even so, the singer/harmonica player had some creative triumphs during that period — and Butterfield is in very good form on this 68-minute CD, which focuses on a September 15, 1978 concert at the Grugahalle in Essen, Germany. Although Butterfield had both physical and emotional problems in 1978, he rises to the occasion during an inspired and diverse set that includes a lot of blues-rock but doesn’t focus on blues-rock exclusively. Butterfield shines as a blues-rocker on “New Walking Blues,” “One More Heartache,” “Goin’ Down,” and the Albert King-associated “Born Under a Bad Sign,” but he favors more of a hard rock/arena rock outlook on “Fool in Love” and “It’s Alright” — and there are major soul leanings on “Be Good to Yourself.” Meanwhile, “Just When I Needed You the Most” is the closest the CD comes to pop/rock. Butterfield leads a rock-solid lineup in Essen, employing Peter Atanasoff and Buzzy Feiten on guitar, Bobby Vega on bass, and Ernest Carter on drums; this isn’t the most famous lineup of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, but it’s a respectable lineup — one that obviously appreciates Butterfield’s versatility and has no problem handling a variety of songs. Although it falls short of essential and isn’t recommended to casual listeners, this CD is a pleasing document of Butterfield’s Essen performance. (by Alex Henderson)

This is one of the best live recordings by Paul Butterfield !

Recorded live at the 3rd Rockpalast night on September 15/16, 1978
at the Grugahalle, Essen, Germany


Peter Atanasoff (guitar)
Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)
Ernest Carter (drums)
Buzzy Feiten (guitar)
Bobby Vega (bass)


01. Rockpalast Intro 0.29
02. Fair Enough (unknown) 4.51
03. One More Heartache (Moore/Robinson/Rogers/Tarplin/White) 4.14
04. Fool In Love (unknown) 5.30
05. New Walking Blues (Johnson) 5.28
06. It’s Alright (Butterfield) 5.17
07. Goin’ Down (Nix) 5.25
08. Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell) 3.50
09. Just When I Needed You Most (v.Warmer/Wilson) 5.06
10. Be Good To Yourself (Fraser) 10.10
11. Interview (with Alan Bangs) 13.24



Paul´s equipment

Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Live (1970)

FrontCover1For the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, this two-LP set proved that it all came down to Butterfield himself and his abilities as a leader in the end. For all of the adulation heaped on Mike Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, et al., the group was ultimately an extension of Butterfield’s abilities as a leader and player, and this set proved that Butterfield and the bandmembers he had assembled in 1971 had more than two LPs’ worth of live playing in them that was worth releasing and worth buying. And that wasn’t the half of it — talk about ironies — at the time the Paul Butterfield Blues Band recorded this live album, they were at their peak as a concert act; they were getting all the bookings they wanted at the best clubs in the biggest cities in the country, and a lot of other places as well, in front of enthusiastic audiences who were devouring their blues-jazz-rock-R&B hybrid sound as fast as they could pump it out on-stage. They just weren’t selling many PaulButterfieldrecords, which was why few people ever got to hear this album. The four-man horn section and the single guitar are a long way from the band that dazzled audiences six years earlier on East-West, or at Monterey in 1967; this is big-band Chicago blues with a jazz base and a killer sound, ranging all over the musical map without peer. In the midst of all of those seemingly louder instruments blowing away, however, one can still find a great showcase for Butterfield’s blues harp on numbers like Big Walter Horton’s “Everything’s Gonne Be Alright.” The sound, recorded on then state-of-the-art equipment at the L.A. Troubadour, is excellent and the performances are as tight as anything ever delivered by the band, in many ways fulfilling the promise of the longer numbers represented on their earlier studio albums. The original double LP is still worth finding for vinyl enthusiasts. (by Bruce Eder)

This is the disc with 9 bonus tracks from the same concert !

Recorded live the Troubadour, Los Angeles, March 21 – 22, 1970


Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica, piano)
George Davidson (drums)
Brother Gene Dinwiddie (saxophone, vocals)
Ted Harris (keyboards)
Rod Hicks (bass, vocals)
Trevor Lawrence (saxophone)
Steve Madaio (trumpet)
Ralph Wash (guitar)


01. Everything Going to Be Alright (Jacobs) 10:08
02. Love Disease (Butterfield) 4.01
03. The Boxer (Hicks) 6.38
04. No Amount of Loving (Butterfield) 5.53
05. Driftin’ And Driftin’ (Brown/Williams) 13.43
06. Intro to Muscians 1.45
07. Number Nine (Harris) 10.10
08. I Want To Be With You (Dinwiddie) 3.55
09. Born Under A Bad Sign (Bell/Jones) 5.43
10. Get Together Again (Butterfield) 6.29
11. So Far, So Good (Hicks) 9.17
12. Gene’s Tune (Dinwiddie) 12.30
13. Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Redding) 6.58
14. Losing Hand (Calhoun) 14.29
15. All In A Day (Hicks) 8.11
16. Feel So Bad (Willis) 4.44
17. Except You (Ragavoy) 4.51
18. You’ve Got To Love Her With A Feelin’ (King/Thompson) 5.24
19. Love March (Dinwiddie/Wilson) 12.25




Paul Butterfield´s Better Days – Sausalito (1973)

FrontCover1The blues has long been associated with heartache and heartbreak and currently provides a poignant soundtrack to the sufferings in the world – from the oppressed people in the Middle East to the victims of natural disasters in New Zealand, China and Japan (and as history professor Gary Leupp wrote in our cover story this week, even man-made ones in Japan).

At the same time, there is a yearning and energy in these tracks that, hopefully, they will provide comfort, solace and encouragement to someone, somewhere.

From the mid-’60s to the early ’70s, the late harmonica player and vocalist, seen by some as “the American musician most responsible for introducing urban blues to rock audiences”, had entertained fans with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band but in 1973, he disbanded his band (basically trimmed off the horn section) and formed Better Days.

“It was definitely an adventurous band for the time,” (Amos) Garrett recalls. “It was definitely the furthest Paul ever got away from the Midwest, Chicago harmonica or horn band sound. That band was a very unique rhythm & blues band. It incorporated blues influences of Paul’s, but it had an acoustic, Delta influence of Geoffrey’s (Muldaur) and a heavy New Orleans feel from Ronnie (Barron). My playing was just so strange; it kind of fit in everywhere, in every context. Plus the fact it had four vocalists. And everything was a group decision in terms of material, but we leaned toward new songs. We loved Bobby’s (Charles) writing in particular.”
Click here for more.

Thanks to fshurrat who shared the tracks on Dime; and to everyone who kept this show alive. As for the bonus tracks, even after trawling the internet, fshurrat noted that “I can’t tell you where the tracks were performed, recorded or when.” Thanks also to the person who created and posted the artwork on the net.

Recorded live at the Record Plant, Sausalito, CA; December 30, 1973
Very good radio broadcast

Ronnie Barron (keyboards)
Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)
Amos Garrett (guitar)
Geoff Muldaur (guitar)
Chris Parker (drums)
Billy Rich (bass)

01. Intro 0.07
02. Walkin’ Blues (Johnson) 5.52
03. Take Your Pleasure Where You Find It (Butterfield/Charles) 3.38
04. Broke My Baby’s Heart (Barron) 6.42
05. Done A Lot Of Wrong Things (Charles) 4.02
06. Piano intro (Barron)  1.12
07. He’s Got All the Whiskey (Charles) 9.00
08. It All Comes Back (Charles) 3.49
09. Down At The Bottom (Clapton) 5.21
10. Too Many Drivers (Hogg) 6.07
11. Piano Intro (Barron) 0.45
12. He’s Got All the Whiskey (Charles) 17.22
13. Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Simone) 9.11
14. Please Send Me Somebody To Love (Mayfield) 5.22


Paul Butterfield’s Better Days – Live At Winterland Ballroom (1973)

FrontCover1The late Paul Butterfield was a colossal figure in the development of blues music. He is probably most noted for taking orthodox Chicago Blues, and adapting , and electrifying the genre in such a way that he opened up the blues to a much wider audience. His influence on other blues musicians is immense. Read his bio for a small idea of what this great man did in developing the blues during his lifetime. These nine tracks were recorded at the famed Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA. on Feb. 23rd 1973, and should be heard by anybody remotely interested in good music.

BetterDays01Sadly, one of the other musicians on this album, Ronnie Barron, is now departed, but he will forever be remembered for his contribution to the blues. Check out Paul Butterfield’s brilliant “East-West” album. The other musicians on this album are all stars in their own right. Try and listen to to Geoff Muldaur’s “Pottery Pie” album. There is some great basswork from Billy Rich on John McLaughlin’s “Devotion” album. The late Ronnie Barron’s “Bon Ton Roulette” is a great recording. Christopher Parker’s amazing drumming is stunning on Donald Fagen’s classic “Kamakiriad” album, and last but certainly not least, Amos Garrett’s brilliant “Buried Alive in the Blues” album can be found (by Amosgar/Baitb)


Ronnie Barron (keyboards, vocals)
Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica, keyboards)
Amos Garrett (guitar, vocals)
Geoff Muldaur (guitar, vocals, keyboards)
Christopher Parker (drums)
Billy Rich (bass)

01. Countryside (Traditional) 8.10
92. Buried Alive In The Blues (Gravenites) 3.48
03. Small Town Talk (Charles/Danko) 5.21
04. New Walkin Blues (Johnson) 6.18
05. Broke My Baby’s Heart (Barron) 7.18
06. Highway 28 (Hicks) 4.41
07. Please Send Me Someone To Love (Mayfield) 5.21
08. He’s Got All The Whiskey (Charles) 14.11
09. Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Simone) 7.57