Paul Butterfield Blues Band – East-West (1966)

FrontCover1East-West is the second album by The Butterfield Blues Band led by Paul Butterfield, released in 1966 on Elektra Records, EKS 7315 in stereo, EKL 315 in mono. It was recorded at the famed Chess Studios on 2120 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago. It peaked at #65 on the Billboard pop albums chart, but is regarded as highly influential by rock and blues music historians.

Like the band’s eponymous record debut, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, this album features traditional blues covers and the guitar work of Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. Unlike the debut album, Bishop also contributed guitar solos; drummer Sam Lay had left the band due to illness and was replaced by the more jazz-oriented Billy Davenport. The social complexion of the band changed as well; ruled by Butterfield in the beginning, it evolved into more of a democracy both in terms of financial reward and input into repertoire.

One result was the inclusion of two all-instrumental extended jams at the instigation of Bloomfield following the group’s successful appearance at The Fillmore in San Francisco during March alongside Jefferson Airplane.[4] Both reflected his love of jazz, as the blue note-laden “Work Song” featuring harmonica by Butterfield had become a hard bop standard, and the title track “East-West” used elements of modal jazz as introduced by Miles Davis on his ground-breaking Kind of Blue album. Bloomfield had become enamored of work by John Coltrane in that area, especially his incorporation of ideas from Indian raga music. The album also included Michael Nesmith’s song “Mary, Mary,” which Nesmith would soon record with his band The Monkees – although original pressings of East-West did not include a songwriter’s credit for this track.

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On October 29, 2001, a reissue of this album remastered by Bob Irwin at Sundazed Studios and coupled with the debut appeared on Rhino WEA UK for the European market.

In 1996, original Butterfield Blues Band member Mark Naftalin (keyboards), who recorded on the album and is pictured on the cover of East-West, released a CD on his own ‘Winner’ label entitled East-West Live, comprising three extended live performance versions of the tune “East-West”. Noted music critic and prolific author Dave Marsh contributed a substantial essay in the liner notes regarding the historic importance of the song, both the original 1966 recording and the live versions.

Marsh, interviewing Naftalin, notes that the tune was inspired by an all-night LSD trip that “East-West”‘s primary songwriter Mike Bloomfield experienced in the fall of 1965, during which the late guitarist “said he’d had a revelation into the workings of Indian music.”

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Marsh’s expansive liner notes observe that the song “East-West” “was an exploration of music that moved modally, rather than through chord changes. As Naftalin explains, “The song was based, like Indian music, on a drone. In Western musical terms, it ‘stayed on the one’. The song was tethered to a four-beat bass pattern and structured as a series of sections, each with a different mood, mode and color, always underscored by the drummer, who contributed not only the rhythmic feel but much in the way of tonal shading, using mallets as well as sticks on the various drums and the different regions of the cymbals. In addition to playing beautiful solos, Paul [Butterfield] played important, unifying things [on harmonica] in the background – chords, melodies, counterpoints, counter-rhythms. This was a group improvisation. In its fullest form it lasted over an hour.”

In his summation, Marsh points out that “‘East-West’ can be heard as part of what sparked the West Coast’s rock revolution, in which such song structures with extended improvisatory passages became commonplace.”

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Going on to call the Butterfield Blues Band “one of the greatest bands of the rock era”, Marsh concludes that “With ‘East-West’, above any other extended piece of the mid-Sixties, a rock band finally achieved a version of the musical freedom that free jazz had found a few years earlier.”

The album is also credited with spawning the harder acid rock sound. The track “East-West”, with its early use of the extended rock solo, has been described as laying “the roots of psychedelic acid rock”[8] and featuring “much of acid-rock’s eventual DNA”.[9]

The band members appearing on the album were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

The album front cover was photographed at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. (by wikipedia)

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The raw immediacy and tight instrumental attack of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s self-titled debut album were startling and impressive in 1965, but the following year, the group significantly upped the ante with its second LP, East-West. The debut showed that Butterfield and his bandmates could cut tough, authentic blues (not a given for an integrated band during the era in which fans were still debating if a white boy could play the blues) with the energy of rock & roll, but East-West was a far more ambitious set, with the band showing an effective command of jazz, Indian raga, and garagey proto-psychedelia as well as razor-sharp electric blues. Butterfield was the frontman, and his harp work was fierce and potent, but the core of the band was the dueling guitar work of Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, especially Bloomfield’s ferocious, acrobatic solos, while Mark Naftalin’s keyboards added welcome washes of melodic color, and the rhythm section of bassist Jerome Arnold and drummer Billy Davenport were capable of both the rock-solid support of veteran blues players and the more flexible and artful pulse of a jazz combo, rising and relaxing with the dynamics of a performance.

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The Butterfield Blues Band sounded muscular and exciting on classic blues workouts like “Walkin’ Blues,” “Two Trains Running,” and “I Got a Mind to Give Up Living,” but the highlights came when the band pushed into new territory, such as the taut New Orleans proto-funk of “Get Out of My Life, Woman,” the buzzy and mildly trippy “Mary, Mary,” and especially two lengthy instrumental workouts, the free-flowing jazz of Nat Adderley’s “Work Song” and the title track, a fiery mix of blues, psychedelia, Indian musical patterns, and several other stops in between, with Butterfield, Bloomfield, and Bishop blowing for all their worth. East-West would prove to be a pivotal album in the new blues-rock movement, and it was the Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s greatest achievement; Bloomfield would be gone by the time they cut their next LP to form the Electric Flag, and as good as Bishop was, losing the thrust and parry between the two guitarists was a major blow. But East-West captures a great group in high flight as the bandmembers join together in something even more remarkable than their estimable skills as individuals would suggest, and its importance as a nexus point between rock, blues, jazz, and world music cannot be overestimated. (by Mark Deming)

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Personnel:
Jerome Arnold (bass)
Elvin Bishop (guitar, vocals on 08.)
Mike Bloomfield (guitar)
Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)
Billy Davenport (drums)
Mark Naftalin (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Walkin’ Blues (Johnson) 3.19
02. Get Out of My Life, Woman (Toussaint) 3.15
03. I Got A Mind To Give Up Living (Traditional) 4.59
04. All These Blues (Traditional) 2.24
05. Work Song (instrumental) (Adderley) 7.56
06. Mary, Mary (Nesmith) 2.53
07. Two Trains Running (Morganfield) 3.55
08. Never Say No (Traditional) 2.59
09. East-West (instrumental) (Bloomfield/Gravenites) 13.12

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Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Keep On Moving (1968)

LPFrontCover1Keep on Moving is the fifth album by the Butterfield Blues Band, which was released in 1969. It continues in the same R&B/soul-influenced horn-driven direction as the band’s 1968 album In My Own Dream. Keep On Moving reached number 102 in the Billboard Top LPs chart. (by wikipedia)

Released in 1969, Keep on Moving was the fifth Elektra release by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. During a four-year span the group’s namesake and leader was the only original member left from their first album in 1965. Morphing in a similar direction as Michael Bloomfield’s Electric Flag, this edition of the Butterfield Blues Band prominently fronted the horn section of David Sanborn on alto sax, Gene Dinwiddie on tenor, and Keith Johnson on trumpet. The band’s direction was full tilt, horn-dominated soul music, first explored on The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw, which took them farther away from the highly regarded gritty blues experimentation of East-West and the duel guitar attack of Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. This album also signaled the final appearance of AACM and Art Ensemble of Chicago drummer Phillip Wilson, whose Butterfield swan song was the collaboration with Dinwiddie on the hippie gospel track Paul Butterfield01.jpg“Love March,” of which an appropriately disjointed live version appeared on the Woodstock soundtrack album. The difference between Butterfield’s 1965 street survival ode “Born in Chicago” (“My father told me ‘son you’d better get a gun”) and “Love March” (“Sing a glad song, sing all the time”) left fans wondering if the band had become a bit too democratic. However, on cuts like “Losing Hand,” some of the band’s original fervor remains. Butterfield’s harp intertwining with the horn section sounds like a lost Junior Parker outtake and the Jimmy Rogers’ penned “Walking by Myself,” is the closest this band comes to the gutsy Windy City blues of its heyday. The remaining tracks aren’t horrible, but tend to run out of ideas quickly, unfortunately making what may have been decent material (with a little more effort) sound premature.  (by Al Campbell)

In fact, this is a superb album …you can hear hwo Butterfield switched from the tradtional Chicago Blues into a great jazz-rock sound ….

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Personnel:
Paul Butterfield (harmonica, vocals, flute on 01.)
Gene Dinwiddie (saxophone, flute, guitar, keyboards, vocals on 01,. background vocals)
Howard “Buzz” Feiten (guitar, organ, french horn on 01., vocals on 09. + 11, background vocals)
Rod Hicks (bass, cello, vocals on 11,,background vocals)
Ted Harris (piano)
Keith Johnson (trumpet)
Trevor Lawrence (saxophone)
Steve Madaio (trumpet)
David Sanborn (saxophone)
Phillip Wilson (drums, vocals on 01., background vocals)
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Fred Beckmeier (bass on 08. + 11.)
Jerry Ragovoy (piano on 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. Love March (Dinwiddie/Wilson) 2.58
02. No Amount Of Loving (Butterfield) 3.14
03. Morning Sunrise (Butterfield/Wilson) 2.41
04. Losing Hand (Calhoun) 3.35
05. Walking By Myself (Lane) 4.31
06. Except You (Ragovoy) 3.53
07. Love Disease (Dinwiddie) 3.29
08. Where Did My Baby Go (Ragovoy) 4.23
09. All In A Day (Hicks) 2.28
10. So Far So Good (Hicks) 2.28
11. Buddy’s Advice (Feiten) 3.21
12. Keep On Moving (Butterfield) 5.02

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Various - 1980

Paul Butterfield (December 17, 1942 – May 4, 1987)

More Paul Butterfield:

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Big Walter Horton & Paul Butterfield – An Offer You Can´t Refuse (1972)

FrontCover1“An Offer You Can’t Refuse” is one of the best blues harmonica compilations put together. Walter Horton’s material on this recording is some of the best music I have ever heard in my life. Horton’s control, note choice, and near endless well of ideas give a textbook example of what every harmonica player (and musician) needs to do in order to be a competent musician.
Horton’s treatment of “Easy” is a bit sparser than the one he did with Jimmy Deberry long ago; he takes a more restrained approach, but still lets it loose on certain parts of the song. Absolutely brilliant work.

“Have a Good Time” is a straight ahead exchange with Robert Nighthawk backing (as throughout the record), Horton lays it hard and down-home through his solos showing just how to treat the song. Horton’s virtue is that he leaves a good amount of space to let his notes breathe through his solos, so that they don’t bunch up and sound insignificant.
“Mean Mistreater” is a slow blues in 1st position that is soulful and pretty. This is how all you harp players need to solo over a slow blues, beautifully done; Nighthawk’s backing is simple and dead-on as well. All you SRV clone twits can learn a thing or two from Robert Nighthawk, it ain’t always about the soloing!

“In the Mood” is an upbeat frisky deal that has Horton throwing notes down with authority. Great singing and solid backing with Horton doing some very hard (yet musical) lines make this alone worth the price of the CD.
“West Side Blues” is a steady, high and lonesome blues feel with very tasteful soloing on Horton’s part. Horton plays the melody through much of this song, but makes it sound wonderful.
“Louise” is another steady feeling blues with Horton singing and dominating; beautiful lines, with acoustic harp make this a winner.

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“Tin Pan Alley” is a sweet lowdown song, Horton’s soloing is slow and well paced.
“Walter’s Boogie” rounds out the Horton section; uptempo, and seriously well done, Horton lays a lesson in tone and control that is near scary at times. Very well done.
The Butterfield section was taken from a 1963 night club gig with Smokey Smothers and Sam Lay. A nice recording, not Butterfield’s best, but a good sneak preview of what was to come from the illustrious Butterfield. A great recording that’s worth your money. If you are learning to play harmonica, this CD should be in your library; it will do more for you than most instructional books could ever do. (an amazon cutomer)

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Paul Butterfield’s 1960 high school yearbook photo

An album released on the Red Lightnin’ label in 1972 consisting of one side of Big Walter Horton and the other side with very early Paul Butterfield (1963) (See: Big Walter Horton). Contains six tracks with Butterfield, Smokey Smothers on guitar, Jerome Arnold on bass, and Sam Lay on drums. This was recorded at Big Johns, the North side Chicago club where the Butterfield Band first played in 1963 — some two years before the material on the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album, which was released in 1965. The six tracks include two instrumentals, “Got My Mojo Working” and the Butterfield-authored tune “Loaded.” Although this is very early Butterfield, the harp playing is excellent and already in his own unique style. The singing is a little rough and heavy sounding. Butterfield fans will want to find this rare vinyl for musical and historical reasons. (by Michael Erlewine)

Recorded live  at the “Big Johns” Club,Wells Street, Chicago, Summer 1963 

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Personnel:

Big Walter Horton:
Big Walter Horton (vocals, harmonica)
Robert Nighthawk (guitar)

Paul Butterfield:
Jerome Arnold (bass)
Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)
Sam Lay (drums)
Smokey Smothers (guitar)

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Tracklist:

Big Walter Horton:
01. Easy (Horton) 3.16
02. Have A Good Time (Horton) 3.18
03. Mean Mistreater (Carr/Horton) 3.03
04. In The Mood (Horton) 3.07
05. West Side Blues (Horton) 3-08
06. Louise (Morganfield) 4.04
07. Tin Pan Alley (Geddins) 2.52
08. Walters Boogie, This Is It (Horton) 2.45

Paul Butterfield:
09. Everythings Gonna Be Alright (Jacobs) 3.40
10. Poor Boy (Horton) 3.53
11. Got My Mojo Working (Morganfield) 3.07
12. Last Night (Jacobs) 4.38
13. Loaded (Butterfield) 2.52
14. One Room Country Shack (Walton) 4.54

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Paul Butterfield Blues Band – The Resurection Of PigboyCrabshaw (1967)

FrontCover1The 1968 edition of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band featured a larger ensemble with a horn section, allowing for a jazzier feeling while retaining its Chicago blues core. They also adopted the psychedelic flower power stance of the era, as evidenced by a few selections, the rather oblique title, and the stunning pastiche art work on the cover. Butterfield himself was really coming into his own playing harmonica and singing, while his band of keyboardist Mark Naftalin, guitarist Elvin Bishop, drummer Phil Wilson, electric bassist Bugsy Maugh, and the horns featuring young alto saxophonist David Sanborn was as cohesive a unit as you’d find in this time period. Butterfield’s most well-known song “One More Heartache” kicks off the album, a definitive blues-rock radio favorite with great harmonica and an infectious beat urged on by the top-notch horns.

The band covers “Born Under a Bad Sign” at a time when Cream also did it. “Driftin’ & Driftin'” is another well-known tune, and at over nine minutes stretches out with the horns cryin’ and sighin’, including a definitive solo from Sanborn over the choruses. There’s the Otis Rush tune “Double Trouble,” and “Drivin’ Wheel” penned by Roosevelt Sykes; Butterfield wrote two tunes, including “Run Out of Time” and the somewhat psychedelic “Tollin’ Bells,” where Bishop’s guitar and Naftalin’s slow, ringing, resonant keyboard evokes a haunting feeling. This is likely the single best Butterfield album of this time period and you’d be well served to pick this one up. (by Michael G. Nastos)

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Personnel:
Elvin Bishop (guitar)
Paul Butterfield (harmonica, vocals)
Gene Dinwiddie (saxophone)
Keith Johnson (trumpet)
Bugsy Maugh (bass, vocals on 07.)
Mark Naftalin (keyboards)
Dave Sanborne (saxophone)
Phil Wilson (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. One More Heartache (Tarplin/Rogers/White/Robinson/Moore) 3.42
02. Driftin’ And Driftin’ (Brown/Williams/Moore) 9.10
03. Pity The Fool (Malone) 6.06
04. Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell) 4.11
05. Run Out Of Time (Dinwiddie/Peterson/Butterfield) 3.05
06. Double Trouble (Rush) 5.42
07. Drivin’ Wheel (Sykes) 5.59
08. Droppin’ Out (Butterfield/Zimmerman) 2.21
09. Tollin’ Bells (Dixon) 4.22

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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”

 

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John McVie + Peter Green with Paul Butterfield, 1966

 

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

 

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Backcover, autographed by John Mayall himself

 

Tracklist:
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

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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.

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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)

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

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Tracklist:
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

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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”.

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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)

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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

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

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Tracklist:

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

CD
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Equipment

Paul´s equipment