By Steve Newton
When you’re talking about amazing guitarists who’ve passed away before achieving the widespread acclaim they deserve, Mike Bloomfield’s right up there.
But a four-disc boxed set released today on Sony’s Legacy Recordings imprint should help get the word out on the mindblowing blues player.
Here’s the promotional bumph:
Produced and curated by Al Kooper (who played with Mike Bloomfield on Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited sessions in 1965 and the Super Session album in 1968), From His Head to His Heart to His Hands premieres a wealth of previously unreleased tracks–including Bloomfield’s first demos for John Hammond Sr. in 1964 and his final public performance, climaxing with a track from the 1980 Bob Dylan concert in San Francisco–alongside essential key recordings, both live and studio, from his all-too-brief life and career. The anthology collates solo material, work with ensembles including the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the Electric Flag, tracks with Muddy Waters and Janis Joplin, “Highway 61” band outtakes and more.
A thoughtful and revealing retrospective, From His Head to His Heart to His Hands provides a fresh appreciation for the enduring musical achievements and ongoing influence of Michael Bloomfield, a musician’s musician, both sideman and superstar. The box includes a 40-page booklet featuring a gallery of striking photos covering the various phases of Mike’s extraordinary career and extensive liner notes by musician, MOJO contributor, and lifelong Bloomfield fan Michael Simmons.
From His Head to His Heart to His Hands comes highly recommended to any and all guitar freaks unfamiliar with the genius of Mike Bloomfield.
And that would go double for the doorknobs down at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who haven’t yet seen fit to nominate the Chicago-born picker, who died of a drug overdose in 1981 at the age of 37.
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to what these guys think.