Album review: Michael Bloomfield, Bloomfield (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 13, 1984

By Steve Newton

“The music you listen to becomes the soundtrack of your life…it becomes the background track for your existence.”

So says the late Michael Bloomfield in an interview segment from the new retrospective of the bluesman’s brilliant career. Bloomfield. There are four such segments interspersed between the music on this double album, music that features Bloomfield in action with such renowned players as Paul Butterfield, Elvin Bishop, Buddy Miles, Mark Naftalin, and Al Kooper.

Six of the songs on Bloomfield are taken from the Electric Flag album Long Time Comin’. From that 1967 LP there is “Texas Groovin’ is Easy”, “You Don’t Realize”, “Wine”, “Easy Rider”, and Howlin Wolf’s classic “Killing Floor”.

“Albert’s Shuffle” and “Stop” are included from Bloomfield’s collaboration with Al Kooper, Super Sessions. “I Wonder Who” is from The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, “You’re Killing My Love” is from the Nick Gravenites album My Labors, and “Goofers” is from the Bloomfield album It’s Not Killing Me. “It Hurts Me Too”, which features John Hammond on vocals and Dr. John on piano, is from the album Triumvirate.

The six other songs–“Got My Mojo Workin'”, “Born in Chicago”, “Woodyard Street”, “Midnight On My Radio”, “Why Lord, Oh Why”, and “”Relaxin’ Blues: Blues for Jimmy Yancey, Sunnyland Slim and Otis Spann”–are all previously unreleased.

For young rockers just discovering the blues, or old blues fans who’ve followed Bloomfield from the beginning, this retrospective should provide hours of listening pleasure.

 

 

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