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Bloomfield blog

Mike Bloomfield Guitar Techniques

Al Kooper's Birthday Bash

A tab of Mike Bloomfield's solo on "East-West"

Four-part radio program on Mike Bloomfield

Photo courtesy of  Elliott Landy

"Michael Bloomfield: If You Love These Blues," by Jan Mark Wolkin & Bill Keenom

Available at Amazon.com

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     The Guest Book

     We're so happy you're here and would love to hear from you! Submit your comments HERE. Your message will be reflected within 24 hrs.  Please note all submissions subject to review. Spammers and rude language will not be tolerated. Thank you for stopping by!

 


 

March 29, 2014

  I just discovered the website. Fantastic! I've been listening to Mike's music and it makes me want to play, play, play. I've been playing guitar a long time, I'm 50, and his music is thrilling and inspiring. If I can play even a tiny bit like Mike, I'd be so happy. Thank you for this website and thank you, Mike, for your music.

- Derek Scott from Scotland

 

March 27, 2014

  Mike Bloomfield has always been an inspiration to me. I'm 62 and have been a guitarist since I was 14. Mike`s music resonates in my mind and heart continually.

 Best Wishes,

- Joe Yanasheski
 

March 26, 2014

  I'm 52 and didn't start playing until three months ago. The first time I heard Mike was from the Super Session album. I probably played STOP 100 times a day. Now that I am learning guitar, I would love to find the tab for that song and Michael's solo. I also just finished watching the entire documentary on Mike on YouTube. It has 10 parts and is broken into 3 sections. Wow, it was just so interesting.

- Dloom Bloom

 

March 25, 2014

   I'm a 63 year old NY guitar guy. Mike, Jimi, Eric, Jimmy, Peter and Jeff took me where I wanted to go. But Mike and Al were my home boys. Always in my heart and thoughts.

- Steve Brody

 

February 23, 2014

   I would just like to echo the many praises for Michael. I came from that generation, and being from San Francisco, I was lucky to see Michael perform several times. Sadly his untimely death fell on my birthday so it is a yearly reminder. Your music lives forever, Michael.

- Lou Joest from Alaska
 

February 20, 2014

   Mike was a significant element behind many of the performances I listened to in the '60s, but never looked deeper to find the guitar genius behind the sounds I was hearing. It wasn't until a buddy returned from Vietnam in '71 and brought with him a load of music he picked up from his U.S. friends in action. Among them were some gems such as Super Session, Live Adventures, Live At Bill Graham's Fillmore,etc., and I played them over and over, just to hear Mikes clean, heavenly style. His guitar mesmerized me, sent me to beautiful places. I couldn't get enough! Nowadays, more than 40 years hence, I still regularly play Mike's side of Super Session, just to get another 'hit' as well as all of the other albums he features on. There are none who do it for me more than Mike Bloomfield. Some get close, like Peter Green and Carlos Santana, but neither to the same level. I've just ordered 'From His Head to His Heart to His Hands' and can't wait for it to arrive to immerse myself once more. If only he was here to still do it. RIP MB.

- Paul Ashton from Newcastle, Australia

 

February 19, 2014

   Just to let you know that after all these years, Mike’s 'It's Not Killing Me' is still one of my all-time favorite albums. First heard it as a track from 'Fill Your Head with Rock, a double LP, Columbia/CBS sampler that was very popular here in Holland in the early 70's. It took me years and years to find all the 'Fill Your Head With Rock' tracks in digital format and it took me even longer to find digital copy of 'It’s Not Killing Me'. But ever since then it is a favorite track of my 17,000+ mp3 iPod collection.

Greetings from Holland!

- Arie

 

February 13, 2014

   Thanks so much for keeping the flame burning and the vibe alive. Wanted to pass along the following review of the new box on Jambands.com: http://www.jambands.com/reviews/cds/2014/02/07/michael-bloomfield-from-his-head-to-his-heart-to-his-hands

   I also had a wonderful conversation with Al about putting the collection together which will run as a feature in the next issue of Relix magazine.

   Keep it going and thanks again,

- Brian Robbins from Jambands.com and Relix Magazine

 

February 10, 2014

   I bought the first Paul Butterfield album (the best harmonica player I've ever heard) and The Electric Flag. I hope to reacquaint myself with Mike's playing and see the documentary of his life. Stiil inspired by those Golden Days of Music 1965-75!

- Roland Morris from Sandy, Oregon

 

February 6, 2014

   At the Newport Folk Festival, the year that Dylan went electric, Mike set up with the band in a field during the afternoon and played one of the most spectacular improvised electric blues sets I had ever heard. Nothing like it since Stevie Wonder went on the stage of the Apollo and played his harmonica as a kid. There were a handful of young people there to appreciate a blues guitar genius. When I went looking for some capture on vinyl of that magical afternoon I couldn't find it. When I bought various Butterfield band records I also couldn't find it. They never turned Mike loose and I suspect it was because they were afraid of his superior talent. He was the best white blues guitarist of his generation.

- Paul Fiondella

 

January 12, 2014

   I saw Bloomfield and friends at the Fillmore West in 1970. Funny thing is the Fillmore poster for that show has Country Joe and the Fish as headliners. Blues Image and Silver Meter were the other 2 bands that night. Country Joe must have cancelled and they brought in Bloomfield and Friends. Awesome show, first Fillmore show for me. I saw Michael at The Long Branch Club in Berkley in the early 70's, too. It must have been mid week. There were only about 20 people there, but Mike, Nick Mark plus bass and drummer put on an outstanding show in spite of the low turnout.

- Steve Freitas
 

November 12, 2013

   Mike Bloomfield has been an inspiration and influence from the first moment I heard him on Super Session. I immediately fell in love with his style and the sound of his guitar. Growing up with him, Dylan, Muddy and Taj Mahal, I spent a lot of time listening to him playing guitar, learning from him, wondering – how does he do that?? When I went with my older brother to see the Rolling Stones at the Assembly Hall, Champaign, IL in 1969, one of the opening acts was B. B. King. I leaned over to my brother and said, “Wow, this guy is great, he sounds like Mike Bloomfield!” and my brother replies, “It’s the other way around, you nincompoop!” Just like connecting with Chuck Berry through Keith Richards, I had learned to love B. B. King by listening to Mike Bloomfield!! And, years later I found out that one of the reasons I loved Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” is because of Mike Bloomfield’s guitar work. What a GREAT PLAYER!! His enthusiasm literally leaps out of the guitar and impacts the listener. Thank you Mike Bloomfield, whenever I pick up my guitar, you are one that I try to channel. And thanks to this website for keeping the love alive!

Love,

- Chuck from Pittsburgh

 

September 2, 2013

   I remember seeing the Electric Flag at the Trauma in Philadelphia when I was 17 or so. We were all so excited about seeing Michael and the Flag. We had been fans of his from the Butterfield days. It was a small club and I can still remember being only a few feet from him and his Les Paul and his loafers. I also remember waiting for hours at the Electric Factory for him to show up with the Flag –he never did and they had to get someone to sit in.

  His technique, feel and joy of playing is still with me after all these years. I am so glad to see you keep his memory alive. I play the guitar and have taught my son and his friends to play –blues is what they all love.  He is our hero and all are in awe of a great guitar player kept alive by his fans and the music he made-32 years after his passing.

   I still remember reading of his passing. I was living in the Bay area when this happened and I remember how upset I was that this great musician was no longer and I would not have the opportunity to see him.                     

- Mike Campbell

 

August 31, 2013

   While growing up in the late 60’s, Mike Bloomfield was one of my favorite guitarists, and to this day ranks among the best of the innovative guitarists along with Roy Buchanan, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Green and Jeff Beck from that era.

   I did have the good fortune to see Mike play at the Bottom Line with Al Kooper with an old friend, Brian Adams. I believe the club had recently opened up and was around 1974. We had the first seats up against the stage and Mike and Al were right in front of us. We left in awe and still rate it as one of the best shows I have ever been to. The small club setting was perfect.

- Glenn Bohan

 

July 28, 2013

   Happy Birthday Michael. Play them blues as you please….

- Tom from Culver City

 

September 20, 2012

   Went to a very interesting talk with Pink Floyd/Nick Drake producer Joe Boyd last week. Never realized that Joe was the UK Elektra Records representative and was selected by Jaz Holman when Joe explained to him that the Elektra catalogue wasn’t being promoted in the UK at all. The office was the 7 Poland Street address listed on the reserve of all UK pressing Elektra albums. Joe went on to talk about how the Paul Butterfield Blues Band came to the UK in 1966, how they appeared on the hip music show, 'Ready Steady Go', how he took them to see English group ‘The Move’ at the Marquee in Soho, and how Michael remarked how good their stage act was. Joe was their guide while they visited the London scene. Joe also recalled taking Paul, Michael and Elvin down to the fashionable Kings Road!

- Tim Fuller

 

September 17, 2012

   I started playing guitar at the age of 10 in 1965. My mom worked at Earlham College, here in Richmond, Indiana, and the campus was my playground. They had a bookstore there that carried a great selection of albums. It was in this bookstore that I first heard and bought The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, East West, Electric Flag's Long Time Comin' and the Super Session albums. Mike Bloomfield taught me to play guitar! At 57 years of age, I’m still learning from him. In 1969 another band, The Allman Brothers,  made a huge influence on my guitar playing as well. But I always knew that it was Mike Bloomfield who influenced even them. I can hear Mike in every Duane Allman and Dickey Betts solo. I loved his music and miss him very much.

- Dave from Richmond, Indiana

 

September 9, 2012

   My name is Vinny. I'm 52 years old and have been playing guitar since I was 10. I first listened to Super Session when I was 13, and have been a super Mike Bloomfield fan ever since! A lot of my playing style is influenced by Mike and like Dickey Betts, he's the guitar teacher I never met. I never get tired of listening to recordings of Mike Bloomfield's guitar work. So I just want to say THANK YOU to Mike Bloomfield!

- Vinny Vitale from West Babylon, New York

 

August 15, 2012

   Michael was and still is my all time favorite guitarist. I am still an avid player and just recently I pulled out all my albums including East West , the first Butterfield album with Born in Chicago-(no less classic Michael at his best), The Electric Flag-another stellar album, Bloomfield and Al Kooper live, Fathers and Sons with Muddy Waters, etc. These are great albums that I forgot about and resurrected recently and getting back to those great licks that Michael had. I’m back in blues mode again and you never tire hearing these great songs and guitar work.

   Thanks again for the site of a great guitar player!

- Paul Koulbanis from Koloa, Hawaii
 

July 28, 2012

   Play some Bloomfield today on this 69th anniversary of Michael's birth.  Keep the spirit alive!!

- Peggy McVickar from Ormond Beach, Florida

 

July 23, 2012

   I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and came of age to be able to travel to
hear live music in the mid 1960's all around Chicagoland. I am not a
musician but a was lucky enough to catch Mike playing several times over the
course of a few years and knew enough to recognize that this guy was
one of the best I ever saw and heard. Wish he was still with us on this earth creating new music. I guess we have to be satisfied that he was here for a while and left us some great tracks to listen to! I still listen to his stuff all the time.

   Thanks for the nice website as a reminder of what once was.

- Dave Johnson from Naperville, Illinois

 

July 11, 2012

   I was always a fan of Mike Bloomfield after hearing him on the album, 'East West'. I later bought Super Session and The Electric Flag. I lost track of him after that and never noticed an album with his name on it again. But I'm so happy to have those 3 albums and can't say enough about his fantastic guitar playing. I'm always referring to him and his style when talking about music or the '59 Les Paul he used. I never associated Mike playing a Tele or any other guitar. For me he will always and forever be associated with his Gold Top and Sunburst Les Pauls. Mike, may your music and style live on forever.

- Arlen Crosby, a fellow Les Paul Gold Top and Sunburst player from Whittier, Calif.

 

June 16, 2012

   Many years ago I had come home to NYC after having traveled around the USA for a few years and buying a Gibson 330 f-hole hollow body electric guitar with the idea of maybe someday playing like Mike Bloomfield and BB King. Upon arriving in NYC, I went to see a reunion show of the Electric Flag and Mike Bloomfield at the famous and now closed yet warmly remembered "Bottom Line" venue on west 4th St, Greenwich Village, NYC. It was 1975 or '76. I just want to say the show was one of the most magical evenings of my life. Some concerts are good and some are fantastic. But few actually transcend the way the music was written and actually achieve the way it was originally intended to be played and performed. That night was one of the latter. It was a truly magical night...no holes barred...with Nick Gravenites and a complete horn section. Mike Bloomfield's slow blues runs with drawn out notes and out of this world chord changes left you breathless and KNOWING you were experiencing something extra special that evening. I have never forgotten and will always cherish that memory.

   At intermission that night I spoke briefly with him Mike at the bar. I told him that I had sat front table in a tiny club south of Golden Gate Park in SF the year before and sat mesmerized by his guitar playing the entire evening. I told him how much I appreciated his music and he thanked me. He was appreciative yet somewhat withdrawn...shy even. I didn't realize until much later the demons he had fought. When I think of Mike Bloomfield now I am always in awe of his musical genius and sad at the same time....the same feeling I get when I think of Duane Allman....both taken from us much too early. Mike Bloomfield always combined a technical superiority on the electric blues guitar and a deep soulful feeling that you almost felt ripping his gut when he played, that when combined cut like a knife. He took no prisoners when he played and least of all himself. He always gave his all. Mike was very special and stands alone at the pinnacle of some of the best blues music ever recorded. We all wish he has found peace now and giving back without the fears and apprehensions that plagued him on this earthly plane. I am sure his old blues buddies are taking good care of him on that other plane. May he now, at last and well deserved, rest in peace.

- Bill from Brooklyn, New York
 

June 12, 2012

      When I heard Mike Bloomfield I realized this was the music, feeling and guitar work I had been searching for ever since I got interested in the guitar. Being a 21 year old today and not living in America made it out to be a long road to find him.

- Lucas from Berlin, Germany
 

June 4, 2012

   I heard Mike Bloomfield  for the first time when I was 18 in France in St Germain en Laye (near Versailles). It was on Radio Caroline, I remember. The track was “East West” and it kicked my ass! I bought the 2 Paul Butterfield Blues Band LP’s, of course. Then I followed Mike's career with the Flag and the Super Session LP, which I must say is one of the most listened at home especially “Albert's Shuffle”, which is my favorite! I will always regret what happened to Mike in the early 80's. It’s a shame such a talent has quit us so young!

   Thanks for all the great blues music you brought us, Mike.  RIP

- Raymond Rose from France

 

May 12, 2012

   Many thousands of Australians still listen to Mike Bloomfield. He was
just so good and innovative. I am listening now, The Sky is Crying.

Cheers!

- Barry

 

April 5, 2012

   My lifelong love of music started with 5 years of keyboard lessons and a used $30 Greco guitar. After a coffee house gig in high school, I decided I’d probably never be good enough to make a living from playing. But, to this day I regret taking the “sensible” route; worked through college and got a “real job,” too afraid to end up poor. Maybe that’s how I ended up after all. I finally started playing again; jamming along with records and ended up buying a dozen or so inexpensive guitars over the years and it became my hobby. Listened pretty carefully to all the guitar playing I liked; Clapton, Muddy Waters, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, BB King, Johnny Winter, Hendrix, Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal, etc. (just to mention a few) and tried to play along but now I play my guitars whenever I can and find myself appreciating Mike Bloomfield’s talent more and more. My nephew recently developed an interest in the blues and asked me to put together a list of great blues players. Of course the founding fathers were there, but I told him “the one guy on the list I really admire is Mike Bloomfield. Everyone on the list is great, but to me, Mike Bloomfield was as responsible for getting that music to us as anyone else and did it before it was possible, in spite of racism and commercial greed.” Ultimately I want to learn how to play like Mike. It’s such a shame that such a talent had to leave us so young. I hope I lived a good life so if I go to heaven, I’m pretty sure the Butterfield Blues Band will be playing somewhere. Thanks, Mike, for all you did.

- Tony Komerska from Troy, Michigan

 

March 28, 2012

   Greetings! I spent time today looking over this wonderful site dedicated to Michael Bloomfield. This website is truly exquisite and impacting - filled with information, love and memories! It is apparent the time and dedication that went into the creation of this memorial and to the effort involved in the preservation of Mike's legacy. The site is a visual treat and it touches one's soul and heart.

   Special thanks to Allen Bloomfield and to all those who contributed to this amazing site!

With warmth,

- Salli Squitieri from the Paul Butterfield Fund & Society in Sopchoppy, Florida

 

February 14, 2012

    I listen to Mike Bloomfield's guitar playing most days either via Butterfield Band or Electric Flag. Mike was a pioneer and I wish he had lived a longer life to enjoy seeing the disciples who have followed his style. He is a major Gibson Les Paul guitar influence and a credit to the continuing history of what people call 'blues music'. I just think Mike was a passionate guitar player and I would love to see him now guesting and playing on stage with BB King.

   God Bless You, Michael, and thanks to your family and friends for making this website available.

Kind regards,

- Bob Hewitt, Producer-Strat Masters and Original Twang-Leo Fender's Telecaster from North Wales, United Kingdom

 

February 13, 2012

   I remember listening to Mike in the park in Hubbard Woods (Winnetka). I believe he also played once or twice in the Crystal Ship Club at the Winnetka Community House.

- Joe Thompson from Northbrook, Illinois

 

January 2, 2012

   I've lived a pretty long life and Michael's been right there with me most of the way. So he was certainly my life-long friend without ever meeting in person. How could you not love that music, those big blue eyes? And such a lovely guy and so loved by so many of us for so long.

   Keep spreading his blues, his news and his love. Thanks so much for all this!

- Rob Malagola   

 

December 9, 2011

   I saw Michael with Al Kooper at the Boston Arena in 1969. I met Michael after the show as he was cleaning off his Les Paul. It was truly cosmic! There was this huge gathering of people exiting the arena. I was on the outskirts of the crowd. We passed this alcove and holy crap, there was Mike wiping down his Les Paul!! I thought, why am I in this line to leave and just headed for the alcove. It was just me and Mike, no crowd of people. What a cool guy! What a sweet guy!  Really!! What energy! What fiery big black eyes! That guy was on another level! I'm not talking drugs. He had a special golden vibration. He really connected with me. The weird part was everyone else in the crowd could have cared less. They stayed in line to leave the arena. I met Mike and shook his hand and got a jolt of energy. Really! His eyes and energy were beyond this world. Total electricity! He vibrated at a different level. That moment will be with me forever. I'll be 60 soon. Michael Bloomfield will never be forgotten!

- Andrew Shiff from Hopkinton, Massachusetts

 

November 27, 2011

   I was browsing videos online and wanted to give myself a treat so I searched for Michael Bloomfield. I found a good number of audio recordings but very little video. It is astonishing that a performance by such a wonderful figure is so hard to find.

   In December 1969 I was going through the discharge process at Treasure Island in San Francisco. We looked in the paper to see if there were any interesting bands playing. Since I'd already bought my first (of many) copies of East-West, the decision was automatic! We spent as many nights at Keystone Korner as they were playing until the final papers came through. Bloomfield and Bishop seemed to alternate nights. Tremendous contrast in sound, style and attitude but always incredible performances. Those nights represent some of the most enjoyable musical moments I've ever experienced.

- Keith Crossley from Webster, New York

 

November 7, 2011

   Great man! Great musician in other words: MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD!

- Paolo Orvietani from Italy

 

October 27, 2011

   Gone but never forgotten. Thanks for all the incredible playing and for helping out Yank Rachell, Sleepy John Estes, etc. Thank you for wising up so many of us.

- Mike from La Selva, California and Blues Boy Billy

 

October 8, 2011

   I've loved the blues since I was 14 years old. The first time I heard Super Session I was blown away by Mike's blues style. I admit that I stole a lot of his blues licks. He was a unique guitarist-very tasteful and yet proficient and creative! I'm 58 years old now and still love to listen to him!

- Sam Beigelman from Pompano Beach, Florida

 

September 30, 2011

   I have been a Mike Bloomfield fan for over 30 years. I have now passed the torch onto my two children!!! Isn't that fantastic?! Mike will never be forgotten!!! His memory and his music will last forever!!

   Thanks a million Mike! We love you!!

- Sylvain Barrette from Quebec, Canada

 

September 13, 2011

   I am a big fan of this website as well as David Dann’s site and I enjoy them immensely. I’m another one of those kids who discovered Mike through the Super Session album. After being thoroughly floored it, I tried to get my hands on any and everything that Bloomfield recorded. And I’m still trying!!

   I had the good fortune to see Mike several times in the early ‘70s, at a club in Boulder, Colorado, called Tulagi. I have many great memories of those shows, in particular, meeting Mike and finding out what a nice, down-to-earth person he was. Mike is one of those rare musicians whose music is absolutely timeless. A solo from 1969 can sound like it was recorded yesterday and still have the same impact today that it did way back when. It’s a crime that when all the guitar gods (Hendrix,Clapton ,Beck,etc.) of that era are fawned over, Mike seems to be ignored. This is flat-out wrong! Mike could and did hold his own with all of those guys. Fortunately, this site and David Dann’s site are keeping Mike’s legacy alive.

   Thank you for letting me vent about one of the greatest blues guitarists to walk the earth. Mike, wherever you are, keep shaking them strings!

- John Ivey

 

September 12, 2011

   I found this site whilst searching the internet for a transcription of
"Stop" from the Super Session album. I never found the transcription, but I
found this site and wanted to express my appreciation for the site and
also for Don Mock's informative tips on Bloomfield's playing. I first
came across Mike Bloomfield when the Super Session album came out
and I fell in love with his playing then. Mike had a beautiful way with
the blues. Thank you again. It is great to see Mike Bloomfield
remembered in this way.

- Alan Cooper from London, England

 

September 5, 2011

   I met Michael in Bellingham, Washington on a cold rainy night in November of 1980 at Pete's Place. 


Michael demonstrates his fire-breathing trick, a stunt he often performed while playing "East-West" with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1966.

Photo courtesy of

Deborah Chesher


Michael played piano and acoustic guitar by himself. No other guests played with him. He was quite annoyed at times as some in the small crowd kept yelling 'Super Session'.  Mike was like, 'yea right' and tried to ignore them. During a short break, I got the chance to meet him when he went to the bar (the crowd was so small, he was alone at the bar) so I jumped up from my table, asked him if I could buy him a beer and sit down. I can't remember what we talked about, but I recall he was very, very nice. Quiet, reserved, and quite melancholy. I asked for his autograph and he gladly wrote it for me. After about 10 minutes it was time for him to play again. Then after the set, Michael packed up his guitar and left into the wet night.

   Not long after that show I was reading in Rolling Stone that he had died. Wow, that was a horrible shock! But that night at Pete's Place will always be special in my heart and mind. The person I met was not only one of the greatest guitarists that ever lived, but a warm friendly man that I still think of today.

- Jay Lang from Gardiner, New York

 

August 10, 2011

   Having grown up just down the road from where Mike was first learning guitar, I am proud to be from the same area of such a musical great. I have heard Super Session but now yearn to hear more. Thanks for the music!

- Glenn from Northbrook, Illinois

  

August 2, 2011

   Hello! I bought my son an album when he was 1 year old in 1981. It is a limited edition Red Hot & Blues. It still has the wrap cover on it and the papers that say it is a limited edition, not sure what number it is, really doesn't matter now. The sad thing is that I love the blues,  however since I never opened it because I was saving it for my son, I never heard Michael's music. Well, I lost my 28 year old son 3 years ago this September 17th. I was going thru some things and came across this record. I have since found your website and Michael's music on the internet. WOW!! Now I wish my son and I would have enjoyed this music together instead of me saving it for "that rainy day". I think I will just go ahead and open this album and play it loud and strong. Thank you for your time.

   God bless Michael, his family, friends and fans!!  Sending love and light!

- Kathleen

 

July 29, 2011

   I was a friend of Big Joe Williams. Joe played at the Cafe'-A-GoGo all summer in 1966. He alternated sets with the Butterfield Band. I think the only time off the band had that summer was when Jim Kweskin and Muddy Waters were there for a week or so.

   I just wanted you to know how fundamentally NICE Mike Bloomfield was. I could always feel the very genuine love he had for his music. He was helping Elvin Bishop learn guitar that summer. Mike was very patient and kind. Two sets each night in a small venue. I did not touch ground all summer!

Best regards to the family,

- Mary Sherlock from O'Fallon, Missouri

 

July 28, 2011

   As the years go by, I continue to listen to Michael's music legacy and hear other blues guitarists today that are influenced by his style of playing. Last month I downloaded a session from 11/10/1974 recorded at The Record Plant in Sausalito, CA.

   As a licensed counselor, I work with a lot of blues musicians, helping them with the ghosts and demons from their past that drive their addictions. I wish someone could have convinced Michael to walk away from the drugs. In working with occasional "weekend users" (mainly heroin), I point to Michael's death as an example of what can happen with even this limited use. Now back to The Record Plant session to celebrate his birthday. We still miss you Michael!!!

- Grayson Miller, LPC from Houston, Texas

 

July 28, 2011

   HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICHAEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

   I'm so grateful for what you gave us.  I will never let them forget. 

- Peggy McVickar from Ormond Beach, Florida

 

July 27, 2011

   I was very moved reading the book, Michael Bloomfield, “If You Love These Blues". It brings so much into focus.

   I have been playing guitar all my life but unfortunately never professionally.
My sound is very personal and honest, a naïveté of sort. Looking back in time it is very clear where my influences come from and who my heroes are. Michael was so very honest in his sound, it was as if the sound went from his inner heart to the fret board. Michael's short life was so very compelling, exciting, unique and heartbreaking.

   I very much appreciate this website and all the effort that is adding to Michael's legacy and true identity, not the captions or sound bites that tend to indentify people after they are gone. I wish Michael a very heart filled birthday wish. Tomorrow I plan to pay my respects.

- Tom from Culver City, California

  

July 20, 2011

   Happy Birthday, Michael!  Well, old man, you gonna be, what is it - 68? That's kinda ironic because in 1968 you were my biggest hero. I couldn't wait for the next thing you were gonna do. Two years before that, I had first heard you & Butter & you guys changed my life. All the people I knew were listening to Top 40 radio, as I was, then I saw that Paul Butterfield Blues Band album cover that had a couple black guys on it. Well, you know what was goin' on back then. That just didn't happen. I had to have it. My curiosity paid off. I had never heard music like that - EVER! As a kid growing up in Chicago listening to WLS, it was all sunshine, lollipops, rainbows & everything. I had traveled further up the radio dial, but that old music I sometimes heard on WVON didn't make sense to me, although I would sometimes listen for a little while. Thanks to you & Butter, it finally came together. I discovered all this great music right in my own backyard. Now that, my friend, was consciousness expansion of the first degree! You brought a whole new way of hearing & looking at things to me and my friends that I will always be grateful for. I'm sorry I didn't get to see you until Memorial Day weekend 1970. I just happened to be traveling through San Francisco that weekend and there was so much going on and I was only there for 3 days. I got to see the Woodstock movie that just came out and Jimi was playing Berkley, but I just had to see you! You put on a show I'll never forget. You were great!                                                 

   Well, I just wanted to check in and say howdy and thanks for all the smiles throughout the years. I know I'll be seeing you again one of these days, and when I do, we'll bust out a couple of old acoustics and play all them good old songs together.

Until then,

- Your pal, Rog from New Orleans

  

May 29, 2011

   Thank you for keeping this man's memory alive as he did with so many others. Michael Bloomfield is one of the reasons I have picked up the guitar and played for over 40 yrs. Never a day goes by without Michael being there in my playing in some way or another. If only we had someone as inspirational and talented as him today. I thank you for all you do and I hope it continues. Play on in heaven my brother and thank you for all you have shown us.

- Peter Ross from Vail, Colorado
 

  

April 20, 2011

   I was a teen when my sister took me to see Mike at a Saturday matinee at Colonial Tavern in Toronto in the early 70's. He was playing solo acoustic. The other players were coming on later. I asked him about his guitar and he showed me his BOZO acoustic. I was thrilled how friendly he was to a kid just starting out. I saw Mike again a few years later at Convocation Hall. I have been playing pro now since 1972 and still regard Mike as a hero. I learned a lot from his phrasing and tone. By the way, I can still do a pretty good impersonation of his style.  I still play with Mike Fonfara on piano from time to time who was in Electric Flag.

Cheers!

- James Anthony from Toronto (http://www.jamesanthony.ca/)

 

April 1, 2011

   I first heard Mike Bloomfield in 1967 with the Electric Flag. I was 15 years old. At that time I lived in San Antonio, Texas. I don’t think Mike ever made it to that area, at least that I am aware, so I never had a chance to see him play. Most of his gigs seemed to be New York, Chicago or out in California. I started playing the guitar then and never stopped listening to Mike Bloomfield. To me he is one of best players ever!

- Bill from Dallas, Texas

  

March 2, 2011

   Good afternoon! Recently, I have been researching the music of my era (I am 57). Part of the effort included listening to Super Session because of my interest in Stephen Stills and Al Kooper. This discovery became an introduction to Mike Bloomfield and his music. Since then I have visited a record show and purchased "Between the Hard Place & the Ground". In addition, I have visited the Mike Bloomfield website often and just completed listening to the 4 part radio series and also reading about the Newport Jazz Festival. I am a Bob Dylan fan and didn't even know Mike was featured on the "Highway 61 Revisited" album. This is akin to discovering treasure. The music and nostalgia concerning Mike is somewhat overwhelming. I wanted to convey my feelings on how the legacy and material presented on this website is top shelf. I believe the content is some of the best I have ever seen with music, archives, and old posters. This is just an incredible offering! Thank you very much. I have only started my odyssey into discovering more of Mike's phenomenal gift. God Bless Mike and his family too.

- Randy Swope from Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania

 

February 25, 2011

   My pal and fellow guitarist, Bob DiMonti, and I went to see The Electric Flag four of the five dates they played at The Bottom Line in New York City way back when. Our band, The Blues Blasters, rehearsed in the city and we'd stop by to catch our favorite band and guitar hero, Mike!! Well, after the last night's performance, Bloomfield walks off the stage to our table and says "Man, you guys have been here like every night and I just wanted to say hi" ... or something to that effect. Several members of the band sat down with us. We had some drinks and just talked about all kinds of things. Mike notices my guitar, a 70 Strat,  and asks to see it and he strums it a bit. Cool!! Finally I asked Mike for an autograph to go along with my Butterfield signature. He laughs and signs: Mike "Count Talent" Bloomfield.  A memorable time!!!

- Phillip Butta from Millbrook, New York

 

December 4, 2010

    I was 12 in 1967 when my two older brothers brought home the first two Paul Butterfield albums. Michael became my main guitar inspiration at that time and still is to this day. There have been quite a few really great guitarists, but none has spoken to me through their playing and influenced me more in the way that I play than Michael Bloomfield. He was, is, and will always be the best as I see it.

- Jack Huerta from Grants Pass, Oregon

 

November 10, 2010

    Two summers ago, while taking a break from playing the horses at Saratoga Racetrack, we went to dinner at a place called 'Bloomers' out on Route 9 between Saratoga and Malta, N.Y. What a joy and surprise to find that the place was named after Mike and the walls were loaded with Bloomfield memorabilia. The place is owned by big fans like us and the food is great to boot. It just brought back such great memories and when talking to the owners, I had a flashback to December 1968 at the Fillmore East in what was one of the greatest shows in New York rock history. Mike was playing with Super Session that night and Paul Butterfield's band was on as well (also the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Stillwater). Mike was sensational as always and Butterfield was blowing hard. I think the concert got started around 10 PM and we walked out of the Fillmore at sunrise, around 6 AM! It seems like yesterday.

   Mike, what can we do to keep from 'over lovin' you'?!!

- Mitch Kahn from Ringwood, New Jersey

 

October 27, 2010

   I discovered Mike Bloomfield in 1968 while serving in the Army. He was my first major influence with the electric guitar and especially the blues. I still think his work on "2 Jews Blues" is some of the best he ever did. I'm currently re-reading "If You Love These Blues-An Oral History". Such a great read! I would have loved to have met Mike Bloomfield. I believe his influence does live on. My son, Blake, loved his music and was one of his first guitar influences. Are there any videos that can be posted on your web site? They're hard to find. I never got to see Michael live and that is one of my biggest regrets.

- David Morris from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

 

October 22, 2010

   I have fond memories of being ten years old back in New York in 1967. I was listening to Mike Bloomfield. As a child, I would save my money and spend it all on albums with Bloomfield. The first album was The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. I also remember Super Session with Al Kooper and Highway 61 Revisited with Bob Dylan.

   I've been a long time Gibson Les Paul player since I was quite young and I can only say that I miss "The Master". Mike Bloomfield was an amazing musician and a master of the blues.

- Joe Gonzalez from Sacramento, California

  

September 19, 2010

   I was introduced to Mike Bloomfield's music about six years ago. I play in a band, Maganahan's Revival. Mike Bloomfield is one of our biggest influences. We wish there was a way to thank him for showing the way for musicians everywhere. Thank you Mike, wherever you are. You will never be forgotten.

Sincerely,

- Timothy Souza from New Hampshire

 

August 29, 2010

   With love from a Swedish fan to a great musician, he is the best. I
first  heard him on the " East-West" LP with The Paul Butterfield Blues
Band in 1967 and I still listen to him after 43 years.

- Krister Engberg from Leksand Sweden

 

August 27, 2010

    Looking at this site brings back some great memories. After 47 years of listening to live performances of the finest guitar players from 1963 to now, nothing has topped the sensation I experienced at 15 years old when I went to the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach to attend some live performances of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Mike Bloomfield’s live guitar playing at the 3 shows I attended in two nights was nothing short of absolute brilliance. The Butterfield Blues Band came back to the Golden Bear awhile later for another week long stay. Every performance I experienced featured powerful blues and a new version of East-West. I didn’t even have to go inside to catch the shows. You could hear them all the way out at the end of the Huntington Pier! Again, Bloomfield blew us away. I followed Mr. Bloomfield and saw many more shows; a few great ones with the Electric Flag, but probably the finest one after those Golden Bear performances was a show at the Palms Café in San Francisco. I went to see Big Joe Turner at this tiny club and to my amazement, there on stage with Turner, was Mike Bloomfield and Mark Naftalin. What a night! I'm sad to say that was the last time I saw Mike play, but he was truly in fine form that night and it was a great moment to see him play with the legendary Joe Turner. I never actually met Mike Bloomfield, but he sure provided some very special moments of really fine live listening pleasure and some wonderful recordings.

   Thanks for making this website. It has been a pleasure reading, looking at the photos and recalling some good moments in my life.

Sincerely,

- Gordon McClelland from San Clemente, California

  

July 28, 2010

   Happy Birthday, Michael!  Your memory lives on in the hearts of so many!!  Your spirit continues to shine brightly!!

- Peggy McVickar from Ormond Beach, Florida

 

July 24, 2010

    A friend sent me an mp3 of Mike playing a slow blues this morning. I hadn't listened to him for a lot of years and when I heard the first notes come trickling out, I wondered why. All of a sudden, I remembered seeing Butterfield at some old Elks Hall in downtown Detroit in '66. Seeing that band, and most especially Mike, changed the way my life went. Every day when I pick up a guitar, I play what I play as a direct result of what I heard that day. I thought I ought to tell someone, so here I am.

- David Givens from Sandusky, Ohio

 

July 21, 2010

   My obsession with Mike Bloomfield began a year after I picked up the guitar. I began to play the Les Paul right out of high school and I was initially obsessed with Carlos Santana and Pete Townshend. Because I played the violin as a kid, I picked up Santana's stylings at a rapid pace and after reading more into Santana's background, I kept seeing more and more references to Mike Bloomfield. I'm gonna be honest, I avoided Mike at first because he was associated with Bob Dylan. At the time, I considered Dylan's career to be surrounded by an aura of bullshit, including all of the people he surrounded himself with. However, I would grow to find out that Bloomfield was very "real" and "authentic." So many white guys attempt the blues. Oh sure, Clapton, Beck, Savoy Brown, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, etc... They all try to play the blues, but Mike was the only one to really play the "blues," if you know what I'm saying. And when I found a dvd of the Monterey Pop Festival and saw Mike performing "Wine" with the Electric Flag, that was all I needed to hear to be obsessed with his virtuoso blues playing. Now at age 21, I continue to use his stye of the blues in my playing. Mike wasn't just the blues though. He was all of the best elements of "American Music." Bloomfield indeed was a jack of all trades and that's how I want to be as a guitarist. He could play country, jazz, swing, blues, rock n' roll. Anything you gave him, he could play. And that goes for guitars as well. Though he's iconic for using a '59 Les Paul, he could pick up a cruddy Yamaha starter guitar and sound just as amazing. Were Bloomfield to enjoy the taste of fame as much as Clapton or Jeff Beck, maybe he'd be "God." Fame, who needs it...

- Chris Lucas from Denver, Colorado
 

April 3, 2010

   Well hello there!

   As a young, musicologically-inclined guitar fanatic some 25 years or so ago, I had read about Mike, so bought the Super Session record, the only one of his I could readily find at the time. Within 30 seconds I was totally mesmerized.
I was a huge fan of Hendrix and SRV already, and had done my homework investigating their influences and thus had also discovered Albert King, Buddy Guy, and many more of the great pentatonic based players. I totally favored aggressively played, heavily distorted wah pedal type freakouts, and frankly didn't understand why BB was held in such high regard. Ah, the ignorance of youth! So my point is that it really surprised me then that a guy (Mike) going straight into a Fender amp, whose only effect was reverb, blew my mind.
That first listen to Super Session is easily one of my top 5 all-time pivotal music listening experiences. "Stop" has quite literally brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion- extremely emotive playing, very deep and powerful.
Of course, Super Session is just the typical starting point for most people. As I eagerly went on to discover, there's so much more...

   So why is Mike so "forgotten"? I think, if I may be so presumptuous, that maybe it's for the same reason that made his playing so great- that he wasn't fooling around! He was for real! He didn't "play the game". No outlandish apparel, no scripted stage schtick, no compromises. He didn't seem at all concerned with being trendy or cool. That taught me a lot about what's important in life and what isn't. Obviously highly intelligent and verbally articulate, he spoke his mind, whether his viewpoints were fashionable or not. I love that! Personal demons aside, from all I can gather he was playing music for the right reason: because he loved to play music! Real Music! He had musical integrity. Even during the Mitchell Brothers era of his career, he always tried to make the best music he could, as far as I've read. Famously breaking up situations that were primarily intended to produce "product" rather than great music (using his wonderful phrase "filthy lucre"), I can only imagine he didn't score points with major label execs... which back in those days couldn't have helped his career. How ironic then that the Gibson guitar company has the gall to charge fourteen thousand dollars for a copy of his Les Paul... But I digress...

   Mike's music has been very important to me and his personal story has, for me, served to humanize him and ultimately adds an emotional richness to his work.
Maybe that's why I sometimes get a bit "verklempt" when listening to him. In tunes like "Stop", I can hear his anguish coming out of the speakers and it really hits home with me. Conversely, in tunes like "Killing Floor" and "Carmelita Skiffle", they're tears of pure joy!

   Thank You very much for maintaining such a wonderful site about him.

- Ray from Woodinville, Washington

 

February 20, 2010

   The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was one of the first albums I bought from the record shop in Lycksele in the north of Sweden were I grew up. Why I bought just that record I don't know. Perhaps because of the attitude on the front cover or perhaps I'd heard some tunes on the radio, but I did like the album and the music. Since that time I've followed the career of Mike Bloomfield. I always get lucky when I hear him play, he has a nice and light touch. I think I have all
his records.

   I remember when I got the message that Michael was dead. I was in my car
and heard it on the radio. It made me sad. Now I can listen to Michael on Wolfgang's Vault, concerts that I didn't have the opportunity to attend. It's so joyful to listen to him still. It's so alive! I'm glad that you have this site for Michael.

- Sture Karlsson from Sweden

  

February 17, 2010

   I first had the privilege of hearing Mike play in 1966, on the first Butterfield LP, which I soon purchased. I have always enjoyed his blues playing and I rank him among my favorite guitarists of all time. Too bad he died so young and tragically.
I still listen to him often.

   Rest in Peace, Mike.  If there's such a place as blues heaven, I'm sure you're there playing!

- Art Lyons from Ontario, Canada

  

February 13, 2010

    I remember the first time I heard the original Butterfield Blues Band album. I had been playing guitar a couple of years. At that point I was being schooled in black music appreciation by a very hip college classmate. I was listening to all the classic stuff and loved his amazing record collection. I had actually seen the BBB album in the local record store but figured it just another group trying to cover the masters that were my heroes. A day or two later, my friend called and told me to get over to his house asap. When I arrived, he showed me the cover of the album and said "You'd better listen to this!" He cranked up the volume (as suggested on the back cover)and what followed for me was a musical experience that has never happened again in the last 45 years. I literally was on the floor, rolling around- floored by the music! I had never heard guitar playing like that. I became a telecaster player and favor teles to this day, although I own/have owned many Les Pauls, 335s, etc.. To my ears, Michael's style and sound evolved with each album that followed-all creative, passionate, powerful and toneful. I remain a Fender guitar player today and the more I learn, the more I marvel at how good Michael was at 22 years old when the first BBB album was released. I continue to enjoy Michael most every day, listening to my favorites such as the BBB first album, the Electric Flag (both albums), Gravenites' My Labors, The Live Adventures of Bloomfield and Kooper and If You Love These Blues. I wish I could have known Michael. I bet aside from the obvious musical gifts he was very witty, sincere, open and very enthusiastic about life. I miss him so much but I'm sure this site confirms that Michael remains admired, loved and a part of our lives today. All the best to the Bloomfield family! Thanks for this wonderful tribute to a musician who continues to touch so many with his amazing work!

- Tom from New Hampshire

  

January 17, 2010

   Michael Bloomfield at his best was the best, but he wasn't always at his best. I don't understand what drugs do to people because I never did any.

   I have a fairly rare record in my collection; ( Sam Lay in Bluesland Blue Thumb BTS-14, 1970 ) and it has the only example I know of where somebody has actually played Chuck Berry better than Chuck Berry! Chuck was also a very inconsistent guitar player.

   I remember the day that I became an avid blues fan. It was the day that a friend of mine dropped the needle on the first Butterfield Blues Band record and I heard "Shake Your Money Maker"!

- Maso from Miami, Florida
 

December 2, 2009

   Hello Bloomfields and fans -- I just today encountered Michael's official website and had to write. I first heard Michael when my older brother came home for the holidays with albums by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band under his arm. I put them on and was transported. Having grown up in the Midwest, top 40 radio (WLS -
Chicago) was my window on the world, and I hadn't seen through that window anything like what came through the speakers! Literally, it changed my life. Over the years, I keep coming back to Mike as the inspiration for so much of my listening and certainly for my own playing. Thank you, Michael, for being there. It was too few years we had of your incredible talent.

Best wishes,
- Tom Schneiter from Boston, Massachusetts and Madison, Connecticut

 

October 28, 2009

   I was born in New Jersey...in 19 and 51. No paternal advice regarding guns was given, but my small world expanded when I dropped the needle on the first Butterfield album. Mike's passion and eloquence blew me away. On East-West, his technique and style progressed to a state where his expressive powers were unequalled. As much as I admired Beck ("New York City Blues", "The Train Kept A-Rolling") and Clapton ("Stepping Out", Have You Heard") at that time, the playing on "I Got a Mind to Give Up Living" in particular left an indelible imprint on my young mind, and to to this day nothing I've ever heard comes close to matching its musical storytelling power. Mike hit another peak when he recorded "Texas" a year later, which is for me the perfect statement of his mature style, with a fluidity and freedom that Stevie Ray Vaughn (for example) could never approach. I loved his contribution to Fathers and Sons ("Can't Lose What You Never Had"), and a few of his later releases, like Hard Place and the Ground ("Kid Man Blues"), but tragically for us all, his genius never developed further, and we'll never know where his music might have gone if he had survived his addiction and his demons. The only other guitarist sharing the pedestal reserved for Mike is Jimi Hendrix, who was similarly gifted and fated. I never got to hear Mike perform on stage, which I regret, but I hear his sound in my mind at will, a musical touchstone I carry with me always.

Just a fan who carries a torch for Mike B.

- Lewis Dalven from Arlington, Massachusetts

  

September 1, 2009

   It is with a little tear in the eye to read of Michael’s demise. I have his early recordings with Butterfield which I bought in early ’67. I still consider East-West one of the all time great tracks. Electric Flag with Gravenites and Goldberg was a new music experience. Through the listenings of these great musicians I have extended my record collection, which includes the work of Michael on his own and with Al Kooper. Michael’s playing will always be aired in my house and to my family. Long live such musicians as they have the power to create and generate enjoyment, even if it is 40 plus years later. It is a privilege and a pleasure to have listened to Michael, his influence on where music has taken me and the emotions it has generated.

- Peter J. Boland from Boondall Queensland, Australia

  

August 17, 2009

   When I first heard real blues, it was Michael's solo on the Mother Earth record in 1968. Blues, and his playing, immediately made so much sense to me....like when you say '2 plus 2 equals four'....that much sense. I've been a fan ever since.

   I went to see him at the old Main Point outside Philly in 1980. He played acoustic with Woody Harris and did 2 shows. After the first show, as everyone was leaving, I noticed he was just standing in the back of the room. I screwed up my courage and went over to say hello. I said that I really liked his recent record, 'Between the Hard Place and the Ground', which of course was electric blues. He said "Well I just wanted to show I could still play that kind of music". (as if....) We shook hands; I still remember it was a large hand and strong. He was very pleasant and accomodating, and I've been kicking myself ever since for not staying for the second show.....

   When I first started teaching myself guitar, I immediately began trying to learn Michael's licks even though I had no idea what I was doing. Now I can play them (well, some of them) and it's very satisfying. He's one of the all-time greats, and playing a little bit like he did makes me feel like I'm a student of his.

- David from Cherry Hill, NJ

  

August 6, 2009

   I would love to take a moment to pay tribute to Mike Bloomfield. In my mind, he is unquestionably one of the handful of greatest American guitarists who ever lived. He had speed, chops, raw power, sweet tone, incredible emotion and something he's usually never given credit for--incredible finesse and an infinitely delicate touch. His style pulled in and was adaptable to every kind of music.

   I grew up just 90 miles south of Chicago and heard Mike with Dylan, but really got turned on by Super Session. I ate, drank, and slept Mike Bloomfield from then on. When I started playing guitar, all those Mike Bloomfield records I'd memorized started coming out--stuff with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the Electric Flag are favorites to this day. I say forget Stevie Ray Vaughan. Mike Bloomfield was doing everything he did decades before. To this day I still love Mike's music and I always will. There's just absolutely nothing anywhere like Mike Bloomfield's music anywhere, even today.

- Jerry from Grand Rapids, Michigan

 

August 5, 2009

    Thanks for providing this opportunity to add to this great site. I've enjoyed reading all the comments and find much joy in hearing from those who have been
touched as deeply by Michael's playing as I have.

   As many fans have mentioned, I also remember exactly where I was when I first heard Mike's playing. It was 1968, I had just finished my first recording session and was celebrating with friends at a club when the resident band took a break and pumped the Paul Butterfield Blues Band through the sound-system.
Ray from Greensboro wrote "It was as if time stopped for an instant". Well, I couldn't believe my ears. This guitar player sounded like nothing I had ever heard. In the days of relatively basic pop songs with limited guitar solos, here was a player effortlessly peeling off verse after verse - the sweetest, stinging, stunning playing. An electric lightbulb lit above my head. Granted, I hadn't heard much blues up until that date, but things were about to change forever. It was as if Mike Bloomfield was able to play every note that I loved but could not place my fingers on. I was a devout fan from that moment on and my playing changed forever, I'm pleased to say.

   As time passed, I traveled overseas and caught the re-formed "Flag" at Santa Monica Civic in '74 and years later, Mike with his acoustic guitar accompanied by another guitarist and a girl on cello, in Sweden. It was a special evening. I made enough enthusiastic noise to be called up to the stage with a few other fans to sing along to the chorus of "Down on the Borderline". I finally made it to a Mike Bloomfield concert and was on stage! After the show I went backstage to meet Mike. It was a fairly informal small venue and I had much I wanted to say, rehearsed over many years, but managed "thanks for the music". Mike was chatting to a few people and was as friendly as could be. He replied "Hey, thanks for singing with me!"

   There are many fabulous players out there, and every now and then I hear a little of Michael in their playing. I also remember where I was when I heard Robben Ford for the first time. He played in South Africa a few years ago and I was fortunate to meet him. We swapped comments on our favourite Bloomfield recordings and what a profound influence he had been to both of us. Robben is as humble and as friendly as Mike was. You can hear that in the music.

Thanks again!  This has been "a long time coming". 
- Mike S. from Johannesburg, South Africa

  

July 29, 2009

   Well at the ripe old age of 51, I have discovered a new artist named Michael Bloomfield. I love all types of music and the blues has always moved me.
Thanks to Peggy, I have a new-found appreciation for the Chicago blues sound. What a profound impact Mike Bloomfield had on those sounds coming out of Chicago, and at such a young age. What a great guitarist and blues player he was! What a special sound he got out of his instrument, so unique!

    Thanks again to Peg and her dedication to the artist named Michael Bloomfield.

Another new fan,
- Drew Alexander from Marlboro, New Jersey

  

July 28, 2009

   Happy Birthday, Michael! When you played, you made that guitar sing.  You were sweet. And listen, you were man enough because you cared and stood for things that matter. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

- Julie from Alberta

     

   Happy Birthday, Michael!! Thank you for staying true to yourself and baring your soul through your music. I can feel your passion to this day. Your light continues to shine!

- Peggy McVickar from Ormond Beach, FL 

 

July 26, 2009

   There has never been anyone equal or better! That opening lick on Super Session says it all……Michael was just Amazing!

- Kent from Tampa, Florida (www.legendsguitars.net)

 

July 25, 2009

   I've been a fan starting when I was thirteen. I'll never forget him.

- Mark from Bethel Island, California

  

July 24, 2009

   There used to be, back in the 60’s, a magazine called “Eye”. I remember reading reviews of Blood Sweat & Tears’ “A Child Is Father To Man” and Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy”. I bought both. I also remember a review of a record called “Long Time Comin’ ” by a band called The Electric Flag. After the first listen my eyes were opened and I became a dedicated follower of all things Michael Bloomfield.

   Because at 13, I was just learning what good music was (Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, Stones, Who), after hearing Michael with the Flag, I realized I had a whole lot of catching up to do. Like many of us that visit this site, through Michael, we learned about Butterfield, Dylan, Muddy, and B.B. and a host of music that we might have eventually heard, but thanks to Michael’s playing with so many artists, we were exposed to such wonderful music while others were still listening to the Monkees. (No offense to Mike Nesmith). Then there was Michael and Al Kooper on my other all-time favorite band Moby Grape’s “Grape Jam”. I played the grooves off SuperSession. I find myself to this day, from time to time, humming Michael’s opening notes for Albert’s Shuffle. It makes everything OK. I used to go to Kent, Ohio to see Phil Keaggy and the Glass Harp. It was always a great experience, but I always smiled a bit more when they would play something from “Live Adventures”. It was like it was just for me.

   I’m sure we all wonder what Michael and other music icons ( Jimi, Janis, Jim, Duane ) would be doing if they were still around, but I really miss Michael Bloomfield. After reading “If You Love These Blues” I feel like I got to know him a little. It seems everyone loved Michael because he was the genuine article.

Thank you for this website.
- Tom from Ohio

  

July 16, 2009

   I always loved Mike's work. What really left me floored was My Labors, Super Session and Live at Bill Graham's Fillmore West. On those albums I thought he took blues guitar to new heights. Even by today's standards I don't think anything is comparable.

- Bill from Baldwin, Wisconsin

  

July 6, 2009

    Hello! Every time I need to have a deep reflection about the future of the blues, the best way to keep the music in an authentic way and modern one, I have to listen to some tracks of Mike Bloomfield and think about his musical
world.

- Alain Messier from France

 

June 24, 2009

   I don't look at Mike as being some kind of god,  but his playing was truly a gift from God. The first time I heard the guitar solo from Blues on the Westside, I actually started to cry. I've yet to this day heard anyone play slow blues with such feeling. And the phrasing is like...WOW. There are some great blues players out there - Clapton, the Kings, Moore, Bonamassa, but none of them play with the emotion that Mike did. He left us guitar players with wanting to be better,  but  down deep knowing there will never be another Michael Bloomfield!

- Lane Sandstrom from North Dakota

 

June 23, 2009

   Mike was one of the greats of the 60's - one of the best guitar players ever!

- Joe from Wappinger Falls, NY

 

June 22, 2009

      I really love the way that Michael plays the blues. He's one of the best American players of all time. I just remember the man hearing his blues !!!

- Danilo from Argentina

  

June 15, 2009

   All I want to say is that Mike's playing still moves me to tears to this day. Thank you so much for keeping his memory alive so beautifully!

- Dave Sugarbeet from United Kingdom (http://www.davesugarbeet.co.uk)

  

June 12, 2009

   I've been playing blues guitar since I was a teenager. I can't believe that I will be 61 this summer (how quickly time passes). I can remember hearing Michael for the first time 1n 1965. It was as if time stopped for an instant. While I was just learning about the blues, it only took listening to Michael play one time to realize that he was among a handful of the thousands of guitarists who had an incredibly unique tone and attack. You heard Mike once and you could pick him out on any record any time. I followed in his shoes by playing through an old Fender super reverb and like Mike, have shunned effects and pedals. Mike, you were right. It really is all a matter of using your hands to speak what you hear in your head and in your heart. Mike's music has enriched my life. I am just sorry I never got the chance to thank him in person.

- Ray Allegrezza from Greensboro, North Carolina

  

   May 31, 2009

   I had a copy of the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album and loved Mike's playing from the first day I heard it. Sometime during the summer of 1965, I was listening to WHAT-FM in Philadelphia and the disk jockey, Sid Mark, mentioned that the Butterfield Blues Band was going to be playing at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in September/October......the first electric band ever to be invited. I went to the festival, sat in front of the stage, and could not take my eyes off of Mike playing his Les Paul. I was in college at the time, but decided that evening that I was going to become a musician, which I did for 12 years. I played nothing but Les Paul guitars and used Fender amps. Mike's influence on me was immense. Though I didn't sound like him when playing, his style became the catalyst for everything I did as a player. It's difficult to overstate how important he was to players of my generation, including Robben Ford. I recently attended a guitar clinic held in Ojai, CA where Robben lives and we discussed the mutual influence on both of us. Interestingly enough, about 3 years ago, I became friends with Mike's mother and have visited her several times, as well as Mike's burial place nearby. And the only remaining record album I have is that copy of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and it's a mono copy! It sits in a plastic sleeve on a bookshelf in my home and I'll never get rid of it. Mike was absolutely the finest guitarist of his time.
May he rest in peace.

- Adrian Silva from Oceanside, California
 

 

May 25, 2009

   Hi! I have been a fan of Mike Bloomfield ever since I heard the Supersession album. Hearing the pristine notes coming out of the Twin Reverb with no pedals in between in almost magical way, made me curious at how easy this man was fiddling out blues licks (which were pentatonic at heart but with a "majorish" approach) so appealing. It's been such a long time since Mr. Bloomfield passed away, but his music will be sounding better than ever. In this age of so much electronics, this blues man reminds us that music with heart will always be first!

- Federico from Venezuela

  

April 23, 2009

   I used to listen to Mike and Al Kooper's 'Super Session' and enjoy it 
so much. I was just finding some tracks on blip.fm and I looked in 
Wikipedia.  I had heard he died so long ago.  That made me feel so 
sad for him. All the best, Mike - you played really well - nice feeling!

- David from England

 

April 22, 2009

    I Love Bloomers. I heard Butterfield Blues Band live in '66 at Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium at Fillmore and Geary in 1966. It was my first Fillmore show. I was playing in a band at the time. The musicianship and interplay between Butterfield, Bloomfield and Bishop just blew my head off. I'll never forget it! I saw them there the following year doing the "East-West" thing. Bloomers, in an ecstatic mood at the time, addressed us in the mic as his "psychedelic children." I later saw a few shows of the Electric Flag. In '81 I played with the Mike Bloomfield Friends rhythm section in Marin County. Mike had just died a week before. What a great talent! I miss him.

- Antar Blue
 

April 19, 2009

   So, Mike Bloomfield's guitar comes out of this cacophonous spliced in drums, voices and sirens section into the sweetest tone and inspired phrasing I'd ever heard in 1968 - "Another Country".  God, I miss that talent!

- Paul "Pablo" Green from Torrejon Airforce Base, Spain

  

April 10, 2009

   Great site! I remember seeing Michael play many many times at the Monterey Fairgrounds Hall (in Monterey) and also at the Del Rey Theater in Seaside, California- a great old theater. I also saw him play with the Electric Flag at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 and with Nick Gravenites as 'Mike Bloomfield and Friends' in 1969/70. Michael was always spectacular and those memories will stay with me forever. At that time he was playing his Les Paul. Thanks for the great site. Michael's music will live on forever!

- Rance Haig from Pleasonton, California

  

April 3, 2009

   I started listening to Super Session when I was in Viet Nam and I am still listening. I have it downloaded on my computer and will listen to it until I die. That might be a long time because the album got me through two tours as a LRRP.

- Chris from Las Vegas, Nevada

  

March 29, 2009

   Hi, great website. My name is Bill Flood. In 1966, on the south side of Chicago, I stopped in a record shop, at the time I was 15 years old. On that day they were featuring a live band. It was the Otis Rush Blues band. This was the first time I had heard music like this. I had come to find out that this music was called the blues, and was to be found all over Chicago. Soon after, I picked up an article about Chicago Blues featuring Michael Bloomfield. The strangest thing was I don't think Mike got two sentences into the interview and he started talking about all these blues guys in and around Chicago. Rather than talk about himself, he continued to give credit and praise to all the people he had learned from. I remember him really talking up a guy named Robert Nighthawk on Maxwell Street. My point being this incredibly great blues guitar player ( Mike Bloomfield ) was carrying on and passing on the blues tradition back then. Since 1966 I have followed Mike's music. Being a guitar player myself, I have studied his technique and approach. He has truly been a great inspiration to my music. I have seen him perform live many times but never had the pleasure of meeting him. I have also written and dedicated a song for Michael, called Nighthawk Blues, after that first article that I read. You can hear it at my site www.myspace.com/shamrockblues. Thanks Mike Bloomfield, one of the great American guitar players whose life was cut too short.....
Sincerely,
- Bill Flood from Chicago, Illinois

 

March 25, 2009

   My first hearing Mike was at the apartment of a high school chum,
Richard Lieberson, who was a real folkie. He had the Martin guitar and
the harmonica harness and the Dylan cap that I guess Dylan borrowed
stylistically from Chairman Mao or whomever. I had my collection of
Beatles and Dave Clark 5 albums and really looked down at the folk scene
as something that didn't speak to me at all. I guessed I just wasn't a
"folk". And when Richard tried to turn me on to blues with the likes of
Koerner, Glover And Ray and Leadbelly, well, I never thought we'd ever
see anything eye-to-eye. But one day, Richard said he had something he wanted me to hear. It was an album by a group called the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The cover looked interesting, not because these guys looked tough, but because the band was integrated. Next I remember, he put it on his turntable and a song
called "Born In Chicago" came out of the speakers. It was one of those
moments when your jaw drops to the ground and you feel like your life is
about to be transformed. I left his apartment early so I could get my
own copy of the album at Sam Goody's when they had only 2 stores, the
main Manhattan store and an outlet a few blocks away. It didn't take
more than 2 or 3 weeks to wear that album out, to try and figure out
what kind of guitar it was on the back this guy Butterfield was playing.
It took some time before I even read the liner notes and realized that
a guy named Mike Bloomfield was the guitarist, not Paul Butterfield! And
that album was put out in the years of "filler" material, where of an
album's 12 songs, 1 or 2 were good and the rest were...filler. But that
album just had one tremendous song after another, fast, slow, and
blisteringly fast!

I saw Mike at Town Hall with Butterfield, and then there was a drought
of many years until the Flag came around. But I caught the Flag at the
Fillmore East - once almost jamming with Jimi Hendrix (Mike introduced
Jimi who came out as Mike left the stage, but then someone from the
audience jumped on stage, spooked Hendrix, and the jam was over).  Also caught  him at the Anderson (with Chuck Berry and a group called Pearls Before Swine that I swear to this day was the worst group I ever saw or heard), and at the Cafe Au GoGo where Mike gave a speech about the merits of Marshall amps
("They stink" he said or something like that) and DanLectro Electric Sitars
("Don't think you're gonna turn into a Ravi Shankar if you get one of
these!"). After that, it was catching him once at a Long Island club called "My
Father's Place" where I actually got to meet Mike backstage through a
mutual friend. I remember saying "Hamanahamanahamana" in my best Jackie
Gleason, but Mike just made me sit down next to him on the floor and I
think the first thing he said to me was something like, "So how's it
been going?" as if he had known me his entire life. I caught many shows he did at NYC's Bottom Line, including his last ever appearance in NYC with Woody Harris. Less than 3 months later, my then girl friend called me and asked me to get a copy of the day's NY Times where I read his obituary. And I cursed and cried the rest of the day!

Oh, Richard Lieberson went on to become a nationally recognized finger
picker extraordinaire and author of how-to-play guitar books. He too
passed away a few years ago. Thank you Richard and thank you Michael.
What would I have done without you two?

- John Helak from River Vale, New Jersey


March 20, 2009

   I can only assume that my sister heard cuts from the album on the all album side station in Philadelphia, WMMR. She bought the album and I played it over and over and over. I was in 6th or 7th grade when it came out. I know nothing of music per se, I just knew what I liked and I loved the Electric Flag’s 'A Long Time Comin’. I still do. I purchased Super Session a few years ago and was amazed what I had missed all those years was Michael’s talent. My goodness he could play – a huge difference between side A and side B! He was light years ahead of the rockers of the day. I am looking for a CD release of the album and hope to purchase it today. I will go through the website and check out the discography to see what else I can purchase. Thanks for re-kindling my memories of Michael’s music and keeping his spirit alive.

Peace.
- Tom R from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

March 16, 2009

   I make guitar pickups, have for 7 years. One of my main obsessions in this profession has been the PAF pickups made famous by Bloomfield, Page, Clapton, Green, etc. One of my main tone reference resources has been "Albert's Shuffle," by Michael Bloomfield. Modern players don't really have a good sense of what real PAFs sound like or play like due to big companies making very inaccurate products and calling them "PAF's." Those old pickups were bright and clear, not the warm muddy stuff that's being sold as vintage tones these days. When customers ask me, "well, what do they sound like then?", one of the first tunes I point them to is the Albert song; everything wonderful about those vintage pickups is demonstrated in that song, bright, chirpy, soulful, dynamic, rough edged, etc. etc. Mike was one of the first, if not THE first to exploit those old guitars and bring them into the blues, and everyone else followed suit. Thanks Michael, GREAT TONE!

= Dave Stephens of Stephens Design Pickups from Battle Ground, Washington

 

March 9, 2009

   I remember the first time I saw Michael. It was at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in Queens, NY. He was backing Bob Dylan. Psycho was on TV for the first time. My sister and her husband took me but I migrated down to the Bob Euchre seats almost immediately. I must have been 15-stranger in a strange land-Queens-a Brooklyn girl from the projects near Sheepshead Bay, dragged into kindergarten on Long Island- fast forward 10 years. The seats got closer after intermission and Dylan had finished Freewheelin' and came out electric. He got booed followed by a mass exodus of the very same boo'ers. My sister and husband got further away and I lucked out and ended up sitting next to a soft spoken guy my age who knew all the lyrics, too. There was Harvey Brooks on bass, Al Kooper on organ, Bob Dylan on piano and guitars and Michael Bloomfield. It was my first live concert. I got hooked!

- Carol from Florida 

  

March 8, 2009

   I remember the first time I saw Mike Bloomfield play - It was at Town Hall in NYC. I was a high school student who spent summers at an Ethical Culture work camp listening to Dylan, The Stones, Eric Anderson, Pat Sky et al. I had been listening to Muddy at Newport and Jimmy Reed's Big City Blues. Friends had been taking me to Town Hall to see Pat Sky and Eric Anderson and I played rock and folk on my Gibson Heritage, bought with Bar Mitzvah money. My buddies said let's go see Paul Butterfield and I went expecting to hear a singer-songwriter strumming a D28, a Guild, or a Gibson. We got there early and saw band members Sam Lay and Elvin Bishop wearing black leather hitter jackets, always a personal preference. We approached them and offered up a bottle of Gypsy Rose which they shared with us. Later on I went backstage and got to touch a Gold Top Les Paul not yet knowing that it was akin to touching Byrd's sax or Miles trumpet or the pen that JFK used to write his inaugural address. I watched the band perform and I was stunned. Not to sound like Al Kooper did when describing the Highway 61 sessions, but I couldn't even touch my own guitar for weeks.
I guess I was in the right place at the right time - I must've seen Bloomfield play a hundred times, with Charles Lloyd and Gary Burton, at the Schaffer Concerts in Central Park, at the Anderson Theatre with the Electric Flag. I lived for his raps and reveled in his intensity. I never quite understood why Robbie Robertson played guitar to his piano on the John Hammond sessions. I remember the Rolling Stone interview where Mike describes being introduced by Dylan - Here's my friend Mike Bloomfield, he's the best guitar player in the world- and then seeing Dylan after his European tour and hearing Bob say - Here's my friend Robbie Robertson, he's the best guitar player in the world. You knew watching him play and listening to him talk that he was a good guy. I think the best picture of all time is the shot of Bob Dylan smoking a cigarette, wearing a harmonica holder, with Michael sitting down and pointing at him. Sometimes I wish that he had gone on tour with Dylan back then. Who knows what might've happened.

   I guess that's all I have to say. I could go on for hours about his influence, his charity towards others musicians, and the tragedy that took him away from us.
But here's the bottom line - He was a great musician and a great guy and the world is a better place because Michael was a part of it.

Thank you,
- Marc Sperber from NYC (Manhattan), NY


 March 7, 2009

    I am ecstatic over the refurbished website! I stopped coming to the site because there was nothing new for so long. It made me very depressed. I'm a musician originally from Chicago. Mike has been my #1 inspiration! I'm really excited to see Gibson has honored him. Finally Mike gets his due! Hopefully this will launch a whole new generation of Mike Bloomfield fans. Does anyone really know (outside of the old stories) where his guitar is?

- John C. from Crown Point, Indiana

 

February 21, 2009

   I'm a huge fan of Mike Bloomfield. I love the blues and admire no player more than Bloomers. When I play, I try to make it burn and dig into a note and make it sing and hope that he'd say "damn, dude"! Love ya, Mike!

- Bryce Olsen from Jerome, Idaho (former Mill Valley resident)

 

February 20, 2009

   Does anyone know where I can get the tablature to Fine Jung Thing from "The Trip"? This song is perhaps Mike's most complex and sustained burst of imagination and energy. But damned hard to learn! Help would be much appreciated.

- Michael West from Copenhagen (michael.west@megamail.dk)

  

February 14, 2009

   Hello! I was just reading other's comments and felt moved to add my memories of one of the greatest blues players who has profoundly influenced me musically over the past 4 decades. Seeing Michael and the Electric Flag at Winterland circa 1968 was just amazing....I'll never forget it.... playing through only a Fender Twin and a Les Paul, he captured the soul and intensity of the blues like no other player of his time.....his style was his own....both incredibly fluid and frenetic at the same time.....We have Michael to thank for the great players of today such as Robben Ford and Chris Cain, who were inspired to pick up the guitar thanks to his inspirational playing.

- Mark Council from Martinez, California

 

   Got SuperSession & Live Adventures when they came out - still got them.
Had to pack up playing the guitar when I heard Bloomfield play ;) 

Regards,

- Graham Broughton from Hartlepool, UK
 

February 13, 2009

   I bought the "SUPER SESSION" LP way back in 1968 and still play the CD version now. My favourite track is Albert's Shuffle. I NEVER tire of it!  Brilliant!
Two things I'd love would be to play at least half as good as Michael and to buy a '59 Gibson Les Paul.  Cheers!

- Larry Finn from Australia

 

February 12, 2009

   Great site for one of the greatest white blues guitar players!

- Jens Anderson from Copenhagen, Denmark

 

February 4, 2009

  Greetings! I first tuned into Michael's music during the mid-sixties (I believe I traded the first Blues Project album for the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band). He was an early guitar hero of mine and remains an inspiration to this day. A musician myself, 'Bloomers' has been a huge influence on my playing. What more can I say? His muse is missed. Rest in peace, Mike!

- Sam King from Pembroke, New Hampshire

 

January 28, 2009

    Love that guitar playing! Always have! Always will! Live on!

- Vic from Venice, Florida

 

   Hello, I just discovered Michael's website and I have to write in to tell you how much pleasure I've gotten from Michael's music over the decades. In 1968 at age 13 I used to sneak into my older brother's room and play the vinyl LP   Super Session and groove out on the first track, and marvel at all those fine licks and chops, not really knowing who he was. Now, at age 55, I own almost every CD from Electric Flag and several others with Michael either solo, or in cohorts with other greats. I know so many of the songs by heart  that I definitely feel qualified to say: There are many greats, but NO ONE stands along side Michael's mastery of his craft. The tones and sounds he produced seemingly with such great ease go far deeper than the heart; they go straight into the soul. No other artist's work has put tears in my eyes like Michael's has. To everyone out there listening, Albert's Shuffle is without a doubt the Holy Grail of blues guitar.
GOD BLESS YOU MICHAEL! YOU SURE MADE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE!!!
I can ony imagine what kind of jammin' is going on up there in heaven. And when I walk through those pearly gates, I hope that the first thing I see and hear is Michael playing.
Very , very sincerely,

- Mark Martini from Petaluma, California
 

January 25, 2009

   Dear Mr Allen Bloomfield, My name is Paulo Oliveira and I'm from Portugal. I would like to send you my appreciation and regards about your work and dedication to your brother's memory. My son is 14 years old and he is a fanatic fan of Mike's music. He plays on and on Mike's gigs. He will present a poster next February 15 in his school.  Thank you for all.

- P. Oliveira from Portual

  

January 12, 2009

  I am just listening to Super Session that came out in 1968 on vinyl. I got the cd for Christmas 2008. Mike is just fantastic on guitar on this album.

- Trond from Norway

 

December 10, 2008

   Yes,  to me Mike was the best dang guitar player. I have heard just about every album /song he recorded and every note that ever came out of his guitar was one of pure clarity and pleasure to the ears. He was a master of any style he played. He will always be missed but never forgotten as long as I have his tapes, records, CD's and even some films.

- Blindowl 8 from Dallas, Texas

 

December 6, 2008

   I just want to thank you for this site and keeping Mike's memory and music alive. Like a lot of people, I first heard him on the Butterfield Blues first album. I was swept away with the blues-rock of Clapton and Hendrix, but looking back Mike's playing was responsible for exposing me to pure blues. Even now after hearing all the greats that influenced him, he was my favorite player. No one had a style like his.  To my ears he had the sweetness of B.B. King, big string bends of Albert King, could build a solo like no one else and had an intense sharp edgy rock attack in his playing.  He had enormous technique but never played fast for speed's sake but only to get a musical idea across. He also had a jazz sensibility to his playing. It wouldn't surprise me if he listened to Kenny Burrell or Wes Montgomery.  For me the partnership of Mike with Nick Gravenites produced Mike's best playing especially live. Nobody played with the intensity he did. His playing on It Takes Time is incredible as well as Blues on a Westside. Albert's Shuffle is probably my favorite studio cut. 300 cd's and 2,000 albums later, some of the best American music ever made was Mike with Nick, Al Kooper and The Electric Flag. To my shame, I haven't yet read the book about Mike. I want to know more about him as a person.

- Chuck from Queens, New York