Photo courtesy of Elliott Landy
"Michael Bloomfield: If You Love These Blues," by Jan Mark Wolkin & Bill Keenom
Available at Amazon.com
Mike Bloomfield News
Here you'll find news, events, CD releases, articles and other things that we think will be of interest to Bloomfield fans. As always, we welcome contributions to this page – if you know of any Michael Bloomfield-related items, please let us know.
Freedom Music/Dr. Helander & His Medicine Men
Ilkka Helander is a Finnish bluesman, guitar player, singer and songwriter. He started his career in the late 60's inspired by British blues players, such as Peter Green. After that he was mostly influenced by the American blues artists, such as Michael Bloomfield. In 2006 he released a cd on the Rootman Music label titled 'Freedom Music', which includes a fine cover of Michael's 'Woodyard Street' (Bloomfield Retrospective on Columbia). Click here to learn more about Dr Helander's cd.
Michael and Me/Bob Jones and the Drive
Bob Jones, drummer and vocalist for the Mike Bloomfield Band, has put together a group of expert musicians to pay tribute to his good friend and bandmate. "I wanted to do something dramatic and musical to call attention to Mike, the genius and true renaissance man! He continues to be the most influential and yet least widely recognized of the great electric guitarists playing both the blues as well as what's now called 'Americana'. He virtually invented the extended rock and blues guitar jam!" Michael and Me is a superb collection of songs culled from Bob's touring years with Michael and includes guests Mark Naftalin and bluesman extraordinaire, Nick Gravenites, both from the original band. The result will astound you, but don't take our word for it. Listen to a sample in our Music Room or visit Bob's website at www.BobJonesandtheDrive.com to get your copy today!
March 2011 update:
Cast your vote TODAY for 'Michael and Me' in the Blues Revue Magazine BAND CONTEST!!Help us get global exposure for Bob Jones and the Drive!!!! Not only that, just by voting you'll be entered to win a cd! Click here for details.
• May 2010
Guitar Player Magazine feature article
In the June issue of Guitar Player magazine, read about out the 10 Secrets to the Mike Bloomfield Style by Jesse Gress. With photos by Jim Marshall and Mike Shea, this 9-page article can be accessed here.
• May 2009
In Memory of David Randall Shorey
Dave Shorey, aka 'Gashouse Dave', (http://www.myspace.com/gashousedave) passed away May 7th. Dave played bass guitar for the Mike Bloomfield Band in the late 70's. Outstanding musician, writer and close friend, Dave will be missed. This is a void that can't be filled. Our heart-felt condolences to the Shorey family and especially to Olga, Dave's angel on earth.
Border Line (1947)
I used to wonder
about living and dying
I think the difference lies
Between tears and crying
by Langston Hughes
Rolling Stone Interview - Bob Dylan's America by Douglas Brinkley
I ask whether, as a bandleader, Dylan had ever played a set with the perfect guitarist. Dylan jumps at the opportunity to answer rather reminiscently. "The guy that I always miss, and I think he'd still be around if he stayed with me, actually, was Mike Bloomfield," Dylan says of his collaborator on Highway 61 Revisited (who also famously played electric guitar with him at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965). "He could just flat-out play. He had so much soul. And he knew all the styles, and he could play them so incredibly well. He was an expert player and a real prodigy, too. Started playing early. But then again a lot of good guitarists have played with me. Freddy Tackett, Steve Ripley - Mick Taylor played with me for a minute." Full of memory lane, Dylan goes on to tell a story about first meeting Bloomfield in Chicago at a headhunt on the South Side. A social misfit, Bloomfield was the rare white guitarist who had recorded with the likes of Sleepy John Estes and Big Joe Williams. "He could play like Willie Brown or Charlie Patton," Dylan says. "He could play like Robert Johnson way back then in the Sixties. The only other guy who could do that in those days was Brian Jones, who played in the Rolling Stones. He could also do the same thing. Fingerpicking rhythms that hardly anyone could do. Those are the only two guys I've ever met who could...from back then...the only two guys who could play the pure style of country blues authentically."
Mike Bloomfield Basic Guitar Techniques
Don Mock-musician, recording artist and teacher, created 4 guitar lessons (Pickup Phrases, Signature Phrases, Beyond Blues Phrases and Chords & Rhythm) as an aid for guitarists who are interested in learning about Michael's technique and approach. Don's deep admiration for Michael Bloomfield's guitar artistry served as inspiration for his own musical explorations. The lessons can be found here.
Al Kooper turns 65
It was an unforgettable night of music. Al Kooper's Birthday Bash concert was played to a packed house at BB King's Nightclub in NYC. The event held significance for Michael, too. Premiering on this night was the Michael Bloomfield Signature guitar.
More on this including video of the performance, can be found here.
• JANUARY 2009
Gibson unveils Michael Bloomfield Signature Model Les Paul
The Michael Bloomfield Estate is happy to announce that a Michael Bloomfield signature 1959 Les Paul Standard Sunburst model has been created. An agreement has been signed by Gibson and the estate, and the famed guitar maker premiered this American music classic at the NAMM trade show in January 2009. The beautiful guitar was equipped with reproduction 1959 Gibson humbucking pick-ups and was resplendent with a bright tiger-striped front, just like the original. Also true to the original were Michael's mismatched knobs and the distinguishing scratch behind the tailstock, faithfully recreated in the signature model. All reports are that the guitar received rave reviews and that Gibson Custom plans to increase the number of Mike Bloomfield signature models it will produce. This was a long time coming, but well worth the wait! To see photos of the prototype instrument, click here. To visit Gibson's page for the Michael Bloomfield 1959 Les Paul Standard Sunburst Signature Model, click here.
• SEPTEMBER 2008
Michael Bloomfield: An American Guitarist
Below are links to a four-hour radio broadcast originally heard over WJFF 90.5 FM, Jeffersonville, NY, on July 27, 2008, in celebration of Michael Bloomfield's 65th birthday anniversary. The program was produced and hosted by David Dann and featured the voices of Allen Bloomfield, Toby Byron, Norman Dayron, Mark Naftalin and others, plus hard-to-find performances by Bloomfield, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Bob Dylan and others. Listen to it on the Web by visiting the WJFF Archive or by connecting directly by using these links:
Part I / The Early Years:
Part II / Butterfield & The Flag:
Part III / Guitar God No More:
Part IV / The Last Years
Thanks to David Dann at Michael Bloomfield: An American Guitarist
• SEPTEMBER 2008
Witness to the Blues / Joe Louis Walker
Joe Louis Walker, a fine blues guitarist who as a teenager roomed with Michael Bloomfield in 1969, has just released this, his latest CD. Michael helped Joe get started in music by introducing him to the prominent blues players of the day. Joe has always graciously credited Michael as an early influence.
More information about "Witness to the Blues" can be found at Amazon.com.
• SEPTEMBER 2007
The Other Side of the Mirror / Bob Dylan
Filmmaker Murray Lerner has released this DVD of Bob Dylan's performances at the Newport Folk Festival from 1963-65. The disc augments material already available on Lerner's famed 1967 release on Newport called "Festival." Bloomfield fans will enjoy clips from the 1965 fest that show Michael playing with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and being interviewed about Butterfield, Son House and the blues. Of special interest is additional footage of Dylan's controversial electric set where Michael is prominently featured. Here's what Jonathan Cohen of Billboard magazine had to say about the film:
Directed by Murray Lerner, the film sports 80 minutes of performances, approximately 70% of which have never been released in any form.
Dylan's July 1965 performance at the Rhode Island festival has gone down in history as the moment when he "went electric," startling the crowd and prompting a negative reaction from fans accustomed to the acoustic music of the artist's early recordings.
The film includes Dylan's rehearsal with his electric band Mike Bloomfield (guitar), Sam Lay (drums), Jerome Arnold (bass), Al Kooper (organ) and Barry Goldberg (piano), plus two of the three songs they performed during their set ("Maggie's Farm" and "Like a Rolling Stone"; "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, it Takes a Train to Cry" is omitted). Dylan then returned to the stage for solo versions of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue."
Lerner eschewed narration and interviews with other artists (including Dylan himself) for "Mirror.". "[There's] nothing except the experience of seeing him," he says. "That to me is exciting. Just the clear experience gives you everything you need."
More information about "The Other Side of the Mirror" can be found at Amazon.com.
• FALL 2005
Remembering Bloomfield / Speedo "Harmonica" Jones
This release by Speedo Jones is offered as a celebration of the music of Mike Bloomfield. It features Jones' sympathetic harmonica wizardry with accompaniment by some of Sweden's finest blues players. Jones met Michael in 1977 during a Bloomfield & Friends gig in Roslyn, NY, and struck up a friendship with the guitarist that lasted until Michael's death in 1981. Here's what Speedo says about "Remembering Bloomfield:"
For those who loved Bloomfield's music, I hope this CD brings back happy memories. For those people who are discovering Bloomfield for the first time, I hope you try to find the originals of the music we are presenting to you. This was truly a labor of love and I felt the spirit of Bloomfield and Butterfield as I was making this record.
More information about "Remembering Bloomfield" can be found atCD Baby.
Tell On It / David Randall Shorey
David Shorey is not only an accomplished musician and composer, he is also the author of several remarkable books. As Mike Bloomfield's bassist in later years, Shorey shared many memorable hours with the idiosyncratic guitarist. In this book, he shares some of those moments in his highly personal and inventive style. Says Shorey:
"Tell on it" was the expression Mike Bloomfield used to get us to open up and get to the present-tense reality and cut to the chase. I was in the Mike Bloomfield and Friends band off and on from '76-'81. I played and toured in all those configurations. Enjoy the photos from Tahoe to to Texas to San Francisco.
More information about "Tell On
It" can be found at
"Like a Rolling Stone" named No. 1
Bob Dylan's groundbreaking composition, "Like a Rolling Stone," has been selected as the number one song in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Top Songs of All Time. The tune, recorded for Dylan's seminal "Highway 61 Revisited" release on Columbia, was waxed in Columbia's studios in New York in June of 1965 and featured the trend-setting guitar work of Michael Bloomfield. Al Kooper's organ part also helped shape the recording, a performance that critic Greil Marcus has called "an explosion of vision and humor that forever changed pop music."