Review Summary: One of the best albums of the mid '60s blues revival movement and a great combination of lively harmonica with fluid guitar playing.
So, if you made a list about the 10 greatest white blues guitarists who would you include? There are some relatively easy options such as Peter Green, Eric Clapton (a legend, don’t you even start with the overrated claims), Rory Gallagher, Gary Moore or Johnny Winter. How many of you mentioned Mike Bloomfield? Don’t worry because Bob Dylan, BB King and Buddy Guy were some of his fans early on his career. Mike Bloomfield besides working with Paul Butterfield, releasing solo albums and with his band The Electric Flag, also participated in a variety of albums as a session musician; the most notable of those being Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited
The lineup on Paul Butterfield Blues Band
is impressive as it includes Bloomfield and Butterfield of course, along with Howlin’ Wolf’s rhythm section among others. The music is pretty much electric Chicago blues accompanied by Paul Butterfield’s harmonica and lead by Bloomfield’s fluid guitar playing. In addition, Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay do an excellent job in forming a very tight rhythm section while the music on this album is mostly uptempo and energetic with a swagger. Compared to the band’s sophomore release East-West
, this album is more bluesy, lively and upbeat while it includes less jazz elements. Moreover, as with many blues albums the majority of the material on this one consists of cover versions of older blues staples such as "Shake Your Money-Maker" and "Got My Mojo Working".
Overall, even though Paul Butterfield Blues Band
doesn’t offer much new material in terms of original compositions as it includes only three new tracks, its energy along with the band’s high level of performance are two solid reasons that every blues enthusiast should check this album. Paul Butterfield’s performance is highly energetic and passionate while Bloomfield’s guitar playing adds a refreshing touch to the older material included on this album. Lastly, Paul Butterfield Blues Band
isn’t only part of the mid ‘60s blues revival but one of the reasons that sparked the movement so feel free to check one of the albums that influenced bands such as Fleetwood Mac, The Bluesbreakers and Cream.