Paul Butterfield Blues Band album

Paul Butterfield Blues Band album

Paul Butterfield Blues Band album

released October 1965

Paul Butterfield Blues Band album

In October 1965, future Woodstock Music and Art Fair performers the Paul Butterfield Blues Band released their first album: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Paul Butterfield was 23; Mike Bloomfield was 22; Elvin Bishop was 23; Mark Naftalin was 21; Jerome Arnold was 28; and Sam Lay was 30. (only Butterfield himself would be in the Woodstock line up.)

Lining two walls in downstairs hallway of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts are pictures and brief bios of each band and its members who performed at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. When I watch or listen to guests visiting the Museum, the usual artists they hover over or speak about are Jimi Hendrix, the Band, Janis Joplin, the Who, or other so-called “big names.”

I cannot remember any guest hovering at the Paul Butterfield  Blues Band.

They should be.

Paul Butterfield Blues Band album

Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Rock and Rolls’ roots are obviously from rhythm and blues whose roots are simply the blues. Jimi, Robbie, Janis, and Pete would all acknowledge and tip their hats to a Paul Butterfield for so brilliantly playing those blues.

The band’s first album is an excellent example of the style and strength the various band line-ups presented over its time.

All Music’s Mike DeGagne says this about the first album:

…a wonderfully messy and boisterous display of American-styled blues, with intensity and pure passion derived from every bent note. In front of all these instruments is Butterfield’s harmonica, beautifully dictating a mood and a genuine feel that is no longer existent, even in today’s blues music. Each song captures the essence of Chicago blues in a different way, from the back-alley feel of “Born in Chicago” to the melting ease of Willie Dixon’s “Mellow Down Easy” to the authentic devotion that emanates from Bishop and Butterfield’s “Our Love Is Drifting.” “Shake Your Money Maker,” “Blues With a Feeling,” and “I Got My Mojo Working” (with Lay on vocals) are all equally moving pieces performed with a raw adoration for blues music. Best of all, the music that pours from this album is unfiltered…blared, clamored, and let loose, like blues music is supposed to be released.”

You should give it a listen, again I hope, but if not for the first of what will likely be many times.

Paul Butterfield Blues Band album

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