Category Archives: Woodstock Music and Art Fair

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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Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

October 9, 1944 – June 27, 2002

Music is magic

As a non-musician, to me the person who is one performs magic.  And when a band’s members combined their talents, that magic amplifies into the mystic.

There are many great musicians, but the frequency of musicians finding their compliment and to create even greater magic happens far less often.

Such seems the case with the Who.

Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

John Entwistle becomes Who

The young John Entwistle played trumpet, fluegelhorn, and piano as well as bass. In 1959 he played trumpet in a traditional jazz band that also included Pete Townshend on banjo.

In 1961, Roger Daltrey invited Entwistle to join Daltrey’s group, The Detours. Six months later, Entwistle persuaded Daltrey to let Townshend join. In the spring of 1964 Keith Moon joined they became The Who.

The Who’s magic did not just come from each member’s talent, which was outstanding, but from their interaction. Entwistle’s bass was more like a lead guitar playing counterpoint to Pete Townshend’s more rhythmic guitar playing. Moon’s drumming became famous for it’s high energy non-stop support of the band’s whole sound with Roger Daltrey’s vocals entwining all into  the Who’s.

Entwistle help create their distinctive sound by cultivating a lead style of bass, underpinning Pete’s more rhythmic style of guitar playing with inventive runs in a higher register than most bass players, while at the same time keeping the group’s timing rigid during Keith’s volatile thrashings.

Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

Macabre Entwistle

While Pete Townshend composed most of the band’s material, Entwistle contributed some of their songs, odd as they were. “Whisky Man,” “Boris The Spider,”Doctor, Doctor,” “Someone’s Coming,” as well as “Cousin Kevin” and “Fiddle About” from the band’s most famous album, Tommy. Entwistle’s French horn skills were also featured on that album.

Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

John E Smashed

In 1971 John Entwistle became the first member to release a solo album, Smash Your Head Against The Wall, Other solo studio albums were: Whistle Rymes (1972), Rigor Mortis Sets In (1973), Mad Dog (1975), Too Late The Hero (1981) and The Rock (1996).

In 1975 he toured with his own band, Ox [taken from his nickname in the Who]. He also fronted the John Entwistle Band on US club tours during the 1990s and appeared with former Beatle Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band, in 1995.

Entwistle died from a heart attack on June 27, 2002, in Las Vegas. The Who were about to begin an American tour which they did do with replacement bassist Pino Palladino.

Later Entwistle’s body was repatriated and buried in the village church in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, where he lived with his partner, Lisa Pritchard-Johnson.

Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle
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Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Happy birthday

October 4, 1947

Jim Fielder’s musical path has been an great one. Not surprisingly, it parallels many musicians’ stories and most interesting of all the bands and performers he has played with as well as simply crossing paths with.

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Texas to California

Fielder was born in Denton, TX. He started playing guitar at the age of seven. His early influences in the 1950s were people like Elvis and the Everley Brothers.

In high school he started playing an upright acoustic bass. Ralph Pena, Frank Sinatra’s bassist, tutored him. As a young bassist he listened to musicians such as Ray Brown, Ron Carter, and Charles Mingus.

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Tim Buckley

In the 60s his first band was “The Bohemians” a group that Tim Buckley was in as well. They went to amateur nights at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Buffalo Springfield was one of the groups playing there.

Tim Buckley got a recording contract with Electra Records and Fielder played on some of the tracks on Buckley’s first two albums.  

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Frank Zappa

im Fielder also played with Mastin & Brewer (later evolved into Brewer & Shipley). The drummer of M & B knew Frank Zappa and an introduction led to Fielder playing with Zappa’s Mothers of Invention as a guitarist. He was with the Mothers when they recorded the Absolutely Free album, but his name does not appear on the album because he’d left the band before the album’s release and Zappa excluded Fielder’s name.

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Buffalo Springfield

The band Fielder joined after the Mothers was Buffalo Springfield. He played bass for them while their original bassist, Bruce Palmer, was out of the country in Canada with visa issues. When Palmer resolved those issues he returned to the band and Fielder left. He did get a shout out on the back of the Springfield’s second album, Buffalo Springfield Again, amongst the many names the band thanked.

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Al Kooper > Blood, Sweat and Tears

Another path. Another relationship. Jim Fielder was “in between” bands. While playing at the Fillmore in San Francisco with Buffalo Springfield and the Mothers, Fielder had met Al Kooper and Steve Katz from the  Blues Project. When Kooper left the Project he lived with a neighbor of Fielder’s. Drummer Bobby Colomby joined the nascent group with Katz forming a quartet.

Saxophonist Fred Lipsius joined two months later. They played at the Fillmore East.  Lipsius recruited New York jazz horn players he knew. The final Blood, Sweat and Tears lineup debuted late November ’67 at “The Scene” in New York.

The band released its first album, Child Is Father To the Man, on February 21, 1968. Kooper left soon after, but the band continued with David Clayton Thomas as its lead singer. Their second album, Blood Sweat and Tears, was a huge success and a big part of their invitation to the…

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Fielder’s memories: “We played late Sunday night between Johnny Winter and Crosby, Stills & Nash. The crowd was down to about 50,000 by then, but it still felt like were playing to the whole world. Backstage was like old home week. I got to see a lot of old friends and people I had played with over the years. It was probably the highlight of my career.”

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Neil Sedaka

Fielder stayed with the band until 1974. He returned to Los Angeles in 1974 and began freelancing. He worked with Danny O’Keefe and Chris Hillman and was the musical director for Bing Crosby’s grandson Chris.

Then the opportunity to work with Neil Sedaka was on Fielder’s path in 1976. It was an offer he couldn’t and didn’t refuse and Fielder has basically worked with Sedaka since.

Jim Fielder

Here is an article about an August 2017 Neil Sedaka show in NJ in which the reporter writes about a song Sedaka performed with “expert musician Jim Fielder’s bass part which includes an impossibly difficult slap bass line and an ongoing sequence of electric guitar-inspired figures played simultaneously on his bass!

Much of the information for this entry came from this article.

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder
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