Monday, March 5, 2012

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Butterfield Blues Band

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band is the debut album by Paul Butterfield, released in 1965 on Elektra Records, EKS 7294 in stereo, EKL 294 in mono. It peaked at #123 on the Billboard pop albums chart. In 2003, the album was ranked number 476 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and at #11 on Down Beat magazine's list of the top 50 blues albums. In late 1964, a friend of Elektra house producer Paul Rothchild told him that the "best band in the world was on stage at a blues bar in Chicago." Rothchild took a plane to Chicago to see the Butterfield quartet, and later the same night went to a different club and saw guitarist Mike Bloomfield with a different band. According to Rothchild, it was at his impetus that Paul Butterfield hired Bloomfield as his second guitar alongside Elvin Bishop. The Butterfield rhythm section of Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay had been hired away from Howlin' Wolf.

Sessions were arranged for December, 1964, but these were abandoned for live recordings from the Cafe Au Go Go in New York City after the band's appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. The earlier studio recordings were eventually released on The Original Lost Elektra Sessions in 1995. Upon hearing the live tapes, Rothchild still remained dissatisfied, and the band went into the studio in September 1965 in an attempt to record the album for the third time. The guitar solos were all played by Bloomfield, Bishop relegated to rhythm guitar. Keyboardist Mark Naftalin was drafted in at the September sessions and asked to join the band by Butterfield, expanding it to a sextet.

The album presents band originals and songs in the style of electric Chicago blues. It is a milestone in the history of blues music as one of the first blues albums featuring a white singer, paralleling the British blues movement and anticipating the blues-rock phenomenon of the late 1960s. On October 29, 2001, a reissue of this album remastered by Bob Irwin at Sundazed Studios and coupled with East-West appeared on Rhino WEA UK for the European market.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Born in Chicago" Nick Gravenites 2:55
2. "Shake Your Moneymaker" Elmore James 2:27
3. "Blues with a Feeling" Walter Jacobs 4:20
4. "Thank You Mr. Poobah" Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Mark Naftalin 4:05
5. "Got My Mojo Working" Muddy Waters 3:30
6. "Mellow Down Easy" Willie Dixon 2:48
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Screamin'" Mike Bloomfield 4:30
2. "Our Love Is Drifting" Mike Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop 3:25
3. "Mystery Train" Junior Parker, Sam Phillips 2:45
4. "Last Night" Walter Jacobs 4:15
5. "Look Over Yonders Wall" James Clark 2:23

* Paul Butterfield — vocals, harmonica
* Mike Bloomfield — electric guitar
* Elvin Bishop — electric guitar
* Mark Naftalin — organ on "Blues with A Feeling," "Thank You Mr. Poobah," "Screamin'," "Our Love Is Drifting," "Mystery Train," and "Last Night"
* Jerome Arnold — bass
* Sam Lay — drums lead vocal on "I Got My Mojo Working"

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