Sunday, August 26, 2007


Michael Bloomfield, the rise and fall of an American guitar hero by Ed Ward (Cherry Lane Books 1983)
Although friends and musical partners have disputed parts of this book, with many interesting session dates in the back. For those who aren't familiar with Mike, Richard Thompson mentions Mike as on of his faves and influences; Mike may well be Bob Dylan's favorite electric guitarist; Santana began as a Bloomfield imitator when his band was called the 'Santana Blues Band' in the sixties....Robben Ford, famed session guitarist, began as Bloomfield imitator...The infamous 'Grateful Dead' jams were originally based on the 'Paul Butterfield blues Band' with Bloomfield on guitar playing 'East-West',(the name of their second album and the full-side-of-the-LP length jam on same). Dylan,Santana and Grateful Dead fans need this book to root their knowledge of their faves , and need to hear 'East-West'.

Me and Big Joe by Michael Bloomfield (Re/Search Publications 1999)
Foremost blues guitarist of the '60s and '70s Mike Bloomfield writes the tale of his early days in Chicago, where he befriends great blues legend Joe Lee Williams (AKA "Big Joe"). Together they embark on a journey to the dark, smoky blues clubs of the Midwest, encountering Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tampa Red, Kokomo Arnold, and other blues musicians along the way. A classic American adventure story, a must read for any blues lover or musician.

The Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper with Paul Butterfield and David Clayton Thomas by Ken Brooks (Agenda Ltd 1999)
Mike Bloomfield met Al Kooper at a recording session for Bob Dylan's "Highway 61" album. Al had previously played with The Blues Project and then started Blood Sweat and Tears. Mike had played with the black bluesmen of Chicago before joining The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Mike later formed The Electric Flag with Nick Gravenites. The stories of Paul Butterfield and David Clayton Thomas are intermingled with those of Mike and Al and are also told in this 4-in-1 book. Paul and Mike were both casualties of the blues; Al and David are continuing their careers into the millennium. A track-by-track review of most of their albums and singles is included, many albums and recordings have been unavailable since the 1970s or earlier.

Michael Bloomfield - If You Love These Blues: An Oral History by Jan Mark Wolkin & Bill Keenom (Miller Freeman Books 2000)
If You Love These Blues is not a traditional biography, rather it is a compilation and arrangement of interviews of Bloomfield himself (before his death, of course), his colleagues, his intimates, and some of his important acquaintances given over the years as Bloomfield's life is explored from his youth until his untimely death. Some of the interviews of those important in his life were given years after Bloomfield's death and help the reader to form a retrospective impression of the sort of guy Bloomfield was.

Tell On It: Compendium of Obscurity by David Randall Shorey (Xlibris Corporation 2004)
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 his 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 Texas to San Francisco. I remember some stuff that landed in my court, and other things that were hit over the fence. Things that are still out there in the weeds. The COMPENDIUM of OBSCURITY is a trick that I played on myself in order to burn my candle back into the story that I was trying to tell. I had difficulty leaving some things out. I had fun putting some wickedness in. Mike had a brilliant sense of humor. I owe my global perspective on the blues to him. I gained some ground in the (music) marketplace- and EXPRESS my take on my own career from Hollywood to Paris and back. I got my wings from the track and the stingers on Albert’s Shuffle. It is the way shower at his best. TELL ON IT. If it is ILLUMINATION you need, keep listening to his solos. I have been gifted in other ways. My mentor from Blueslab, *Brother Ray Charles playing SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW. It isn’t supposed to read like prose. It isn’t supposed to sound like music. It is like living in my dream.