Discography &
Performance History

By David Dann

1958–1965

MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD is born on July 28, 1943 in Chicago, IL. He receives his first guitar, a 3/4-size Harmony, at age 13. For his bar mitzvah, during that same year, he is given a transistor radio which allows him to tune into gospel and blues broadcasts locally on WVON and over WDIA out of Memphis, among others. Bloomfield meets Josh White at the Gate of Horn, and then, at 14, begins to visit blues clubs on the south side with the help of his and friends’ black maids. He sits in with Muddy Waters and others, and plays his first professional gigs at age 15.

1958


*HAYDEN THOMPSON

Thompson, g, v; Michael Bloomfield(?), Bob Greenspan, g; others unknown.

Tally Ho Club, Highwood, IL: 1958

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Thompson was a “Jerry Lee Lewis imitator” who had recorded for Sun Records in 1953 (with Jerry Lee on piano). Bloomfield recalled these as his first professional performances in an interview in 1971 with Dan McClosky. Bob Greenspan, however, has said that Bloomfield only came to see Hayden play and never was actually in the band. Thompson has confirmed that Bloomfield never played with him. Greenspan did play with Thompson, and he and Bloomfield did play in Highwood with Vince Viti, so perhaps those were the gigs Michael was referring to (see below). It is quite possible, though, that Michael sat in with Thompson at some point.


*THE HURRICANES

Michael Bloomfield, el g; Roy Ruby, g; Craig Sherman, b; Roy Jespersen, d.

Unknown studio, Chicago, IL: 1959


Hurricane                                            Self-produced recording

Hot Rod

“Hurricane” was a tune Bloomfield and Roy Jespersen worked up on the piano in a practice room at New Trier High School. Roy reported that Michael and the band recorded these two tunes in a studio in the Loop and that each band member invested $10 to pay for the recording. The studio cut a single disc which the band members then took turns taking home to listen to. Jespersen does not know if the disc still exists.

Personnel as above.
New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL; Spring 1959

Windy and Warm
                                Live performance
Hurricane

This was a talent show at which the band was told not to play any rock ‘n’ roll. To appease the authorities, they played Chet Atkins’ “Windy and Warm” to close the show. But the stage curtain inadvertently reopened at the end of their performance and Bloomfield and the band launched into “Hurricane,” causing students to storm the stage. The group was later called into the Dean of Students office and reprimanded, and Bloomfield was eventually expelled from the school. Thanks to Roy Jespersen for this information.

Personnel as above.
Dance parties, various temples and churches, North Shore, IL; 1959-60

Unknown titles                                   
Live performances


1959



*MR. LONELY & THE TWISTERS
Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Michael Melford, g; others unknown.
New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL; 1959(?)

Unknown titles                                     Live performances

Michael Melford reports that he and Bloomfield had an R&B group that played for NTHS dances.


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g; Phil Schramm, Bill Spence, v; Horace "Ace" Cathcart, b; Bob Greenspan, g; Roy Ruby, b; Roy Jespersen or Gerry Pasternack, d; Tommy Mahlon, sax.

Dance parties, Spanish Village, Wilmette, IL; 1959-60


Unknown titles                                   Live performances


High schoolers would organize beer parties at this abandoned venue – also called "the Ruins" – and Bloomfield and his friends would provide the music. Cathcart was a black vocalist and bass player whom Bloomfield met not long after he started playing guitar. This band also played at the Tally Ho restaurant in Lake Forest. Thanks to Fred Glazer and Horace Cathcart for this information.


*GUITAR JUNIOR
Guitar Junior, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; unknown, ts; others unknown.
The Place, Chicago, IL; Summer 1959

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

This was probably the first time Bloomfield sat in on the South Side, playing with Guitar Junior (Luther Johnson) and his band. He and Roy Ruby told interviewer Dan McClosky about the experience in 1971.


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/HORACE CATHCART

Michael Bloomfield, g; Paul Zupec(?), org; Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; Danny Woods, d.
Numerous small clubs, private parties in Glencoe, Highland Lake, other North Shore towns in IL; 1959-60

Unknown titles                                   Live performances


Horace Cathcart reports that he and Bloomfield had a quartet that played mostly folk and blues around the North Shore area for several years. One club they performed at was the Hideout in Highwood; they also played dances at Michael's high school, New Trier, in Winnetka. The year for their appearances is uncertain – they may have occurred as early as 1958.

1960



*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/ROY RUBY/MICHAEL MANN

Michael Bloomfield, g; Roy Ruby, g; Michael Mann, g.

Jam sessions, Cornwall Academy, Great Barrington, MA; Spring 1960


Unknown titles                                   Jam sessions


Probably in his Junior year, Bloomfield was sent to Cornwall Academy, a private school in Massachusetts. His close friend, Roy Ruby, was attending another prep school in nearby Lenox. Fellow student Michael Mann (later a folksinger in Greenwich Village) reported that he learned to play guitar from Bloomfield while there and that the three of them were a musical "triumvirate."

                                                                        

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/BOB GREENSPAN
Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Bob Grenspan, g, v; Vince Viti, p; Roy Ruby, b; Gerry Pasternack, d; possibly Mark Schinderman, ts.
Junior Prom, New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL; June(?) 1960

Pink Cadillac                                        Live performance
Other unknown titles


*VINCE VITI & THEM

Viti, p, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Bob Greenspan, g, v; possibly Roy Ruby, b; Gerry Pasternack, d.
PG’s Club 7, Highwood, IL; Summer 1960

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performances


Bob Greenspan recalled that when he and Bloomfield “were 15,” they were in a group called Vince Viti & Them. Viti was a 25-year-old boogie-woogie piano player, and they played what Greenspan called “Mike’s first gigs” at Club 7. They also played a Junior Prom at New Trier High School where Greenspan had just completed his Junior year. Michael was no longer attending NTHS at the time, having been asked to leave the school in late 1959. Viti confirms that after he played the prom with them, he formed a band with Michael and Bob and they played at Club 7 Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer. He believes the year was actually 1959, but other circumstances indicate it was more likely 1960.


*JAM SESSION

Walter Jacobs, hca, v; Chuck Berry, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Sunnyland Slim, p; unknown, b; Sam Lay, d.

Pride & Joy Club, Chicago, IL; 1960(?)


Unknown titles                                   Live performance


This is only one of numerous sessions that Bloomfield is reported to have taken part in as a teenager on the south side of Chicago. It’s listed here as an example of the sort of musical company he was keeping in his early years. At the same time, however, he was also playing rock 'n' roll on the North Side and in the suburbs, as indicated below.

1961-63


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g.

Chicago, IL; various dates, 1961-63

Unknown titles                                     Recordings made by Norman Dayron
 

AFTER playing electric guitar for most of his teen years, in 1961 Bloomfield concentrates almost exclusively on acoustic technique, learning a variety of folk blues, bluegrass and country styles. He collects rare records by artists like Merle Travis, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, and other country artists as well as sides by traditional blues players. He spends two years listening and picking up their styles. During this period, he briefly attends Roosevelt University but spends most of his time cutting classes to practice guitar in the student lounge.

1962


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v.

University of Chicago Folk Festival, Chicago, IL: February 1962

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

Photographer Peter Amft told author Bill Keenom that following the Rev. Gary Davis’s set at the folk festival in 1962, Bloomfield took Davis’s guitar and played one of the bluesman’s tunes “three times as fast.” Afterwards he said, “This isn't hard to do!” According to Fred Glazer, Bloomfield played acoustic guitar at several of the U. of C. folk fests, probably in 1962 and 1963.


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOT
Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Elliot, g, v.
Private party, Old Town, Chicago, IL; February 1962(?)

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

Fred Glazer recalled seeing Bloomfield play with Jack Elliot at a late night party. Elliot played at the U. of C. Folk Festival on February 4, so this performance may have been around that time.


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD
Michael Bloomfield, g, v; probably Roy Ruby, g.
New Dorms, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL: Spring 1962

Unknown titles                                  
Live performance

Mike Michaels, a Chicago friend and occasional harpist for Bloomfield, recalled seeing Michael play electric guitar around this time at one of the University’s ad-hoc Wednesday night “twist parties." Pianist Mark Naftalin first met Michael at a similar gathering. Paul Butterfield and Elvin Bishop also frequently performed at these New Dorms sessions, though after this night the university moved the weekly sessions to the more spacious Ida Noyes Hall, the student union. A recording exists from October 2, 1963 that appears to have Bloomfield sitting in with Butterfield and Bishop at one such party.


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Fred Glazer, hca; Warner Logan, d; others, including a sax player, unknown.

The Sink, Boulder, CO; June 1962


Limbo Rock                                        Live performances

Other unknown titles


Bloomfield and Fred Glazer spent three or four weeks bumming around Colorado in the summer of 1962. They formed a band to play at The Sink in Boulder and Bloomfield sat in with blues singer Judy Roderick several times in Denver. Warner Logan was the son of Happy Logan, the owner of a chain music stores in the Denver-Boulder area. Thanks to Fred Glazer and John Ivey for some of this information.


*JUDY RODERICK/MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Judy Roderick, v; Michael Bloomfield, g.

The Attic, Boulder, CO; June 1962

Take This Hammer                                   Private recording

Bedbug Blues

Katie Mae

Walkin' Blues (Thinking About a Friend)


In 2011, an article in The Denver Post listed Bloomfield as one of the performers at this short-lived coffee house. It was a tiny venue seating only 50 people and was located ironically downstairs from a pharmacy, across the street from The Sink where Bloomfield and Fred Glazer played with their ad-hoc rock/R&B band. But the Attic's owner, Joe Loop, reports that Bloomfield never officially performed there; he was too busy with his electric band at the Sink. Blues singer Judy Roderick did play at the Attic, and she asked Michael to record four short blues tunes with her in the club's kitchen to demonstrate some licks for her. Two of the tunes ("Katie" and "Walkin'") were by Lightnin' Hopkins. Fred Glazer recalled that Bloomfield sat in with “Judy Collins” while they were in Colorado, but Collins was in New York City by 1962; it's very likely he was referring to Roderick. Thanks to John Ivey for this information.


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE
Michael Bloomfield, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca.
Unknown venue, Gary, IN; 1962 or 1963(?)

Unknown titles                                 
Live performance

This is the gig that Roy Ruby recalled in a 1971 interview with Dan McClosky in which he described his misadventures with Big Joe Williams, a tale that is similar to Bloomfield’s own experiences with Williams chronicled in “Me & Big Joe.” The show took place in a “road house” in Gary and was broadcast live over WVON on Big Bill Hill’s radio show. Willie Dixon was the concert’s producer and Lightnin’ Hopkins was the headliner, with J.B. Lenoir’s “big band” opening. Michael recalled that he and Musselwhite were allowed to perform a few tunes. Big Joe went along as a sort of guardian for them, and also played a few solo numbers as a guest during the show. Roy drove Big Joe to the gig in his mother’s station wagon, and on the return trip, Big Joe, by then dead drunk, took them on an extended detour to visit Joe’s relatives in Gary. Bloomfield escaped the junket by riding home with Willie Dixon. Ruby recalled this escapade as having taken place when they “around 16 years old,” but that seems improbable as Musselwhite didn’t get to know them until 1960 or so. Thanks to Allen Bloomfield for this information.


*WESTWIND SINGERS
Don Wilson, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g, v, hca; Mike Horn, Gus Fleming, v.
Chicago, IL; 1962 or 1963

San Francisco Bay Blues                 Balkan CD-1007
Swing Down Chariot
I Can’t Get ‘Nuff Your Love
(MB, v, hca)
The Monkey and the Engineer

This recording was discovered by Peggy McVickar in February 2007. Discographer René Aagaard believes it to be from an audition tape, made probably in 1962 or ’63. Its issue on this folk compendium CD makes it the earliest available Bloomfield recording. Don Wilson later formed a graphic arts company with photographer Peter Amft and did album cover illustrations for Bloomfield and many others. Wilson and Mike Horn also had a Simon & Grafunkel-like duo around this time called Michael, Don & Nobody. Thanks to Joel Harlib for this information.

Bloomfield marries Susan Smith on September 4, 1962 in New Buffalo, Michigan.

1963


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v.

University of Chicago Folk Festival, Chicago, IL: January 1963(?)

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

*YANK RACHELL

Rachell, v, mand; Hammie Nixon, hca, jug; Sleepy John Estes, Michael Bloomfield, g; Big Joe Williams, g.

Chicago, IL; March 31, 1963

 

Up and Down the Line                        “Mandolin Blues,” Delmark DL-606

Bye Bye Baby                        

Stop Knockin’ on My Door     

Doorbell Blues

When My Baby Comes Back Home

Get Your Morning Exercise

   

Bloomfield plays on the above tunes only.

   

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD
Michael Bloomfield, g, v*; Horace Cathcart, b; Dean deWolf(?), v, g.
The Fickle Pickle, Chicago, IL; Spring 1963

You Been on the Job Too Long                                    Live performances

East Virginia Blues

Katy Dear

I Gave My Love a Cherry

St. James Infirmary

Hobo’s Lullaby

Freight Train*

Other unknown titles

Horace Cathcart recalled that he and Bloomfield began performing as a duo at the Fickle Pickle, and later were joined by Big Joe Williams, Sunnyland Slim, Washboard Sam and – on one occasion – Muddy Waters. These may have been shows produced by Bob Koester. Cathcart also says that Dean deWolf was their regular “featured artist" and he did most of the singing, though Bloomfield’s manager from 1964-65, Joel Harlib, does not believe that deWolf and Michael ever played together.

 

*PAUL PRESTOPINO
Prestopino, v, bjo; Michael Bloomfield, p; others unknown.
The Fickle Pickle, Chicago, IL; Spring 1963

Unknown titles
                                    Live performances

A fan recalled seeing Bloomfield play piano with Paul Prestopino’s bluegrass group when Michael was producing shows at the Fickle Pickle. Prestopino later went on to join the Chad Mitchell Trio.


*BIG JOE WILLIAMS
Williams, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g; Sunnyland Slim, v, p; Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; Washboard Sam, wshbd.
Parsons College, Fairfield, IA; Spring 1963

Unknown titles                                      Live performances

Bloomfield played two dates with Big Joe, Sunnyland and Washboard Sam at this college one weekend in spring 1963. Thanks to Horace Cathcart for this information.

 

*Little Brother Montgomery

Montgomery, v, p; Michael Bloomfield, g.

The Fickle Pickle, Chicago, IL; May(?) 1963

 

Michigan Water Blues                        “The Best of ...,” Takoma TAKCD-8905-2

Pleadin' Blues

In JUNE of 1963, Bloomfield, George Mitchell and Pete Welding begin producing Tuesday night blues sessions with Big Joe Williams and other older players at the Fickle Pickle. Norman Dayron records each performance and Michael and his wife, Susan, act as the club's short order cooks. Earlier, in April, Bloomfield meets Bob Dylan when the folksinger performs at the opening of Albert Grossman's club The Bear in Chicago.

*LAZY BILL LUCAS
Lucas, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g.
Unknown college, unknown location; Summer(?) 1963

Unknown titles                                  
Live performance

George Mitchell reported that Bloomfield accompanied Lucas during a college gig, possibly in the summer of 1963. Thanks to Bill Keenom for this information.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v, hca; Roy Ruby, g. 

Old Town Street Fair, Chicago, IL: June 8, 1963

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD
Michael Bloomfield, g, v.
Mother Blues, Chicago, IL: Summer(?) 1963

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

This may have been Bloomfield’s first solo gig. It was arranged by his manager, Joel Harlib, who had to “drag Mike from his apartment in Sandburg Village to the club” to get him to perform. Thanks to Joel Harlib for this information. It was this or a similar Mother Blues show that guitarist Barry Melton first saw Bloomfield perform.


*SUNNYLAND SLIM/ST. LOUIS JIMMY
St. Louis Jimmy, v, hca; Slim, v, p; J.B. Lenoir, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; John Lee Granderson, v, g; others unknown.
Nina’s Lounge, Chicago, IL; 1963

Brown Skin Woman                             “... Live in ’63,” Fuel 302 061 300 2
J.L.’s Blues
Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
That’s All Right


*B.B. KING/FREDDIE KING/ALBERT KING/BOBBY KING
B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g; Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; others unknown.
Ashland Auditorium, Chicago, IL; August 4, 1963

Unknown titles
                                    Live performance

Originally scheduled for the Regal Theater, this extravaganza – billed as the “Battle of the Kings” – was moved to the Ashland because of overflow crowds. Bloomfield was invited to sit in for the show’s closing performance on Sunday night. He took Cathcart with him and played for several hours during the final “jam.” While the Kings listed are those cited by Cathcart, a poster from Norman Dayron’s collection does not mention Freddie. Downbeat magazine listed a similar concert on July 7, 1964 with the headliners as B.B., Freddie, Junior Parker and Elmore Morris, and that might be the show in question.


*PAUL BUTTERFIELD & THE BUTTERCUPS
Paul Butterfield, v, hca; Elvin Bishop, g; Michael Bloomfield, g*; Buddy Wilson(?), b; Teddy Wilson(?), d.
Twist party, Ida Noyes Hall, U. of C., Chicago, IL; October 2, 1963

Untitled shuffle blues #1                     
Private recording
Help Me
Crazy About My Baby*
What’d I Say*
19 Years Old*
Untitled shuffle blues #2*
You Got Me Runnin’
Daddy's Getting Old*
Break Song* (fades in)

Here is Paul Butterfield on a late Wednesday night, performing with Elvin Bishop and the two unknown black players – possibly the Wilson brothers, Buddy (or Bobby) and Teddy, whom Norman Dayron believes worked in the Ida Noyes kitchen – the first edition of the Butterfield Blues Band. According to Jack "Applejack" Walroth, though, Buddy Wilson owned a shoe repair shop in Hyde Park. Aural evidence indicates that a second guitarist joins them in mid-set, and the player is almost certainly Bloomfield. Norman Dayron came up with the name “Buttercups,” much to Paul’s chagrin. Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for some of this information.

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/IRA KAMIN/MICHAEL MELFORD
Michael Bloomfield, g, v, hca; Kamin, banjo; Melford, mand.
Fickle Pickle, Chicago, IL: November 22, 1963

Unknown titles                                    
Live performance

Ira Kamin and Michael Melford had a bluegrass trio in which Bloomfield occasionally played guitar. On the night of the day President Kennedy was assassinated, Melford recalled they were on stage at the Fickle Pickle. They also had a booking agent who got them gigs around the Midwest.

1964


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, hca, v.

Norman Dayron’s apartment, Chicago, IL; January 28, 1964

 

Bullet Rag                               Recordings by Norman Dayron, issued with

Kingpin                                    “If You Love These Blues” by Wolkin & Keenom,

J.P. Morgan                             Miller Freeman Books, 2000

Steel Guitar Rag

Steel Guitar Rag, alt. take

Since I Met You Baby

Kimbark Street Jive

Other unknown titles

 

On “Kingpin," “Steel Guitar Rag” and "Kimbark Street Jive," Bloomfield overdubbed a second guitar part; "Since I Met You, Baby" has a guitar and harmonica part added.

 

*BIG JOE WILLIAMS

Williams, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, b.

University of Chicago Folk Festival, Chicago, IL: January 31, 1964

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD
Michael Bloomfield, g, v.
Chicago, IL; February 17 or 18(?), 1964

Who Killed Cock Robin                     
Tape recording
Other unknown titles?

This tune may have been recorded by Norman Dayron, either at his apartment or in photographer Mike Shea’s Chicago studio. “Cock Robin” is an English nursery rhyme. The date for this song (and any others) is uncertain. It may have been included on a demo tape that Bloomfield manager Joel Harlib took to Columbia producer John Hammond (see next entry).
 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD
Michael Bloomfield, g, v, hca, kazoo.
Columbia Studios, New York, NY; Late February or early March 1964

Country Boy Blues (I’m a Country Boy)    
Sony Legacy
Judge, Judge
Hammond Rag
Got My Mojo Working
                                 unissed

God Don't Like Ugly

Got the Blues (Feelin' Called the Blues)

Don't Lay That Snake on Me

J.P. Morgan

You Got Me Runnin'

These tunes all come from Blomfield's audition for producer Columbia John Hammond. The first three were included in the Sony Legacy Bloomfield box set and were supplied by Al Kooper from a tape Michael had given him. The remainder are from acetates from Paul Thompson's collection. Two of those discs were offered as acetates in eBay auctions in 2004 and early 2006. The label on “Got the Blues” reads “Columbia Reference #Job 90334, unreleased,” and “Attn: John Hammond.” “Country Boy Blues” came with a paper sleeve on which was also penciled “Attn: John Hammond.” These recordings happened because Bloomfield’s manager at the time, Joel Harlib, made a cold-call on Hammond, probably in early 1964, and was able to get the legendary producer to listen to a demo the guitarist’s material. Hammond was so impressed that he had Michael come to New York for an audition. During contract negotiations following Bloomfield’s signing with the label, John Hammond suffered a heart attack and was unable to come to Chicago for a full recording session until December 1964. By that time Bloomfield had put together an ad-hoc band, “The Group,” and was working at Magoo’s and Big John’s. Hammond arranged a session in Chicago on December 7 and another on March 1, 1965 in New York. Though Michael had a contract, Columbia was unsure how to market him and did nothing with the demo recordings. Thanks to Al Kooper, Peggy McVickar, Paul Thompson and Joel Harlib for this information.


*SLEEPY JOHN ESTES

Estes, v, g; Yank Rachell, mand; Hammie Nixon, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g.

Chicago, IL; March 3, 1964

 

3 O’clock Morning Blues                  “Broke and Hungry,” Delmark DS-608

Beale Street Sugar

Everybody Oughta Change

Broke And Hungry     

 

Bloomfield plays on the these tunes only.

 

BRIAN JONES’ new group, the Rolling Stones, debuts in England with an eponymous release in April 1964. The record features a mix of American R&B, blues and rock covers, including Willie Dixon's “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” Five of its titles were recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago with Ron Malo as engineer and Norman Dayron assisting.

 

*DEAN DEWOLF

deWolf, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g(?); Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; others unknown.

Chicago IL; Spring(?) 1964

 

Unknown titles                       Argo demo recording(?)

 

Some sources report that this was the recording that got John Hammond Sr. interested in Bloomfield. This seems doubtful as Joel Harlib, Bloomfield’s agent at the time, reports that he took a tape made from Norman Dayron recordings of Bloomfield to Hammond and that recording caused the producer to arrange a demo session. The confusion may stem from the fact that Harlib also managed deWolf. Horace Cathcart recalled playing with Bloomfield on a deWolf demo session for Argo, and deWolf later recorded an album for Chess’ Argo label called “Folk Swinger.” Bloomfield is not present on that album, nor on deWolf's subsequent Argo release, his last. Thanks to Horace Cathcart, Joel Harlib and Rene Aagaard for this information.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/ROY RUBY
Michael Bloomfield, g; Roy Ruby, classical g.
Norman Dayron's apartment, Hyde Park, IL; 1964(?)

Raga                                        
Private recording

Ruby was Bloomfield's closest childhood friend and a budding musician and poet. Michael formally introduces this 15-minute piece, so he and Roy must have viewed it as a serious recording session. According to Fred Glazer, Ruby was the one who introduced Bloomfield and the rest of their high school friends to Indian music and ragas.

 

*EDDIE BOYD

Boyd, p, v; Michael Bloomfield, g.

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 16, 1964

 

Five Long Years                                 Recording done for Swedish Radio

Her Picture in the Frame       

Early Grave    

The Big Question       

Look Over Yonder’s Wall      

Interview

 

*YANK RACHELL

Rachell, mand, v; John Lee Granderson, g; Michael Bloomfield, p.

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 16, 1964

 

Going to Pack Up My Things              Recording done for Swedish Radio

I Hear My Baby Call My Name

My Baby Rocks Me

My Baby’s Gone, Soon I’ll Be Gone Myself

Interview       

 

*SUNNYLAND SLIM

Slim, p; Michael Bloomfield, g. 

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 19, 1964

 

Brownskin Woman                             Recording done for Swedish Radio

It’s You Baby

One Room Country Shack 

Sunnyland’s Jump     

The Devil Is a Busy Man
I Done You Wrong
Early One Morning

 

*ST. LOUIS JIMMY

Jimmy, hca, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Sunnyland Slim, p; Washboard Sam, washboard. 

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 19, 1964

 

Can’t Stand Your Evil Ways               Recording done for Swedish Radio

Complete Disorder    

Poor Boy

The Girl I Love

Monkey Faced Woman

 

*LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY

Montgomery, p, v; Michael Bloomfield, g. 

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 21, 1964

 

West Texas Blues                               Recording done for Swedish Radio

Cow Cow Blues

Vicksburg Blues

Goin’ Up the Country  

Suitcase Blues 

Interview


*WASHBOARD SAM

Washboard Sam, washboard, v; Blind John Davis, p; Michael Bloomfield, g; Ransom Knowling, b.

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 1964

 

Unknown titles                                   Recording done for Swedish Radio(?)

 

These sessions were produced by Olle Helander for his “I Blueskvarter” radio show in Sweden. They are issued on Jefferson SBACD 12653/4. The Washboard Sam session, recalled by Bob Koester, may have only been an inaccurate collective memory of the other documented dates.

 

IN JULY 1964 Bloomfield travels to East St. Louis, IL, with Big Joe Williams, a junket chronicled in a spoken narrative by Bloomfield that was recorded by Norman Dayron in the early ’70s. The narrative was transcribed and later published by City Lights in 1980 under the title “Me & Big Joe.” Scott Summerville assisted in bringing the tale to print. A version also appeared in High Times magazine with illustrations by Robert Crumb. 

 

*JOHN HAMMOND

Hammond, v, hca, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Robbie Robertson, g; Michael Bloomfield, p; Jimmy Lewis, b; Levon Helm, d.

New York, NY; June(?) 1964

 

Down in the Bottom                                “So Many Roads,” Vanguard VSD-7917

Long Distance Call                                         

Who Do You Love                                                      

I Want You to Love Me                                             

Rambling Blues                                                          

You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover                                  

Gambling Blues                                                          

Big Boss Man

I Wish You Would Come Back, Baby     “Mirrors,” Vanguard VSD-79245

Traveling Riverside                                               

 

Bloomfield plays on the above tunes only. “So Many Roads” was released by Vanguard in 1965 but was recorded in the summer of 1964. Bloomfield may have been visiting New York City at the time with his then-sidekick Charlie Musselwhite, sitting in at various folk clubs. Charlie recalls running into Hammond that summer and John’s inviting them to play on the session. Michael was reportedly intimidated by Robertson’s guitar playing and thus opted to play piano despite Hammond’s desire to have two electric guitars on the session. The real reason may have been that Michael’s electric chops were rusty after having spent two years playing only acoustic blues, and he may not have had an electric guitar with him. Bob Dylan reportedly attended the session after Albert Grossman’s assistant, Mary Martin, told him about a Toronto band he should check out called the Hawks. While there he got reacquainted with Bloomfield (whom he had met earlier in Chicago) and presumably was inspired to call Michael for the “Highway 61” sessions later the following year. Supposedly the ensemble jammed afterwards at a Manhattan club.


BLOOMFIELD JOINS Big Joe Williams and Charlie Musselwhite who are performing at Big John’s in the summer of 1964, accompanying them on piano. In the fall, after Williams leaves, Bloomfield forms a band with Musselwhite later known as The Group, and they begin performing at Big John’s regularly.

 

*ROBERT NIGHTHAWK

Nighthawk, v, g; John Lee Ganderson, g; Michael Bloomfield, v, g(?), interview.

Maxwell Street market, Chicago, IL; September 1964

 

Interview                                “And This Is Maxwell Street,” Rooster Records

Kansas City    

Dust My Broom

Peter Gunn Jam

Red Top/Ornithology

 

*Johnny YOUNG

Young, v, mand, g; Michael Bloomfield, g(?); Robert Nighthawk, g.

Maxwell Street market, Chicago, IL; September 1964

 

The Sun Is Shining                 “And This Is Maxwell Street,” Rooster Records

All I Want for My Breakfast  

 

These Maxwell Street performances come from recordings for a film called “And This Is Free,” made in 1964 by Michael Shea with assistance from Bloomfield and Norman Dayron. Patrick Shea, Michael’s son, produced the Rooster release. Dayron recalled that Bloomfield did not play on any of the above selections with the exception of "Red Top/Ornithology," though some critics felt the guitarist on that title was Little Arthur Watson. The Nighthawk material was originally issued by Dayron on a Rounder LP entitled "Robert Nighthawk and His Magic Fingers of Flame: Live on Maxwell Street" in 1981.

 

*ARVELLA GRAY

Gray, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Jim Brewer, g; Chicago Slim, hca.

Maxwell Street market, Chicago, IL; Summer 1964(?)

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

This Maxwell Street session was recalled by folk singer and guitarist Art Thieme. Gray was a street singer on Maxwell Street who played with a unique bottleneck style. The date is unclear and the jam may have occurred in 1963 or earlier.


Guitarist Eric Clapton records as a member of the English blues-rock group the Yardbirds on “5 Live” in the fall of 1964.


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE
Michael Bloomfield, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Erwin Helfer, p.
Big John’s, Chicago, IL; September 1964

Unknown titles                        
Live performances

Downbeat magazine noted that Big Joe Williams, who originally had the gig at Big John’s, returned to St. Louis, MO, leaving Bloomfield and Musselwhite to carry on. The magazine stated that they were playing there Friday and Saturday nights in September and had added pianist Erwin Helfer. Charlie Musselwhite recalls that Helfer wasn’t really part of the group, just someone who “stopped in occasionally to sit in.”

 

*THE GROUP
Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Brian Friedman, el p; Roy Ruby(?), b; Norm Mayell, d.
Mike Shea's studio, Chicago IL; September 3, 1964

43rd Street Blues                  
 Private recording
Rambling Blues
Drifting and Drifting
I'm in the Mood
Five Long Years
I Got Fooled
The First Year I Got Married
I Done Got Wise
Katie Mae
I Got You in the Palm of My Hand

Bloomfield's new band, The Group, recorded in photographer and film maker Mike Shea's small studio a full three months before they would do so officially for John Hammond. The identity of the bass and drum players is uncertain, though Norm Mayell confirms that he was the drummer; the bassist may have been Bob Wolff. The pianist is most likely Brian Friedman who was described by his contemporaries as a brilliant blues player. Norman Dayron produced this recording.


*THE GROUP

Michael Bloomfield, g; Michael Johnson, g; Sid Warner, b; Norm Mayell, d.

Big John’s, Chicago, IL; October 15, 1964

 

Blues for Roy              Recording by Norman Dayron, issued with

                                    “If You Love These Blues” by Wolkin & Keenom,

                                    Miller Freeman Books, 2000

 

By October, Bloomfield's band at Big John's included drummer Norm Mayell and bassist Sidney Warner (who had replaced Roy Ruby or Bob Wolff). The new group performed on Fridays and Saturdays at the club through October. Charlie Musselwhite recalls that they usually would do seven sets a night, from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

 

*THE GROUP

Michael Bloomfield, g; Michael Johnson, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Sid Warner, b; Norm Mayell, d.

Big John’s, Chicago IL; October 15, 1964

 

Country Boy                Recordings by Norman Dayron, issued with

Gotta Call Susie          “If You Love These Blues” by Wolkin & Keenom,

                                    Miller Freeman Books, 2000

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, p.

Big John’s, Chicago IL; October 15(?), 1964

 

Intermission Blues                 Recording by Norman Dayron, issued with

                                                “If You Love These Blues” by Wolkin & Keenom,

                                                Miller Freeman Books, 2000


*THE GROUP
Michael Bloomfield, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; probably Brian Friedman, p; Michael Johnson(?), g; Sid Warner, b; Norm Mayell, d.
Big John’s(?), Chicago IL; Fall(?) 1964

Automobile Blues                        
Recordings by Norman Dayron

The rhythm guitarist here sounds like it might be Elvin Bishop. By mid-November, Downbeat listed Bloomfield's band as playing Thursday through Saturday nights at Big John's.


*MIKE BLOOMFIELD'S RHYTHM & BLUES BAND
Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Nick Gravenites, g, v; others unknown.
Student Union, U. of Wisconsin, Ann Arbor, MI; 1964(?)

Unknown titles
                                    Live performance

Guitarist and technician Dan Erlewine recalled seeing Bloomfield and his band as early as 1963 while Dan was in college. He believes Gravenites was also in the band. If Nick was indeed present, the year was probably 1964.


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD
Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Charlie Musselwhite, Roy Ruby, Norman Dayron, v.
Norman Dayron’s apartment, Chicago IL; Fall(?) 1964

Let’s Get Some Dope              Recording by Norman Dayron

According to Norman Dayron, this comic tune was improvised by Bloomfield in Dayron’s apartment. It concerns a snail’s lament while "inching his way across a vast field of marijuana next to the federal penitentiary in Lexington, Kentucky, and singing in a tiny voice, 'Let's get some dope.'" Musselwhite, Ruby and Dayron joined Bloomfield on the chorus. The tune was initially supposed to be issued on the CD that accompanies “If You Love These Blues” but was cut from the final release.

 

*The Group

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Michael Johnson, g; Brian Friedman, el p; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Bob Wolff or Sid Warner, b; Norm Mayell, d.

Big John’s, Chicago, IL; Mid-November 1964

Unknown titles                         Live performances

Pete Welding reviewed several performances by The Group in the December 3, 1964 edition of Downbeat magazine, describing the band as “rapidly evolving into one of the finest, fiercest-swinging rhythm-and-blues combinations in Chicago.” He also noted that the group occasionally “suffered from time difficulties.” Thanks to Peggy McVickar for this information. Michael Johnson recalled that during this period Paul Butterfield and Elvin Bishop would frequently sit in with the band. According to Fred Glazer, The Group also performed at Mother Blues and the Second Chance at this time.

 

BLOOMFIELD’S BAND, The Group, becomes the house band at Magoo’s in Chicago in late November 1964.

 

Personnel as above.
Magoo’s, Chicago, IL; Late November 1964

Unknown titles
                         Live performances

Norman Dayron made recordings of The Group at Magoo’s during their residency there. Thanks to Norman Dayron for this information. Mike Johnson reported that after performing one night, the McGovern brothers (who owned Magoo's and were believed to be Mafia members) took the group to a southern Illinois farm to go pheasant hunting. Downbeat magazine listed The Group as playing Wednesday through Sunday nights at Magoo’s, beginning with the December 3rd issue. Sid Warner, who had known the McGoverns before joining The Group, got the band the gig.


Personnel as above, omit Wolff.

Columbia Studio A, Chicago, IL; December 7, 1964

 

I Feel So Good                        “Essential Blues,” Columbia CK 57631

I Feel So Good, alt. take 1

I Feel So Good, alt. take 2

Goin’ Down Slow

Goin’ Down Slow, alt. take 1                   

I’ve Got You In the Palm Of My Hand

I’ve Got You In the Palm Of My Hand, alt. take 1

The First Year I Was Married

I’ve Got My Mojo Working

Last Night     

 

This date was produced by John Hammond after a long delay getting Bloomfield into the studio for a full recording session due to Hammond suffering a heart attack in the spring of 1964. Hammond saw The Group perform at Magoo’s prior to this session, and was not very impressed. 

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE
Michael Bloomfield, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca.
Unknown folk festival, unknown town, IL; Winter 1964

 

Unknown titles                             Live performance


Charlie Musselwhite recalled to Bill Keenom that he and Bloomfield sat in at a folk festival in one of Chicago's western suburbs just before The Group broke up. Bloomfield talked the festival organizers into letting them perform.


*The Group

Personnel as December 7; add Tracy Nelson, v.
Magoo’s, Chicago, IL; December 31, 1964

 

Auld Lang Syne                             Live performance

Other unknown titles

Singer Tracy Nelson, who was dating Charlie Musselwhite at the time, recalled catching the band’s performance on New Year’s Eve. The owner insisted that the band play “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight, so the annoyed Bloomfield asked Nelson to sing it with them. She did, and when the time came, The Group performed it as an up-tempo shuffle! Bloomfield's band continued to play five days a week at McGoo's – though Michael hated the place – until early February 1965.

 

*NICK GRAVENITES/MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD
Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Gravenites, v, g; Brian Friedman, p; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Jos Davidson, b; Bennie Ruffin, d.
The End, Chicago, IL; Winter 1964/1965

Unknown titles                        
Live performances

Gravenites and Bloomfield briefly formed a band after The Group left Magoo’s and before Michael joined Butterfield’s quartet. The loosely organized group occasionally rehearsed at Nick’s parents’ home in the Chicago suburbs. During that time, Bloomfield created an extended instrumental based on Nick’s tune “It’s About Time.” Parts of it were later incorporated into his piece “East-West.” Brian Friedman became incapacitated was replaced by another pianist named (?) Whitehead. Bennie Ruffin was the son of the legendary Vaudeville entertainers, Butterbeans & Susie. Thanks to Nick Gravenites, Charlie Musselwhite and Bruno Ceriotti for this information.

  

1965


 *PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND
Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield(?), g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.
Village Gate, New York, NY; Late February/early March 1965

Unknown titles                                     Live performances

An article in the New York Times described Butterfield’s appearances at the Village Gate as the band’s New York debut.
Bloomfield may have occasionally sat in with the group.

 

BLOOMFIELD buys a 1964 Fender Telecaster to use during his upcoming New York recording sessions. He lacks enough money to purchase a case for it.

 

*The Group(?)

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Michael Johnson, g; Brian Friedman, p; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Sid Warner, b; Norm Mayell, d.

New York, NY; March 1, 1965

 

I Got My Mojo Working                      “Essential Blues,” Columbia CK 57631

I Got My Mojo Working, alt. take

I’m Cutting Out

Lonesome Blues

 

While Columbia lists the personnel for this demo session as above, neither Mike Johnson, Norm Mayell or Sidney Warner have any recollection of participating in a New York City recording date with Bloomfield. Perhaps the band was Brian Friedman, Roy Ruby and Jos Davidson as Fred Glazer recalled, but aural evidence suggests that the drummer is Sam Lay. The group may have actually included members of the Butterfield band (with Musselwhite on harp) backing Bloomfield. They were simply uncredited due to their contract with Elektra and because the date was just a demo session. A photo from the session shows that Butterfield himself was indeed present. Charlie Musselwhite confirms that Butterfield was there, but has no recollection of any Butterfield players participating in the session.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Bill Lee, b; others unknown.

New York, NY; Spring(?) 1965

 

Unknown titles                                   Audition for Columbia

 

Al Kooper reportedly has a copy of this audition tape which has Bloomfield playing acoustic guitar and scolding bassist Lee and producer John Hammond. It may have come from the March 1 session.

 

ERIC CLAPTON joins John Mayall’s blues band in April 1965.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g, org, p; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

New York, NY; March/April 1965

 

Born in Chicago                      “Folksong '65,” Elektra S-78

Born in Chicago, alt. take      

Lovin’ Cup                               “What’s Shakin’,” Elektra K-4002

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl         

One More Mile                       

Spoonful         

Off the Wall   

 

Both these Elektra albums were budget-priced compendiums. "Folksong '65" was released in September 1965 and was an immediate bestseller for the label. "Born in Chicago" created an underground buzz on college campuses for the Butterfield Band. "What's Shakin'" was released in August 1966 in an effort to repeat Elektra's success with the first album.

 

Personnel, location, date as above.

 

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl          ”The Original Lost Elektra Sessions,” Elektra/Rhino R273505

Just to Be With You   

Help Me                                              

Hate to See You Go                                              

Poor Boy                                                               

Nut Popper #1                                                                  

Everything’s Gonna Be All Right                                 

Rock Me                                                                

It Hurts Me Too                                              

Our Love Is Driftin’                                       

Take Me Back Baby*                                       

Mellow Down Easy                                        

Ain’t No Need to Go No Further*                               

Love Her With a Feeling                                           

Piney Brown Blues                                        

That’s All Right                                                          

Goin’ Down Slow                                                       

 

Aural evidence indicates “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” is the same performance as the one issued on “What’s Shakin’.” Mark Naftalin plays organ on “Love Her with a Feeling,” indicating that it was recorded on September 9 or later. Bloomfield may not play on these titles (*) as they are by a quartet with only one guitar. According to Fred Glazer, at about this time Michael brought his band that now included Brian Friedman, Roy Ruby and Jos Davidson to Columbia in New York to record the second demo for Hammond. Friedman returned to Chicago before they could go into the studio, so Bloomfield and his men paid a visit to the Elektra studios to watch Butterfield's recording session. It was there that Paul Rothchild suggested Bloomfield sit in on a few tunes and then told Butterfield he had to hire Michael, saying “This is the band!” Elektra dates these performances as “winter 1964,” but researcher Bruno Ceriotti suggests that they were almost certainly done in the spring of 1965, right around the time Bloomfield recorded his New York demo session for Columbia. David Gedalecia, a close friend of Norman Dayron's, recalled attending one of the Butterfield sessions in March or April (see Recollections page), and Dayron's photos from that session confirm that Bloomfield was present.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Cafe Au Go-Go, New York, NY; Spring (?) 1965

 

Unknown titles                                   Recordings done over four nights for Elektra

 

These recordings were made under the direction of Paul Rothchild in an effort to capture the excitement of the Butterfield band in live performance. The resulting material unfortunately did not meet expectations and was not released.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD
Michael Bloomfield, g; possibly Nick Gravenites, v, g; Brian Friedman, p; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Jos Davidson, b; Bennie Ruffin, d.
Big John’s, Chicago, IL; April 1965

Unknown titles                                 
Live performances

Downbeat magazine listed Bloomfield as performing at Big John’s “until further notice” in its April issues.

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, hca; Al Gorgoni, Michael Bloomfield, unknown (Al Kooper?), g; Al Kooper, org; Paul Griffin, p; Joseph Macho, Jr., b; Bobby Gregg, d; Bruce Langhorne, tamb.

New York, NY; June 15, 1965

 

Like a Rolling Stone, alt. take

Like a Rolling Stone, alt. take

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry       “Highway 61 Revisited,”

                                                                                     Columbia CS-9189

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry, alt. take 1           

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry, alt. take 2

Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence         “The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3,” Sony 65302

Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence, alt. take 1

Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence, alt. take 2

 

The unknown guitarist, seen in a photo of this rehearsal session, bears a striking resemblance to Al Kooper. The guitarist apparently played only briefly, as he appears in only one of the pictures.      

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g, Al Kooper, org; Paul Griffin, p; Joseph Macho, Jr., b; Bobby Gregg, d.  

New York, NY; June 16, 1965

 

Like a Rolling Stone                            “Highway 61 Revisited,” Columbia CS-9189

Like a Rolling Stone, alt. take

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window        “Highway 61 Revisited,” Columbia

                                                                            CS-9189

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window, alt. take

 

Bloomfield rehearsed these titles and others for “Highway 61 Revisited” for three days at Dylan’s Woodstock home prior these sessions. He flew into New York and Dylan picked him up at the airport and drove him upstate.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND
Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g, p(?); Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.
Cafe Au Go-Go, New York, NY; June 16, 1965

Unknown titles                         
Live performance

Fellow Chicagoan Mike Michaels reported meeting Bloomfield back stage at the Au Go-Go on this date and hearing Michael talk excitedly about recording with Dylan that day. Bloomfield then demonstrated “Like a Rolling Stone” on piano.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND(?)
Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.
New York Folk Festival, Carnegie Hall, New York, NY; June 18 or 19, 1965

Unknown titles                         Live performance

Butterfield was listed as a possible performer in a program called “The Evolution of Funk” at this first New York City folk festival. The program was presented on Friday and repeated on Saturday of the four-day festival with Chuck Berry headlining. Whether Butterfield actually appeared, and if that performance was with the whole band, is unknown.


*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Cafe Au Go-Go, New York, NY; June 27, 1965

 

Unknown titles                       Live performance


*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD
Michael Bloomfield,emcee.
Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI; July 23, 1965

Bloomfield Introduces Lightnin’ Hopkins                     “Lightnin’ Hopkins at Newport,” Vanguard UV067

This performance was part of the Newport Folk Festival’s Friday morning “Blue Guitar” workshop. Bloomfield acted as the emcee along with Mack McCormick for the 2-hour program. An uncredited Sam Lay joined Lightnin’ on the guitarist’s last few tunes. Bloomfield was at Newport at the request of Paul Butterfield, who asked him to perform as lead guitarist with his band.


*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND
Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d; Nick Gravenites, v;
Bruce Langhorne*, tmbn.
Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI; July 23, 1965

Look Over Yonders Wall                                         “Blues With a Feeling,” Vanguard VCD2-77005
Born in Chicago*
Other unknown titles


The Butterfield Blues Band was a late addition to the roster at Newport – advertisements for the concert series make no mention of the group – and they had been originally scheduled to perform only during the Friday and Saturday afternoon workshops. This performance was part of an afternoon workshop called “Blues: Origins and Offshoots.” The band was introduced in a disparaging manner by Alan Lomax, after which Lomax and Butterfield manager Albert Grossman came to blows. Photos taken by David Gahr of the band in an afternoon performance come from this workshop.

Personnel as above.
Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI; July 24, 1965

Juke                                            Live performance
Other unknown titles

This performance was part of a Saturday afternoon workshop called “Bluesville.” Because of the buzz the band created with its exciting electric blues, Grossman was able to secure them a place on the Sunday afternoon concert. A sudden rain storm caused the band to move its appearance to the evening concert. Portions of this workshop performance appear in Murray Lerner’s 1967 film “Festival.”

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND
Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d; Nick Gravenites, v.
Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI; July 25, 1965

Mellow Down Easy                            “Newport Folk Festival 1965,” Vanguard VRS-9225
Blues With A Feeling                        “Blues With a Feeling,” Vanguard VCD2-77005
Blues For Ruth
Why Don't You All Quit It
Elvin's Blues
That’s All Right (NG, v)
It's About Time (NG, v)
It's True (NG, v)
Work Song

Born in Chicago

This was the opening set of the final night of the festival. Vanguard reportedly recorded everything at Newport and thus must have captured all the Butterfield performances on tape. Portions of this performance and an interview with Bloomfield appear in Murray Lerner’s 1967 film “Festival.”
 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g; Al Kooper, org, b; Barry Goldberg, org, p; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI; July 25, 1965

 

Maggie’s Farm                “Live in Newport ’65,” Document DR 004 (Bootleg)

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry      

Like a Rolling Stone  

 

Al Kooper plays bass for Jerome Arnold and Barry Goldberg switches to organ on "Rolling Stone." Portions of Dylan’s sound check and set appear in Murray Lerner’s 1967 film “Festival,” in his expanded 2007 release called "The Other Side of the Mirror" and in Martin Scorsese’s 2005 TV special “No Direction Home” (which uses Lerner’s extra footage). This was Dylan's historic first "electric" performance, a controversial fifteen minutes that sharply divided the traditional folk community and led to much criticism of Dylan by acoustic music fans. It also led to the creation of the "folk-rock" sound, a whole new category of popular music. The band rehearsed the music during hastily arranged practice sessions at producer George Wein’s Newport estate on Saturday evening.

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Al Kooper, org; Paul Griffin or Frank Owens, p; Joseph Macho Jr. or Russ Savakus, b; Bobby Gregg, d.

New York, NY; July 29, 1965

 

Tombstone Blues                                            “Highway 61 Revisited,” Columbia CS-9189

Tombstone Blues, alt. take    

Positively 4th Street                                      “Greatest Hits,” Columbia KCS-9463

Positively 4th Street, alt. take

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry, alt. take

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Cafe Au Go-Go, New York, NY; July 27-August 1, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                      Live performances

 

An ad in the Village Voice for these performances promotes the band as “just back from Newport.”

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Al Kooper, org; Paul Griffin or Arthur (?), p; Harvey Brooks or Russ Savakus, b; Bobby Gregg, d.

New York, NY; July 30, 1965

                                           

From a Buick 6                                   “Highway 61 Revisited,” Columbia CS-9189

From a Buick 6, alt. take 1                            

From a Buick 6, alt. take 2             

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window, alt. take

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window, alt. take

Desolation Row   

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, p, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Al Kooper, org; Paul Griffin or Frank Owens, p; Harvey Brooks, b; Bobby Gregg or Sam Lay, d.

New York, NY; August 2, 1965

 

Highway 61 Revisited                        “Highway 61 Revisited,” Columbia CS-9189

Highway 61 Revisited, alt. take 

Highway 61 Revisited, alt. take                                      

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues            

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, alt. take  

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, alt. take 

Queen Jane Approximately

Queen Jane Approximately, alt. take

Queen Jane Approximately, alt. take

Ballad of a Thin Man

Ballad of a Thin Man, alt. take                        

Desolation Row 

Desolation Row, alt. take


PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND
Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d, v.
King's Rook, Ipswich, MA; August 5-7, 1965


Unknown titles                                   
 Live performances

Thanks to Ian Woodward for this date.

 

Personnel as above
Mooncusser Cafe, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, MA; August 10-15, 1965

Unknown titles                                   
 Live performances

Geoff Muldaur recalled that the Butterfield Band performed at this venue not long after its appearance at Newport. They were so loud that the mirror on the wall in the bar next door fell and smashed on the floor. Thanks to Bill Keenom for this information.

 

Personnel as above.

Club 47, Cambridge, MA; August 16-18, 1965

Unknown titles                                   
 Live performances

The Butterfield band played a three-night stand at Club 47 in the days following the Newport Folk Festival. Some of the group stayed at club-owner Jim Rooney’s home. Rooney paid what he thought was the huge sum of $100 per night to host the band due to the buzz they had created at Newport.
         

 

Personnel as above
Cafe Au Go-Go,
New York, NY; August 25-30, September 1-4, 1965

Unknown titles                                   
 Live performance

Oscar Brown Jr. shared the bill with the Butterfield Band for these dates.


Personnel as above
Cafe Au Go-Go,
New York, NY; September 6-12, 1965

Unknown titles                                   
 Live performance

John Hammond shared the bill with the Butterfield Band for these dates. Thanks to Peggy McVickar for these listings.


*Chuck Berry

Berry, v, g; Paul Butterfield or Peter Hogan, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Johnny Johnson, p; Chuck Bernard, b; Jasper Thomas, d.

Chicago, IL; September 3, 1965

 

It Wasn’t Me                                                   “Fresh Berrys,” Chess LP 1498

Ain’t That Just Like a Woman                       

Sad Days and Long Nights                             Chess CRL 4506

 

Butterfield and Bloomfield may have been overdubbed on this session at a later date.

 

*PETER, PAUL AND MARY

Peter Yarrow, v, g;  Michael Bloomfield, g; Paul Butterfield, hca; Mark Naftalin, org; Bill Lee, b; Buddy Saltzman, d.

New York, NY; 1965

 

The King of Names                                         “Album,” Warner Bros. WS-1648

 

*JUDY COLLINS

Collins, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Al Kooper, org; others unknown.

New York, NY; 1965

 

I'll Keep It with Mine                                    Elektra EK 45601

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d, v.

New York, NY; September 9, other dates, 1965

 

Shake Your Money Maker**           “The Paul Butterfield Blues Band,” Elektra K-294

Born in Chicago                                                        

Blues with a Feeling                                            

Thank You Mr. Poobah**                                              

I Got My Mojo Working (SL, v)                                

Mellow Down Easy*                                        

Last Night*                                                      

Screamin’                                                             

Our Love Is Drifting**                                            

Mystery Train                                                

Look Over Yonder’s Wall*

Other unknown titles

 

Mark Naftalin, who played piano occasionally with Butterfield in Chicago at University of Chicago twist parties, was added to the band during the September 9th session. Naftalin does not play on these tunes (*); Bishop does not play on these (**). According to Paul Rothchild, the first Butterfield album, consisting of titles recorded during the late winter of 1964-65 (see listings for March/April), was scrapped right before it was scheduled to ship because the producers felt they hadn’t really captured the essence of the band. In his liner notes for the above CD, Rothchild seems to suggest that other titles from this session remain unissued, and an ad from the September 1965 edition of “Sing Out” magazine proves this to be the case. The ad – for the original version of Elektra EKS-7294 – lists the following titles and personnel:
 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND
Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g, org, p; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.
New York, NY; Winter 1964

Born in Chicago
(1)(2)                           Elektra EKS-7294 (withdrawn)
Hate to See You Go
(1)
Look Over Yonder’s Wall
(3)
Lovin’ Cup
(1)
Black Night
Off the Wall
(2)
Just to Be with You
(1)
Mystery Train
(3)
Rock Me
(1)
Good Mornin’ Little School Girl
(1)(2)
Blues for Ruth
I’m Goin’ Home
One More Mile
(2)

The “Sing Out” ad also has a picture of an album cover which is the same design as the cover for the record that was actually released. Most of the titles from this original release have been issued on (1)”The Original Lost Elektra Sessions,” Elektra/Rhino R273505; (2) “What’s Shakin’,” Elektra EKS 74002; or (3) the released version of “The Paul Butterfield Blues Band,” Elektra EKS-7294. The remaining three titles have never been issued.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Philadelphia Folk Festival, Paoli, PA; September 11, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                               Live performance

 

As at Newport, audiences in Paoli were not prepared for the loud, electric sound of the Butterfield Band. Some listeners reportedly got up and ran from the stage, shouting, “Shut it off!”

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Big John’s, Chicago, IL; 5-6 week run, October/November 1965

 

Unknown titles           Live performances

 

*Nick Gravenites

Gravenites, v, g; Lester Bowie, tp; Julian Priester, tbn; Roscoe Mitchell, as; Elvin Bishop, Michael Bloomfield(?), g; Paul Butterfield, hca; Erwin Helfer, harpsichord; Scotty Holt, b; Steve McCall, d.

Michael Shea's studio, Chicago, IL; Fall 1965

 

Whole Lotta Soul                    Out of Sight Records

Drunken Boat                                                 

 

Mark Naftalin reports that aural evidence indicates Bishop is present on one of these titles but Bloomfield does not play on either of them. This was the first released session Norman Dayron produced on his own; Dayron confirms that Bloomfield was not present.
 

*DICK CAMPBELL

Campbell, v, rhm g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jimmy Vincent, Michael Bloomfield, 12-string g; Paul Butterfield, hca; Peter Cetera, b; Marty Grebb, perc; Sam Lay, Larry Wrice, d.

Chicago, IL; Fall(?) 1965

 

Sandi                                       “Sings Where It's At,” Mercury SR61060

Despairs Cafeteria                                               

You've Got to Be Kidding        

Don Juan of the Western World 

Object of Derision        

Aphrodite's Child

The Blues Peddlers

The People Planners 

Approximately Four Minutes of Feeling Sorry for D.C.

 

Same or similar personnel as above.

Chicago, IL; November 1965

 

Ask Me If I Care                     “Sings Where It's At,” Mercury SR61060

Where Were You                                                             

Girls Named Misery                                            

 

This recording by folksinger Campbell was Mercury's attempt to cash in on the success Columbia was having with Bob Dylan.

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield(?), g; probably Robbie Robertson, g; Richard Manuel, p; Garth Hudson, org; Rick Danko, b; Mickey Jones, d.

Music Hall, Cleveland, OH; November 12, 1965

 

Unknown titles                       Live performance

 

A fan reported Bloomfield’s presence at this concert. In “If You Love These Blues,” Mark Naftalin recalled staying with Sam Lay’s family in Cleveland on the band’s way to the Unicorn gig, so it is quite possible that Bloomfield could have made an appearance at Dylan’s Music Hall show.

  

BLOOMFIELD replaces his white 1964 Fender Telecaster with a gold 1954 Gibson Les Paul as his primary guitar in the fall of 1965. During their November/December stay in Boston at about this time, the Butterfield Band begins to play a long instrumental based in part on Indian classical music called “The Raga." Its bass line is derived from an extended version of Nick Gravenites’ tune “It’s About Time” which he and Bloomfield had developed in 1964.

  

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Unicorn, Boston, MA; November 12-December 12, 1965

 

Unknown titles                       Live performances

 

Mark Naftalin reported that the band had a 5 to 6 week run at the Unicorn in the fall of 1965. The above dates are from advertisements; the duration of the run may have actually been longer.

 

*JUDY COLLINS
Collins, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g(?); possibly Al Kooper, org; unknown harpsichord, b, d.
New York, NY(?); Winter 1965?

I'll Keep It with Mine

Bloomfield recalled playing on a Judy Collins session shortly after he left Butterfield in the spring of 1967, but made no mention of this session. Whether it actually comes from late 1965 or early 1966 is uncertain, though the sound is very similar to the Dylan "Highway 61" date. It was released as a single, Elektra EK-45601, and Billboard magazine mentioned in its March 26, 1966 issue that Elektra was intending to release it that week in England.

  

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Town Hall, New York, NY; November 27, 1965

 

Don't You Lie to Me                       Live performance

I Got My Mojo Working

Other unknown titles

 

The Jim Kweskin Jug Band were the headliners for this Saturday show. Gordon Lightfoot opened the concert.

 

Personnel as above; omit Lay, add Bill Warren, d.

The Chessmate Gallery, Detroit, MI; December 1965

 

Unknown titles                       Live performance

 

Bill Warren had been hired to replace the ailing Sam Lay and may have been the band’s drummer for this and the following engagement. His style was deemed unsuitable for the group after only one week and he was replaced by Billy Davenport by the time the band got to California.

 

Personnel as above.
Big John’s, Chicago, IL; December(?) 1965

Unknown titles                         Live performances

Evidence for these performances exists in photographs taken by Norman Dayron and dated from December. The drummer appears to be Bill Warren, though the drum kit seems to be the one used by Sam Lay. Big John’s closed permanently in September 1967.

 

*CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE
Musselwhite, v, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g.
Norman Dayron's apartment, Hyde Park, CA; Late 1965

Strange Land #1                     
Private recording
Strange Land #2

Bloomfield helped Musselwhite work out a few tunes for his upcoming “Stand Back” Vanguard sessions. Chris Strachwitz and Norman Dayron can be heard talking in the background.

 

© 2013 David Dann