Friday, August 27, 2010

What is your favorite song Michael played?

If you were to put out a best of album of the whole of Michael's work what would you like to hear? Also which group or band was your favorite?


mike said...

my favorite song is "wintry country side".nobody can touch michael when it comes to playing one even comes close.

Anonymous said...

[1] Albert's Shuffle
[2] Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Frank Macias said...

Hi Allen, long time no talk.

My favorite albums have to be the first two Butterfield albums and a Long Time Coming.

The first PB album swings like mad and can run away from you like a wild horse. East/West is more of an esoteric blues album but equally as strong.

Albert's Shuffle has a long blues melody that is nothing short of incredible. This one has to be my favorite of all time although there are many many others that run a close second. Mind to Give Up Living comes to mind. Janis Joplin's One Good Man has a two bar blues lead by Mike (not credited) that stings hard. It is also incredible. But then so is Gettin' Hard on The Trip album. It's really hard to tell which is my favorite but I have to stay with they first choice: Albert's Shuffle. There are so many close seconds it's hard to choose.

Hope this helps!
Frank Macias

Ralph said...

Hi, Allen,

Off the top of my head, I'd select "Buried Alive In The Blues," from the Bottom Line (1.25.75); “Between The Hard Place And The Ground,” from the '79 album of the same name; “Another Country,” from A LONG TIME COMIN'; and “Green Onions,” from LIVE ADVENTURES.

Picking favorites is tough for me, because I'm a fan of all different aspects of Michael's career – from the Butterfield days, right up to his later-period acoustic live shows...however, since three of my four choices are live cuts...I'd like to see the Estate at least consider putting out live material that isn't so readily available elsewhere.

As a journalist, I know the legal aspects can be complicated, but I think it's worth a shot. Some well-chosen picks from obscurities like STEELYARD BLUES and MILL VALLEY BUNCH would be nice, too – then folks might at least get a glimmer of what the fuss is all about there, without forking over a ton of disposable cash on eBay.

RiRiIII said...

"Albert's Shuffle" accompanies my whole existence ever since!

JohnInNJ said...

Hi Allen,

It was said that Mike never played the same song the same way twice. So with that in mind, I have heard 3 versions of "Born In Chicago", each played differently. The first, of course, is from the first Butters LP. The next is also a version the PBBB did with Mike in a slow rubato, very latin feel. I just forget where I heard that version. The 3rd version is from the "Live At The Fillmore West" outtakes just has horns basically around 1 chord and Mike solos so beautifully in a modal pattern he used then.

Also great favorites include "Our Love Is Drifting", "Mary, Mary", "East-West", "Blues On A Westside", "Got A Mond To Give Up Living", "Mellow Down Easy" (maybe the most underrated solo he ever did - listen to those chops burn!), "Sitting Around In Circles", many of the tracks from the live CD he did with Joe Turner (I'm writing this from the job so I don't have all the songs in front of me).

And that's he electric stuff. I believe that Mike was totally underappreciated as an acoustic guitarist, probably because that aspect of his abilities came out mostly toward the end of his life. But songs like "Snow Blind" and the many rags he recorded like "Kaqnsas City Blues" and Thrift Shop Rag" are simply not to be equaled by anyone in the present day. I believe you would have to go back to a true ragtime guitarist like Blind Blake to find someone who could play with the clarity and inspiration that Mike gave to his rags.

No doubt, to capture the best of Michael, you'd need a double CD, one electric, one acoustic.

As for favorite bands, well the Butters Band stands out for a good reason - Mike was a free wheeling guitarist, but with Butterfield in charge, it gave him a fairly rigid framework to play within. Sometimes freedom has to be given a framework. I don't think he could have pulled off "East-West" with his later bands. Next would come the Flag and finally the early MB and Friends dates with Roger Troy.

How's that?

Best wishes,


Devin said...

For me, I feel as if I need to separate Mike's slow, soulful blues songs from the upbeat rocking blues.

My favorite slow number is "Blues on a Westside/Big City Woman". I also listen to his version of "Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong" from Live Adventures. Hearing Mike playing sweet blues licks nonstop in these long songs pretty much what I consider bliss.

For fast songs, I enjoy his work with the PBBB.

John Ivey said...

While I love the blues as Mike played them, his rock'n roll side is not mentioned very often. Mike played killer guitar on "Roll Over Beethoven" on Sam Lay's "Sam Lay in Bluesland" LP. Likewise his band, Michael Bloomfield and Friends, w/Mark Naftalin and Roger Troy, was underrated also.
Cheers, John Ivey

Mr. Maganahan said...

I'm not sure of the song name, it is the first song on the Burning at the Fillmore 1969 live recording. It was the first song I ever heard by Mike Bloomfield years ago and remains my favorite to this day.

GarTunes said...

Mary Ann

vincent said...

I have many favorite songs of Michael. Two that stand out for me for different reasons are his performance of It Takes Time" from "live ant Bill Grahams Fillmore West" This song defined for me what an electric guitar should sound like in a blues band. and then a more intimate "Sloppy Drunk" that he also performed live somewhere that is full of life in its own way. I t captures some of his playfulness that is so often overlooked.

vinnie c

Bob C. said...

There's so much that I love of Michael's playing that it is really hard to narrow it down. But I must say I find his playing on "Texas" from "Long Time Comin'" to be impeccable (as well as soulful, exciting and powerful.)

Greatest group...probably PBBB but the Flag was great, too.

PrecissionBass said...

I have a number of favourites, all for different reasons and showcase different aspects of his technique.
But top has to be "Stop" it takes a R & B standard and lifts it into an area where even pure Jazz has never followed, it is simple yet sublime. I play a little myself, but a friend of mine who is a very accomplished guitarist said it is so simple but so emotional it is gifted with genius.
I also adore "Alberts Shuffle", which is " Born under a Bad Sign" inverted on itself. 6 minutes of inspiration.
From the "Filmore Album" and on "My Labours" everything is cooking but "Its about time" is a blend of everything I like about Michaels playing, cooking rhythm playing behind the vocals, big blocked chords when he starts to solo and a wild flight of a ride that gives nods to everything he has done in the past a real technical tour de force.
Whilst I like all the PBBB recordings, I can see that of there time they were a distillation and generation of what I call industrial blues that the "Punk Generation" whould try to express. It had been done ten years earlier much better if " Born in Chicago" is not a punk statement I dont know what is.
My PBBB favourite is "Two trains running", playing gets no tighter than that.
From Electric Flag, "Killing Floor" and "Texas", both strong tracks with killer solo's and a political statement.
From live adventures "Finale: Refugee" heavy metal never got as arrogant and assured as this.
From Lost Tapes "One way out" and Season of the Witch", even with a dodgy drummer, they are both sublime.

David Fletcher
St Petersburg, Russia

Gaetano said...

Mary Ann, PBBB

Close second: Don't Say you Dont Love me (I got you in the palm of my hand)

alpez said...

I like a lot but I hear most is "Stop"

Beverly said...

My favorite song is "Killing Floor." That opening guitar solo is truly amazing. I have played it over and over, and each time I hear something different.

mike said...

i said "wintry country side" was my favorite song by michael,but it changes often because he has so many songs to choose say right now my favorite is probably "moon tune". totally mindblowing guitar work from michael. R.I.P.

abby said...

Stop,east-west,work song,&the song he did with muddy waters on the father's & son's album-can't lose what you never had.But ultimately i can't think of a song of michael's i don't like!He was great at piano too.Thanks for putting this site up! <3 abby.

philcycles said...

I loved to hear him do Isrealites byDesmond Dekker.
Phil brown

Goose said...

Love "Stop", "Killing Floor" by The Flag, everything he did with Butterfield. I can listen to Bloomfield all day and night. God rest his soul, and thanks for the music brother!