Michael Bloomfield: If You Love These Blues

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Click for availability and more information Michael Bloomfield: If You Love These Blues, by Jan Mark Wolkin & Bill Keenom

This moving "Oral History" comprises reminiscences by friends and acquaintances of the late Chicago-born master of the blues guitar. Born into affluence, the adolescent Bloomfield disdained his straight-laced background and sought out the company of the elders of the Chicago Blues scene, such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and big Joe Williams. Due to his guitar virtuosity and the emotional depth of his playing, he was accepted as a peer by the older black musicians. Bloomfield came to national prominence as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and the electric Flag, although his most popular recording was 1968's gold album, Supersession. He was supposed to play on the entire Supersession disc, but his chronic insomnia incapacitated him and his place was taken by Steven Stills for the LP's second side. This sleep disorder caused and/or exacerbated Bloomfield's growing chemical dependencies, which ultimately led to his overdose death in 1981 at the age of 37. Throughout the book, the love and admiration felt for this charismatic figure is apparent in the stories (sometimes harrowing) of those who came to know him; whether fellow musicians, friends or family members. Bloomfield himself is quoted in several extended passages. A striking black and white photograph of the guitarist cradling a Les Paul adorns the cover and numerous other photos judiciously supplement the text.

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This page contains a single entry published on October 31, 2004 9:29 PM.

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