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The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

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Editors’ Notes

Just as the young British men in The Rolling Stones were enamored with the electric blues music that came out of Chicago in the '50s and early '60s, so were the young American men who lived in the heart of it. Bassist Jerome Arnold and drummer Sam Lay were hired from Howlin' Wolf's backing band, and lead guitarist Mike Bloomfield had been plucked from a crosstown rival by producer Paul Rothchild; together they formed 1965's most imposing modern blues band behind singer and harmonica player Paul Butterfield. Rothchild's discerning ear forced the band to record the material several times before an acceptable debut album could be issued. The songs are played loud and proud, to the point of near-anarchy at times. Several Bloomfield originals are thrown in, but the main draw is the band's interpretive ability. The group breathes fire into Elmore James' "Shake Your Moneymaker" and Junior Parker's "Mystery Train" and does two Little Walter cuts—"Blues with a Feeling" and "Last Night"—mighty proud. 

Customer Reviews

The Problem with iTunes, CD's etc is:

Little things that you just don't find out that are on the original vinyl. Like where it says " "We suggest that you play this record at the highest possible volume in order to fully appreciate the sound of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band." Liner notes are priceless sociological insight into the band and the times in which the original music was published. It is a shame that the same sort of thing is not available digitally.

The band however is just as great on iTunes as it is on vinyl- just remember to play it loud for full appreciation.

Butterfield/Bloomfield Perfection

This is it! Just buy it. Listen to it. Listen to it over and over again. Learn Grasshopper, learn.


This album helped launch the blues craze in Chicago during the mid 60's. Butterfied and Bloomfield are a great combo. It's a shame it only lasted 2 albums. A must for any true blues fan.


Genre: Blues

Years Active:

With a style honed in the gritty blues bars of Chicago's south side, the Butterfield Blues Band was instrumental in bringing the sound of authentic Chicago blues to a young white audience in the mid-'60s, and although the band wasn't a particularly huge commercial success, its influence has been enduring and pervasive. The band was formed when singer and harmonica player Paul Butterfield met guitarist and fellow University of Chicago student Elvin Bishop in the early '60s. Bonding over a love of...
Full Bio
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
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