Why not try and legitimize rock by adhering to these standards? In addition, as a fan, I was dissatisfied with Bloomfield's recorded studio output up until then.
It seemed that his studio work was inhibited and reigned in, compared to his incendiary live performances. Could I put him in a studio setting where he could feel free to just burn like he did in live performances?
The result, Super Session , was a jam album that spotlighted Bloomfield's guitar skills on one side; Bloomfield's chronic insomnia caused him to repair to his San Francisco home, prompting Kooper to invite Stephen Stills to complete the album. It received excellent reviews and became the best-selling album of Bloomfield's career; its success led to a live sequel, The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper , recorded over three nights at Fillmore West in September Bloomfield also composed and recorded the soundtrack for the film, Medium Cool by his cousin, Haskell Wexler set during the Democratic Convention in Chicago in During the late s, Bloomfield recorded for several smaller labels, including Takoma Records.
The band had a rhythm section of Rick Grech on bass and Carmine Appice on drums. Grech and Bloomfield immediately quit after its release, stating they never had faith in the project. The album was not well received, but it did contain the standout track "Sail On, Sailor". Its authorship was credited only to "Wilson-Kennedy", and had a bluesy, darker feel, along with Ray Kennedy's original cocaine related lyrics. Through the s, Bloomfield seemed satisfied to play in local San Francisco Bay Area clubs, either sitting in with other bands or using his own "Michael Bloomfield and Friends" outfit.
Blues Classical Country. Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. They did a set under the blazing sun at the Ozark Music Festival, a weekend counterculture extravaganza that featured dozens of name rock bands and rivaled Woodstock for the size of the crowd it attracted.
The Flag escaped unscathed and even garnered a positive review in a local paper. Other performances followed. But by that time, however, the principal members had lost interest in the band, and the Flag was rumored to be on the verge of splitting up. Michael joked to the press that he was thinking of quitting and opening up a "chain of massage parlors for women. But after that, the group once again broke up. IN EARLY , word got around that Mike Bloomfield, former rock star and guitar legend, had sunk so low that he was forced to make music for pornographic movies.
The truth was that Bloomfield had been introduced to the Mitchell brothers, two adult film entrepreneurs who wanted to put an artistic gloss on their product by hiring legitimate composers. Michael, always in need of money due t A still from a scene in "Hot Nazis," one of the Mitchell brothers films that Michael Bloomfield created a soundtrack for in He said later that he rarely ever saw the actual scenes he scored but worked instead from scripts and timing sheets.
By the end of the year had produced soundtracks for half a dozen of the Mitchell's films. Though he treated the work as just another gig and strove to make the best music he could, there no doubt was a part of him that secretly enjoyed tweaking the nose of the critical establishment. Fans were also treated to a reunion of sorts when Paul Butterfield sat in on one of the nights.
A session for Charlie Musselwhite and Capitol Records followed in the spring. Barry was also a sideman on the date, and he pitched another money-making idea to Michael. Goldberg had a manager friend who wanted to assemble yet another super group. The manager had bassist Rick Grech, formerly of Blind Faith, and drummer Carmine Appice, formerly of the Vanilla Fudge, interested in the project, and he was eager to shop the concept around to record companies.
By the early summer, a deal had been worked out with MCA for the group — curiously named KGB, after the Russian secret police — to record an album. To them KGB was a product, like soap or breakfast cereal.
Bloomfield and the other members of KGB got along well and actually liked each other, but the artifice behind their collaboration was too thin to withstand all the pressures from the front office. After studio sessions in Los Angeles in June, and overdubbing dates later in Sausalito, Michael was thoroughly disgusted with the superficiality of the whole business. He was enough disgruntled that, following the release of the band's eponymous album in February , he gave a tell-all interview to the Los Angeles Times in which he took the band and record company to task.
He followed that impolitic move with a two-page letter to MCA that was part harangue, part resignation. Everyone involved was furious with him, and by April KGB was effectively dead in the water. The whole affair left Michael with an overwhelming desire to do something with integrity. Guitar Player magazine, a glossy music publication that had appeared in , had recently launched a music division. Michael was a member of their advisory board, and they had done a number of extensive interviews with him as a favored son.
It seemed only natural that he should be one of the first artists to record for the magazine's new label. Bloomfield decided he would create an omnibus of the blues, a tribute to the many performers and styles that he had come to know and love. Using players from his working band and other friends and neighbors, he created a series of vignettes based on the disparate styles of country, urban, acoustic and electric blues giants.
Exhibiting an extraordinary ear for each artist's distinctive sound, Michael recorded tunes that evoked by turns B. To further engage the listener, he added brief introductory statements before each selection in which he gave a bit of history, the key and the technique and equipment used. A final tune, aptly titled "The Altar Song," consisted of a recitation of the names of all the blues artists to whom Michael felt indebted over a lush gospel melody.
Billed by Guitar Player as an instructional record, the album was really more of a guide to blues styles and players. Michael was completely satisfied with it, and felt he had made amends for the musical indiscretions of years previous.
When the album was released in December , it was immediately nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Recording category. It didn't win, but the recognition was a clear indication that the industry felt that Michael Bloomfield had finally produced something worthy of his legacy.
Ironically, the record went out of print within a few months of its release when Guitar Player's label failed to prove profitable and closed down. Bloomfield plays an acoustic opening set at the Old Waldorf in Tom Copi photo Meanwhile, Michael had discovered a new favorite place to play. Located on Divisadero St. The owner had agreed to let the guitarist and his friends perform there on weekends for whatever they could charge at the door.
The seedy nature of the place and the casualness of the arrangement reminded Michael of his Chicago days, and for the first time in quite a while he felt truly comfortable performing.
He was there nearly every weekend when he was in town, and Norman Dayron, ever ready with a tape recorder, often taped the proceedings. Bloomfield played traditional tunes on acoustic guitar and then plugged in for some electric blues with the rest of the band, echoing the approach he'd taken with "If You Love These Blues While in New York, Michael picked up another soundtrack job.
She had a supporting role in the film and had convinced them that Michael was the right man for the soundtrack job. When he returned to California, he told Norman Dayron to expect a shipment of raw footage from the Pop artist.
Several days later, seventeen canisters of mm film arrived on Norman's doorstep. Having no way to look at the rushes, he and Michael simply created the music from the film's screenplay, much as they had done with their Mitchell Brothers projects. There are also recollections from Michael's late mother, Dottie, and his brother, Allen. The booklet that accompanies the set contains detailed discographical information, commentary from producer Al Kooper and an insightful essay on Bloomfield and his music from music writer Michael Simmons.
Overall, the Bloomfield box set is a satisfying musical and visual experience, a handsome addition to any '60s blues and rock collection. It's also a long-overdue confirmation of Michael Bloomfield's contribution to American popular culture. Lenoir, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; others.Sep 28, · Clouds - () Produced by Norman Dayron 01 - Love Walk 02 - You Was Wrong 03 - Peach Tree Man 04 - When I Needed You 05 - Sammy Knows How to Party