The 1968 edition of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band featured a larger ensemble with a horn section, allowing for a jazzier feeling while retaining its Chicago blues core. They also adopted the psychedelic flower power stance of the era, as evidenced by a few selections, the rather oblique title, and the stunning pastiche art work on the cover.
Butterfield himself was really coming into his own playing harmonica and singing, while his band of keyboardist Mark Naftalin, guitarist Elvin Bishop, drummer Phil Wilson, electric bassist Bugsy Maugh, and the horns featuring young alto saxophonist David Sanborn was as cohesive a unit as you'd find in this time period. Butterfield's most well known song "One More Heartache" kicks off the album, a definitive blues-rock radio favorite with great harmonica and an infectious beat urged on by the top-notch horns.
The band covers "Born Under a Bad Sign" at a time when Cream also did it -- which one was better? "Driftin' & Driftin'" is another well known tune, and over nine minutes is stretched out with the horns cryin' and sighin', including a definitive solo from Sanborn over the choruses. There's the Otis Rush tune "Double Trouble," and "Drivin' Wheel" penned by Roosevelt Sykes; Butterfield wrote two tunes, including "Run Out of Time" and the somewhat psychedelic "Tollin' Bells" where Bishop's guitar and Naftalin's slow ringing, resonant keyboard evokes a haunting sound.
Likely this is the single best Butterfield album of this time period, and though compilations or "best-of" discs are available (Golden Butter being the best), you'd be well served to pick this one first and go from there.
by Michael G. Nastos
1. One More Heartache (Smokey Robinson, The Miracles) – 3:20
2. Driftin' And Driftin' (Charles Brown, Johnny Moore, Eddie Williams) – 9:09
3. I Pity The Fool (Deadric Malone) – 6:00
4. Born Under A Bad Sign (William Bell, Booker T. Jones) – 4:10
5. Run Out Of Time (Paul Butterfield, Brother Gene Dinwiddie, Peterson) – 2:59
6. Double Trouble (Otis Rush) – 5:38
7. Drivin' Wheel (Roosevelt Sykes) – 5:34
8. Droppin' Out (Paul Butterfield, Tucker Zimmerman) – 2:16
9. Tollin' Bells (Traditional, Arr. Butterfield Blues Band) – 5:23
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
*Paul Butterfield - Harmonica, Vocals
*Elvin Bishop - Guitar, Vocals
*David Sanborn - Alto Saxophone
*Brother Gene Dinwiddie - Tenor Saxophone
*Bugsy Maugh - Bass, Vocals
*Mark Naftalin - Keyboards
*Phillip Wilson - Drums
*Keith Johnson - Trumpet
Paul Butterfield's back pages
1966-68 Strawberry Jam
1968 In My Own Dream
1969 Keep On Moving
1971 Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smilin'
1973 Paul Butterfield's Better Days
1973 It All Comes Back (Japan Edition)
1976 Put It In Your Ear
1969-70/72 Elvin Bishop - Party Till The Cows Come Home
1974 Elvin Bishop - Let It Flow
1977 Elvin Bishop - Live! Raisin' Hell