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Monday, October 7, 2013

Mike Bloomfield - Prescription For The Blues (1977 us, awesome electric acoustic blues, 2005 issue)

During the late 1970s, Mike Bloomfield recorded for several smaller labels, including Takoma.  Through Guitar Player magazine he also put out an instructional album with a vast array of blues guitar styles, titled If You Love These Blues, Play 'Em As You Please.  Bloomfield also performed with John Cale on Cale's soundtrack to the film Caged Heat in 1975.

Through the 1970s, 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, a group which usually included Mark Naftalin and Nick Gravenites.  But his best performing days were behind him and most of the decade was spent battling drugs and his own deep insecurities.

In 1974 Mike Bloomfield hooked up with a failed supergroup called KGB, from the initials of Ray Kennedy (co-writer of "Sail On, Sailor"), Barry Goldberg on keyboards and Bloomfield on guitar.  The band had a rhythm section of Rick Grech on bass & Carmine Appice on drums.  Grech and Bloomfield immediately quit after the album's 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.

Bloomfield continued his collaborations with other musicians, including Dave Shorey and Jonathan Cramer, and in the summer of 1980 he toured Italy with classical guitarist Woody Harris and cellist Maggie Edmondson.  On November 15, 1980, Bloomfield joined Bob Dylan on stage at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco and jammed on "Like A Rolling Stone," the song they had recorded together 15 years earlier.
Mike Bloomfield was apparently suffering from arthritis in his hands in his last few years, a telling factor in both the decline of his playing and his mental attitude towards performing.

On February 15, 1981 Mike Bloomfield was found dead in San Francisco in his parked car.  According to his friends, the size of the heroin dose that killed him meant that he probably did not drive to this spot and overdose, rather that the lethal dose had been administered somewhere else and he had been driven to this spot to avoid complications for his drug-ingesting cohorts.  The official cause of death was ruled an accidental drug overdose.

This recording contains material from Bloomfield's McCabe's performances at McCabe’s Guitar Shop, Santa Monica, CA January 1, 1977, it's exactly the same recording track list with "Junko Partner" which was released through Akarma label.

1. Hully Gully (Goldsmith, Smith) - 4:02
2. The Prisoners Song (Dalhart) - 3:58
3. Walkin' the Floor Over You (Tubb) - 4:25
4. Don't You Lie to Me (Bartholomew, Domino) - 4:10
5. Junko Partner (Shad) - 4:46
6. Knockin' Myself Out (Bloomfield) - 5:57
7. Women Lovin' Each Other (Bloomfield) - 4:44
8. Cherry Red (Johnson, Turner) - 3:45
9. Prescription for the Blues (Bloomfield) - 2:22
10.You Must Have Jesus (Bloomfield) - 5:32

*Mike Bloomfield - Guitar, Vocals
*Mark Naftalin - Piano
*Buddy Helm - Drums
*Buell Neidlinger - Bass

Mike Bloomfield's tapestry
1966-68  The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - Strawberry Jam
1967  Electric Flag - The Trip
1968-69  Electric Flag - An American Music Band / A Long Time Comin'  
196?-7?  The Electric Flag - Live
1968  Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield - The Lost Concert Tapes, Filmore East
1969  Mike Bloomfield And Al Kooper - The Live Adventures
1969  Michael Bloomfield with Nick Gravenites & Friends - Live At Bill Graham's Fillmore West
1969  Nick Gravenites - My Labors
1973  Bloomfield, Hammond, Dr.John - Triumvirate (Japan remaster)
1976  KGB - KGB
1976-77  Michael Bloomfield - Live at the Old Waldorf

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