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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Nick Gravenites And Mike Bloomfield - Steel Yard Blues (1972 us, a long lost underground soundtrack blues rock gem with jazz and country gleams, 2015 remaster)

With a killer leading couple of Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland—fresh from their box office triumph co-starring in Klute—and a soundtrack by the Electric Flag’s Mike Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites—with performances by Paul Butterfield and Maria Muldaur—you would think that the 1972 film Steelyard Blues would be better known than it is. Alas, the film was one of those only-in-the-early-‘70s countercultural romps that died at the box office; Fonda plays a call girl (again) who hooks up with Sutherland’s bumbling ex-con to restore a seaplane and attempt an escape from The Man breathing down their collective necks. Poorly reviewed and largely forgotten by film audiences, it has remained a cult classic because of its soundtrack, which marked Mike Bloomfield’s first release of any kind in three years, and reunited him with Gravenites, with whom he’d composed music in the Electric Flag for the soundtrack to Roger Corman’s B-movie classic The Trip. 

Here, the emphasis was less on psychedelia than on a jaunty mix of blues, rock and country to match the shambolic goings-on on screen; there’s no mistaking Bloomfield’s stinging blues-rock licks for those of any other guitarist, and a pre-“Midnight at the Oasis” Muldaur serves notice of her impending superstardom. Completing the musical cast was Paul Butterfield, in whose band Bloomfield first broke into prominence, keyboardist Merl Saunders, later of course to collaborate with the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, and Annie Sampson of the Bay Area group Stoneground.  
by Richie Unterberger.

1. Swing With It - 2:51
2. Brand New Family - 2:29
3. Woman's Love - 2:29
4. Make The Headlines - 1:53)
5. Georgia Blues (Maria Muldaur, Mike Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites) - 2:10
6. My Bag (The Oysters) - 3:17
7. Common Ground - 2:27
8. Being Different - 2:47
9. I've Been Searching - 2:13
10.Do I Care (Maria Muldaur, Merl Saunders) - 3:08
11.Lonesome Star Blues (Maria Muldaur) - 4:19
12.Here I Come (There She Goes) - 2:11
13.If You Cared - 2:25
14.Theme From Steelyard Blues (Drive Again) - 2:16
All compositions by Mike Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites except where noted

*Mike Bloomfield - Vocals, Guitar
*Nick Gravenites - Vocals, Guitar
*Maria Muldaur - Vocals, Guitar, Handclaps
*Paul Butterfield - Vocals, Harmonica
*Annie Sampson - Vocals
*Merle Saunders - Organ, Piano
*Christopher Parker - Drums
*John Kahn - Bass

1964  The Original Lost Elektra Sessions
1965  The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
1966  East West
1966  The Butterfield Blues Band - East-West (2014 Hybrid SACD limited adition) 
1966-68  Strawberry Jam
1967  Electric Flag - The Trip
1968  Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills - The Super Sessions (2014 Hybrid Multichannel SACD 24/88) 
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 And Friends - Live At Bill Graham's Fillmore West
1969  Nick Gravenites - My Labors
1970-71  Big Brother And The Holding Company - Be A Brother / How Hard It Is 
1973  Bloomfield, Hammond, Dr.John - Triumvirate (Japan remaster)
1976  KGB - KGB
1976-77  Michael Bloomfield - Live at the Old Waldorf
1977  Prescription For The Blues

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