Mike Bloomfield wanted a copy of this photo. I caught him in the banjo room at McCabe's Guitar Shop, tipped back in a chair, peaceful look on his face, fingerpicking an old Blind Blake rag on a Martin acoustic guitar. That's the way I'll remember him, but Michael Bloomfield made his mark in a much more amped-up way. He was one of the first great blues-rock guitarists. His work on the first two Paul Butterfield albums is legendary, and paved the way for many others to follow. He went on to Electric Flag, Triumvirate, various "super groups" -- that's all been well documented. What hasn't is that during the 70's when he was struggling with health and drug problems, he recorded "If You Love These Blues, Play 'em As You Please" on the Guitar Player Magazine label. It was his heartfelt attempt to repay his own Chicago blues education, received first-hand from Muddy Waters and friends. Meant as an instructional tool, it was in addition, a stunning documentary of every sub-genre of blues and a rare musical delight. In fact, it received a Grammy nomination. Out of print for many years, it has been reissued on the Kicking Mule label and is currently available. He died of an overdose in San Francisco in 1981 before he could pick up his copy of the photo. He said it was his favorite. In 2017 a new album "Mike Bloomfield Live at McCabe's Guitar Workshop - January 1977" was issued on the Rock Beat label. And, yes, his favorite photo (and mine) is on the cover! Both CD and vinyl. Another treat for Mike Bloomfield fans.
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