RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Michael Bloomfield –From His Head to His Heart to His Hands

Rating: A+

Mike Bloomfield may be the biggest unsung hero of his generation.  His blues-soaked guitar playing was influential to all guitarists of the 1960s and beyond, yet he was never able to break into the big-time, commercially, before his death.  Now, Legacy Recordings has released a career spanning box set filled with unreleased recordings. 

While the release hit the streets in February, Classic Rock Revisited felt this box set should be on the top of their reader’s Christmas list, so we are revisiting this amazing box set now just in time for the holidays.

Described as an ‘audio and visual scrapbook’ on the box set’s art work, the description rings one hundred percent true.  The set includes three CDs that represent different parts of Bloomfield’s career and a DVD that is the film Sweet Blues: A Film About Mike Bloomfield.  All discs are masterfully produced and will have the listener and viewer spellbound throughout. 

The set was produced by Al Kooper who performed with Mike on the classic Bob Dylan album Highway 61 Revisited as well as on the classic Super Sessions album with Stephen Stills. 

On the first disc, titled Roots, one is treated to many ‘never before heard’ moments, including Bloomfield’s 1964 demos.  The second disc, called Jams, features just that... more jamming than one could ever imagine.  The final CD, Last Licks, includes his last recorded performance. 

In addition, the collection includes his solo work as well as his work with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Electric Flag, and tracks he performed with Muddy Waters and Janis Joplin.  As if this were not enough, the bonus DVD is a documentary that takes a look back at his life and includes live footage.

If you’re looking for that really cool present to give the music lover in your life, or if you are just into discovering greatness you may have missed, or you’re a huge fan of Bloomfield already, this is the definitive release by this amazing, if not overlooked artist.

1. I’m a Country Boy 2:45*
2. Judge, Judge 2:03*
3. Hammond’s Rag 2:09*
4. I’ve Got You in the Palm of My Hand 2:26
5. I’ve Got My Mojo Workin’ 2:36
6. Like a Rolling Stone (Instrumental) 6:35* - performed by Bob Dylan
7. Tombstone Blues (Alternate Chambers Brothers Version) 5:58* - performed by Bob Dylan
8. Michael Speaks About Paul Butterfield 0:39
9. Born in Chicago 3:05 - performed by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
10. Blues with a Feeling 4:23 - performed by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
11. East-West 13:12 - performed by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
12. Killing Floor 3:51 - performed by The Electric Flag
13. Texas 4:47 - performed by The Electric Flag
14. Susie’s Shuffle (Live Jam) 3:42* - performed by The Electric Flag
15. Just a Little Something (Live) 3:22* - performed by The Electric Flag
16. Easy Rider 0:47 - performed by The Electric Flag

1. Albert’s Shuffle 6:55
2. Stop 4:17
3. His Holy Modal Majesty 7:17
4. Opening Speech (Live) 1:23
5. 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy) (Live) Hybrid Edit 5:39*
6. Don’t Throw Your Love on Me So Strong (Live) 7:49
7. Santana Clause (Live) 4:41*
8. The Weight (Live) 4:08
9. Opening Speech (Live) 1:27
10. One Way Out (Live) 4:17
11. Her Holy Modal Highness (Live) 6:09
12. Fat Grey Cloud (Live) 4:30
13. Mary Ann (Live) 5:19
14. That’s All Right (Live) 3:42

1. I’m Glad I’m Jewish (Live) 3:15
2. Men’s Room - Spoken Word Segment from McCabe’s (Live) 0:51
3. Don’t You Lie to Me (Live) 3:09
4. Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had (Live) 3:04 - performed by Muddy Waters
5. Gypsy Good Time (Live) 4:29
6. One Good Man 4:02 - performed by Janis Joplin
7. It’s About Time (Live) 5:15
8. Carmelita Skiffle (Live) 2:53
9. Darktown Strutters Ball (Live) 3:56
10. Don’t Think About It Baby 3:31
11. Jockey Blues/Old Folks Boogie (Live) 3:15
12. A-Flat Boogaloo (Live) 3:55
13. Glamour Girl (Live) 8:02*
14. Spoken Intro - Bob Dylan (Live) 2:02*
15. The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar (Live) 5:50* - performed by Bob Dylan
16. Hymn Time (Live Excerpt) 1:53

A Ravin’ Film. Directed by Bob Sarles. Produced and Edited by Bob Sarles and Christina Keating. Director of photography: Ted Leyhe. Producers: Ted Leyhe, Larry Milburn & Bruce Schmiechen.

 By Jeb Wright