With the mid 1960s blues resurgence came many young players and new bands. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was one--following in the footsteps of the Chicago greats like Muddy Waters, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy, they created their own unique hard-driving sound! Check them out this week on Time for the Blues (8/14/11)!
Paul Butterfield grew up in Chicago's South Side and actually studied flute as a youth! He started following the blues scene in his teens and soon met guitarist Elvin Bishop. Paul turned his attention to blues harmonica, developing his own style that reflects the influences of the greats like Little Walter and Howlin' Wolf. By 1963 his band (including Bishop) were getting regular club gigs. By 1965 they were in sessions for their debut album when Bob Dylan gave them an incredible break by asking them to be his backing band for the controversial Newport Folk Festival appearance when Dylan went electric.
When they released their first album, it was clear that The Paul Butterfield Blues Band were going to shape the culture of the blues for the youth of the 60s. Their use of distortion was something that was only heard in the British blues-rock bands of the time, like the Yardbirds. The addition of the legendary Mike Bloomfield on lead guitar gave them a crunchy-fast cutting-edge sound. They soon became a primary influence on many hard rock and garage bands and that led to the blues "crossover' we were to hear in the late 60's and beyond. We'll check out a few tracks from that first release as well as some experimental blues from their second album East-West.
John and I also found a real gem from the discography of Freddie King. It seems that in the late 60's Freddie made a couple of albums for the Atlantic label. I'm not sure who influenced who, but you can definitely tell that the R&B/Soul meter is up on the release "My Feeling for the Blues." Some critics think this album is too vocal heavy. We think it's got a great Stax-y sound with a real serious horn section backing up Freddie AND his gutiar still screams on these sides. Listen in and enjoy a visit to "The Palace of the King".
And once again, friends, we present another episode of The Goldwax Story! This week you'll hear great tracks by Eddie Jefferson, Barbara Perry and Jeb Stuart! Don't know who they are? Well, that was Goldwax's problem--as a small label in Memphis in the mid 60s, they made wonderfully soulful recordings but couldn't get national recognition. John and I know what that feels like--as if!
So again we humbly ask--take a nap, take a chance and stay up late with us! Time for the Blues with John Porter and Henry Cook airs Sundays at 1 AM.
Got a favorite little-known blues performer or an obscure label you'd like us to feature? Give us a shout back and we'll do right by you!