1965's Paul Butterfield Blues Band and 1966's East-West were masterpieces, but the rest of Paul's Elektra LPs were uneven. That's why this 33-track trip through his eight Elektra years is a godsend: Born in Chicago; Off the Wall; Mystery Train; Come On In; All These Blues; Work Song; Love Disease; Double Trouble; Love March; Driftin' and Driftin' , and more handpicked gems from this harp-blowin' blues-rock trailblazer!
It might be impossible to overestimate the importance of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band on American music in the latter half of the '60's. Unlike British blues revivalists The Rolling Stones, the Butterfield band was schooled in the tough Chicago bars that housed Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and Howlin' Wolf. They didn't imitate the blues, they were
the blues. They were also virtuoso instrumentalists to the man; and the extended raga-like "East-West," powered by Butterfield's defiant harmonica and the guitars of Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield, virtually created the concept of psychedelic jamming. This 2 CD set profiles the best of their massively influential early work, and samples later R&B-inflected, horn-driven material as well. Essential for blues fans. --Michael Ruby