13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Mike Bloomfield - Credit long overdue,
This review is from: Michael Bloomfield - If You Love These Blues: An Oral History (Book) (Hardcover)
Although he is relatively unknown today outside the guitar community, in his time Mike Bloomfield was as huge an influence as Clapton and possibly Hendrix. I remember hearing the first Butterfield album (I borrowed it in return for the first Blues Project album). This was the most stunning guitar player I ever heard (the sentiment of a million or more players and fans). Contrary to popular belief, the 60s blues revival began with Butterfield, not the British blues bands. Bloomfield was the driving force of that band. His importance can not be over stated. Bloomfield's playing was central to the development of horn based rock, raga rock, folf rock (Dylan's gunslinger on Highway 61) and almost every other blues flavored style of the period. San Francisco Acid Rock was even reportedly an attampt in part to copy the improvisational excursions of the Butterfield band. Bloomfield's playing is felt in every important blues rock guitar player up to the advent of Stevie Ray Vaughan. For that reason alone, this book is long overdue and a must read for anyone interested in American music. To boot, Bloomfield was a virtual encyclopedia of the blues form (reflected in his later work).
Wolkin and Keenom's book provides a good overview of Bloomfield's work and accurately captures the spirit of the period of music covered. The narrative style, culled from interviews with a host of contemporary musicians, is a feast of more obscure information and frames a clear image of what he may have been like as a person. Carlos Santana's preface is a heartfeld and loving tribute to a mentor and musical colleague. A lengthy discography is provided.
Two concerns with the book: more (and better reproduced) pictures would have made it a more enjoyable experience for a book of this type. Also, when is someone going to write a book which delves deeply into his guitar style. After all, that is why he is so important. In fact, Fender should rename the Telecaster after him for all the instruments he sold!