Sat Eye Candy: Paul Butterfield


Paul Butterfield died on May 4, 1987 due to a heart attack brought on by decades of hard living. He was 44 years old. One of the key figures in popularizing the blues with young America in the '60s, Butterfield led one of the legendary ensembles of the era, The Butterfield Blues Band, which included among many others justifiably famous guitarist Mike Bloomfield and songwriter-guitarist Nick Gravenites. He was instrumental in bringing blues masters like Son House into the public eye after decades of disregard, and his harmonica chops and smoky voice made him a natural at hypnotic, slow blues and scattershot rave-up jams, too. The sensuality and urgency of his style of blues has influenced several generations, stretching the genre to include soul, funk and other elements his band explored. Tomorrow when you're waking up, spare a thought and a prayer for a seminal figure in modern music.

Here's the Butterfield Blues Band at Monterey Pop in 1967 doing "Driftin' Blues."

Jump to 1978 and we catch Butterfield sitting in with Foghat on a bulldozing version of "Shake Your Moneymaker."

It doesn't get much better than this version of "The Sky Is Crying" with Butterfield sitting in with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King and B.B. King.

And we conclude with a simmering take on "The Thrill Is Gone," which shows the man at his best.

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[Published on: 5/3/08]

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crowesfan starstarstarstar Sat 5/3/2008 10:55AM
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Paul Butterfield is the man. Great blues musician. For all you jam fans pick up East West it is one of the first experiments in lengthy improvisational jams. Mike Bloomfield is solid and in my opinion one of the greatest guitar player ever.

21mmer starstarstarstarstar Sat 5/3/2008 11:23AM
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^^agreed. love the butterfield cameo in the last waltz. i would also recommend bloomfield, kooper, and stills- super session for some excellent mike bloomfield playing (and you can't go wrong with al kooper and stephen stills either).

Marcsmall Sat 5/3/2008 12:30PM
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Mike Bloomfield is one of the most underated guitar players ever...He's got hints of both Clapton and Hendrix in his playing and his talent level is as good as anyone ever to play the instrument.

IPowrie starstarstarstarstar Sat 5/3/2008 04:27PM
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Paul Butterfield is one of the greats of his era. Highly recomended East-West is good but also check out some latter day stuff to

honeypile starstarstarstarstar Sun 5/4/2008 12:38PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

if it was not for paul butterfied's "love march" on the woodstock album, i may have never got into the scene. Thanks a ton, hopefully you're jammin with stevie ray, robert johnson and so on in the sky.