If the Summer of 1967 was the Summer of Love, the Summer of 1966 set the stage for the musical revolution that was to come. Albums released during the season, like The Beatles' Revolver and The Byrds' Fifth Dimension, brilliantly blended the burgeoning influence of Eastern exoticism into the rock music format, and the term "psychedelia" entered the common lexicon to stay.
But beating them all to the punch was a multi-racial blues band that cut it's teeth in Chicago, far from the hippie havens of London, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Issued in July 1966, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band's East-West took blues-rock to places only free jazz had dared to tread, offering lengthy, modal improvisational passages that sparked the West Coast rock revolution, and, in Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, fully unleashing the first great guitar tandem in rock history.
Now, Real Gone Music has released, for the first time in legitimate fashion, a legendary bootleg that captures this singular sextet on the brink of the stylistic breakthrough that would shake the rock 'n' roll world to it's core: recorded live at Boston's Unicorn Coffee House 50 years ago in May 1966, two months before the release of East-West, Got a Mind to Give Up Living-Live 1966 reaffirms that The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was simply untouchable live, capable of turning on a dime from slowburning blues tunes to up-tempo rave-ups. And, particularly on a pair of tunes that were soon to be released on East-West, "Work Song" and "I Got a Mind to Give Up Living," the raga influence (check Bloomfield's solos!) comes through loud and clear, combining with the band's blues tropes to create a truly new style of rock and rock guitar playing.
Butterfield fans will also delight in the early appearances of "One More Heartache" (from The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw) and "Walking by Myself" (from Keep On Movin'), plus a pair of tunes, "Comin' Home Baby" and "Memory Pain," that the band never commercially recorded. Notes by Chris Morris featuring fresh quotes from Elvin Bishop and Mark Naftalin, rare pictures and memorabilia, editorial input from Bloomfield aficionado and co-producer Toby Byron, and some audio spit 'n' Polish from Mike Milchner at SonicVision make this a package indispensable for any '60s rock (or jazz or R&B!) fan.
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