Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Harper's Weekly

Two more to finish the year, and we'll start with this blazing anniversary bombshell.

This guy had a birthday -- or would have, as he's been gone for decades -- a couple of weeks ago, but I had something else cooking for that day so I waited for today to get to him.

If you wanna delve deep into the Bluestopia that he created, the place to go is this very fine documentary film.

His name was Paul Butterfield, and although he didn't live a particularly long life, in his 44 years down here on the ground he sure moved the ball for the Chicago Blues he was raised with in that city's Hyde Park neighborhood.

It's hard to find pictures of him without a harmonica in his face, but that's the price of lasting harp innovation I guess.

I hate to say this, but for white guy Blues he makes Eric Clapton sound like Weird Al Yankovic. There, I said it.

He also has the advantage, in that Butterfield was never seen in front of a stadium full of people, drunkenly embracing fascism and racism on a live mic.

Anyway this firecracker of a performance dates from after he broke up the classic Butterfield Blues Band and formed a then-new band with Amos Garrett and Geoff Muldaur called Better Days.

This has more of a Funk-Rock element to it, but the trademark wailing harp is still way out front and, well, wailing.

Paul Butterfield's Better Days
Record Plant
Sausalito, California USA

01 FM intro
02 New Walkin' Blues
03 Take Your Pleasure Where You Find It
04 Broke My Baby's Heart
05 Done a Lot of Wrong Things
06 He's Got All the Whiskey
07 It All Comes Back
08 Down In the Bottom
09 Too Many Drivers 

Total time: 47:45

Paul Butterfield - vocals & harmonica
Chris Parker - drums
Amos Garrett - guitar
Geoff Muldaur - vocals
Ronnie Barron - keyboards
Billy Rich - bass

EN remaster of an off-air FM reel master from WXRT in Chicago, sourced from the R.J.P. archive
310 MB FLAC/December 2020 archive link

I slightly remastered this one, against the rules for RJP and JEMS stuff I know, but too bad because I made it sound a lot less compressy and pushed toward the midrange IMHO.

I'll be back in 24 hours if those guys haven't killed me before then, to close out the year in Mountainous fashion with a tribute to a fallen axe warrior.

Don't miss out on this show though... it portends Better Days ahead!--J.

12.17.1942 - 5.4.1987

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