Although never a household name like Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mike Bloomfield was undoubtedly one of the greats of blues/rock guitar. Bloomfield is best known for his stints with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Bob Dylan; he played on such classic albums as Paul Butterfield's "East-West" and Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited." In 1968, Bloomfield teamed up with Al Kooper to produce the "Super Session" album, that recording spawned the instrumental hit "Albert's Shuffle." Mike Bloomfield has often been described as a "musician's musician": a substantial number of his fans have always been fellow guitar players looking for inspiration.
"Live at the Old Waldorf" captures Mike Bloomfield in his element: onstage in his hometown, the San Francisco Bay Area. The Disc is a collection of beautifully re-mastered performances recorded between 1976 and 1977, along with a set of rare photos and extensive liner notes. The music on this disc is outstanding; old fans will be ecstatic and newcomers just may rush out to buy everything else Bloomfield recorded after listening to this disc. The mastery which Mike Bloomfield exhibited over his Gibson Les Paul guitar was amazing; he could churn out sweet, soulful BB King-style riffs or play biting, stinging lead lines reminiscent of a young Eric Clapton's work with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. His solos on blues standards like "Sweet Little Angel" and "The Sky is Crying" are simply jaw-dropping. On several tracks Mike's old running buddy Nick Gravenites contributes his gruff voice and wry vocals; tunes like "Dancing Fool" and "Buried Alive in the Blues" are excellent examples of Nick's inimitable tongue in cheek songwriting. All the tracks on this disc have the loose, spontaneous feel of a great live recording.
Listening to this disc, it is easy to understand why Bloomfield has always been so highly regarded by guitar players. His solos are like textbook examples of how the electric guitar should be played. Anyone with an interest in blues/rock guitar owes it to them selves to check out this disc by one of the lesser known heroes of electric guitar.