Mike Bloomfield

Fillmore West (San Francisco, CA)

Feb 1, 1969

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  1. 1 Born In Chicago 09:33
  2. 2 Work Me Lord 04:16
  3. 3 Killing My Love 04:55
  4. 4 Holy Moly 03:45
  5. 5 My Heart Beat Like A Hammer 07:17
  6. 6 It's About Time 09:24
  7. 7 Young Girl (San Quentin Quail) 09:14
  8. 8 Born In Chicago 09:53
More Mike Bloomfield

Mike Bloomfield - guitar, vocals
Nick Gravenites - guitar, vocals
Mark Naftalin - piano
Ira Kamin - organ
John Kahn - bass
Cornelius "Snooky" Flowers - baritone sax
Geralg Oshita - baritone sax
John Wilmeth - trumpet
Noel Jewkes - tenor sax
Dino Andino - congas
Bob Jones - drums

At this Fillmore West show, Mike Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites, Mike Naftalin and friends opened for Chuck Berry.

"Born In Chicago" is a significantly different arrangement here than it is in the Butterfield Blues Band version. Bloomfield lays low throughout this song, letting the horn section lead the way. At times this approach almost borders on free jazz, but the rhythm section keeps it grounded in the blues idiom. "Work Me Lord" is a showcase for Gravenites' singing, and it's great to hear this song when it was fresh and new. Mark Naftalin's piano work is a stand out on this one, as well. Janis Joplin would take this song for her Kozmic Blues album later that year. "Killing My Love" and "Holy Moly" are both tight arrangements, varying only slightly from the released versions, and accentuated by scorching Bloomfield leads. "My Heart Beats Like a Hammer" is a fine tune, featuring a focused, strong and assured Bloomfield on lead vocals. This funkified rendition of "It's About Time" is much longer than the album version, and prompts Bloomfield to play in a fiery mode, much different but just as intriguing as the slower blues numbers that make these shows so memorable. "Young Girl" is another standard blues song, typical of Nick's songwriting at the time and featuring Bloomfield on lead vocals, with his guitar leads punched up by the horn section. Again, respectable playing, but not as outstanding as the other songs that the group were playing in this mode, as Bloomfield's guitar playing seems distracted by his singing. A second version of "Born In Chicago" closes the set.

After Bill Graham watched these shows, he unexpectedly invited the group to headline over The Byrds the following week. After listening to these tapes and needing more material for a headliner slot, they quickly developed more songs, including several more slow blues numbers to augment those final shows.