In late 1964 and early 1965, around or just prior to the time he joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Mike Bloomfield cut some unreleased solo sides for Columbia. Mostly produced by John Hammond, these featured backing by an electric band that included Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica. Five of those songs came out on the 1994 Bloomfield CD compilation Don't Say That I Ain't Your Man!. This LP has all five of those tracks, plus five additional ones that didn't make it onto the 1994 CD. For that reason alone, this is essential for Bloomfield fans, even if you already have that previous disc. At this point, Bloomfield was rawer and less imaginative than the guitarist he would develop into with Butterfield and as a Bob Dylan accompanist, and he was never much of a singer. Nonetheless, there's a good brash early blues-rock energy to these sides, which mix straightforward covers of Chicago blues giants like Little Walter and Muddy Waters with a few Bloomfield originals. The good news is that the previously unissued cuts (including alternate versions of "I Got My Mojo Working" and "I Feel So Good") are not disreputable leftovers, but up to the same level of the ones that showed up on Don't Say That I Ain't Your Man!. Certainly one of the new finds, "I'm Cutting Out," is the best of the three Bloomfield originals on the collection, as a nice, bouncy no-nonsense blues tune with a superb stinging guitar solo and a raunchier vocal than was Bloomfield's wont. The alternate version of "I Got My Mojo Working" is less frenetic than the one on Don't Say That I Ain't Your Man!, and for that reason a bit better. Liner notes with an appreciation by Al Kooper and a 1966 Bloomfield interview add to the desirability of this vinyl-only release. ~ Richie Unterberger
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Pop
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Meta Artist: Mike Bloomfield