If You Love These Blues, Play 'Em As You Please

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
If You Love These Blues, Play 'Em As You Please was an unusual project for Michael Bloomfield. Although recorded as a blues guitar instructional album for Guitar Player magazine, it ended up being acclaimed as one of his finest solo recordings, of interest to both guitar players and the general listening public. Bloomfield had been in commercial and artistic decline for years prior to cutting this disc, and there's the sense that he welcomed the chance to get back to what he knew and loved the best, selecting and laying down material without having to worry about how well it would sell. That relaxed quality comes through on the performances, in which he goes through ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
If You Love These Blues, Play 'Em As You Please was an unusual project for Michael Bloomfield. Although recorded as a blues guitar instructional album for Guitar Player magazine, it ended up being acclaimed as one of his finest solo recordings, of interest to both guitar players and the general listening public. Bloomfield had been in commercial and artistic decline for years prior to cutting this disc, and there's the sense that he welcomed the chance to get back to what he knew and loved the best, selecting and laying down material without having to worry about how well it would sell. That relaxed quality comes through on the performances, in which he goes through a wide assortment of electric and acoustic guitar styles, the songs specifically designed to illustrate guitar sounds associated with heroes like B.B. King, Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, T-Bone Walker, Blind Blake, Guitar Slim, Lonnie Johnson, and others. The cuts with band backing are no-frills, straight-ahead affairs that avoid over-production, interrupted by a few showcases for Bloomfield's considerable and underrated abilities as an acoustic guitarist. His singing, as always, was merely serviceable, but suitably respectful of the material and the styles to which he was paying homage. Sprinkled throughout the program are brief, unobtrusive spoken introductions from Bloomfield himself succinctly explaining the songs, what they're examples of, and how they're being played. Long after it was made, it's still useful as a primer for aspiring blues guitarists, but also reasonably satisfying as a blues record on its own terms. The 2004 CD reissue on Kicking Mule adds a lot of value by tacking on the entirety of his 1979 album Bloomfield/Harris, a joint effort by Bloomfield and acoustic guitarist Woody Harris that's a nice, if peripheral, wholly instrumental excursion into gospel-oriented folk-blues.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/2004
  • Label: Kicking Mule
  • UPC: 025218980128
  • Catalog Number: 9801
  • Sales rank: 5,168

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 If You Love These Blues (1:08)
  2. 2 Hey, Foreman (2:52)
  3. 3 Narrative #1 (0:36)
  4. 4 Wdia (3:34)
  5. 5 Narrative #2 (0:10)
  6. 6 Death Cell Rounder Blues (3:32)
  7. 7 Narrative #3 (0:05)
  8. 8 City Girl (4:27)
  9. 9 Narrative #4 (0:19)
  10. 10 Kansas City Blues (3:08)
  11. 11 Narrative #5 (0:16)
  12. 12 Mama Lion (3:40)
  13. 13 Narrative #6 (0:10)
  14. 14 Thrift Shop Rag (1:46)
  15. 15 Narrative #7 (0:14)
  16. 16 Death in My Family (3:55)
  17. 17 East Colorado Blues (1:32)
  18. 18 Blue Ghost Blues (2:15)
  19. 19 Narrative #8 (0:25)
  20. 20 The Train Is Gone (2:55)
  21. 21 Narrative #9 (0:07)
  22. 22 The Alter Song (2:20)
  23. 23 I'll Overcome (3:49)
  24. 24 I Must See Jesus (4:35)
  25. 25 Great Dreams from Heaven (2:51)
  26. 26 Gonna Need Somebody on My Bond (4:05)
  27. 27 I Am a Pilgrim (2:30)
  28. 28 Just a Closer Walk With Thee (3:06)
  29. 29 Have Thine Own Way (2:20)
  30. 30 Farther Along (2:33)
  31. 31 Peace in the Valley (4:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Michael Bloomfield Primary Artist, Organ, Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Drums, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Slide Guitar, Spoken Word
Nick Gravenites Guitar, Vocals
Roger Troy Bass, Bass Guitar
Woody Harris Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Tom Donlinger Drums
Ira Kamin Organ, Piano, Keyboards
Doug Kilmer Bass
Eric Kris Piano, Keyboards
Hart McNee Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Dave Neditch Bass, Drums
Rev. Ron Stallings Tenor Saxophone
Eric Kriss Piano
Doug Kilmer Bass Guitar
Technical Credits
Michael Bloomfield Arranger, Composer, Producer, Liner Notes, Audio Production
Jim Jackson Composer
Lonnie Johnson Composer
Stefan Grossman Composer
Elvis Presley Composer
Nick Gravenites Composer
Woody Harris Arranger
David Blossom Engineer
Norman Dayron Producer, Engineer, Liner Notes, Audio Production
Kirk Felton Remastering
Eric Kris Producer
Jamie Putnam Art Direction
Kenny Berkowitz Liner Notes
Traditional Composer
Eric Kriss Audio Production
Kenny Berkowitz Liner Notes
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