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

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

by Michael Bloomfield
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/2004
Label:
Kicking Mule
UPC:
0025218980128
catalogNumber:
9801
Rank:
12954

Tracks

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

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael Bloomfield   Primary Artist,Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bass,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
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
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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