Mike Bloomfield was born in Chicago to a wealthy Jewish family, and as a teenager became a blues devotee, developing into a serious talent on the guitar. In 1964 he joined The Butterfield Blues Band, sharing the guitar duties with Elvin Bishop. Their first two albums achieved universal critical acclaim, and Bloomfield proved himself to be one of the most talented white blues guitarists of the era. He worked extensively as a session musician at the same time, most famously on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited album and the #2 single "Like A Rolling Stone". By 1967 he had left Butterfield with plans to start his own group, and moved to San Francisco to form The Electric Flag, a group which fused rock, blues, soul and jazz, but ultimately never met their potential. At this time he developed a serious heroin habit, and left The Electric Flag before their album was released. He then worked with Al Kooper (a colleague from the Bob Dylan sessions), playing on one half of the surprise hit Super Session album (he vanished half way through recording, meaning on the second half his place was taken by Stephen Stills). This itself led to some concerts with Kooper, and a second album, The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper.
In 1969 he released his first solo album, It's Not Killing Me. It consisted of a selection of original songs in an R&B style, but surprisingly focused more on his vocals than his guitar playing. He had never been the best singer, having previously just sung on a few songs with The Electric Flag and with Kooper. As a result, the album really wasn't the best career move, and ended up as a true disappointment to his many fans.
|> If You Love These Blues, Play 'Em As You Please (1976)
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