Magazine article Guitar Player

Michael Bloomfield: April 1979

Magazine article Guitar Player

Michael Bloomfield: April 1979

Article excerpt

MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD'S LEGEND WON'T go away. Though he is passionately committed to discovering, dusting off, and reinterpreting the dozens of musics in virtually every corner of America's post-Civil War folk heritage, his audiences are often unaware of that fact, or are more interested in hearing him recreate the sounds of the records that made him one of the world's preeminent blues-rock guitar superstars more than a decade ago.

"It's a real problem," he says. 'A big one."

In the eyes of the late-'60s record buying public, Bloomfield was tall in the saddle. After all, he was an onstage accomplice the day Bob Dylan went electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, and, after several albums and tours with various bands, he turned on thousands of guitar players--and probably millions of other fans--to Chicago-style electric blues. His guitar technique churned with such soulfulness that he broke a color line of sorts, demonstrating a blues sensibility uncommon among white instrumentalists, and earning respect from the sacred heroes of his youth.

You never saw yourself as the American Eric Clapton, did you?

Never. About Clapton, I thought, "Now here's a rock star." Boy, did he play. I thought he had taken the blues just absolutely as far as it could go. And when Hendrix came along, I wanted to burn the guitar. I'm sure Eric felt the same way. So I didn't relate to being a rock star at all. All of those social implications and ramifications of the rockstar trip--I was never into it.

Who was your first rock and roll influence?

Scotty Moore---Elvis' guitar player. …

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