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Mike Bloomfield

The Gospel Truth

Review by Gary Hill

This two CD collection gathers up a number of recordings from Mike Bloomfield. You probably got that from the title, right? Bloomfield was an amazing blues guitarist who was largely influential, but perhaps not that well known. To a large degree his own addictions were to blamed for his lower profile as time went on until his death in 1981.The first CD of this set features studio sessions, while the second is a live recording. Bloomfield's artistry is on display on every tune here, and this is well worth having for fans of the blues.

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Track by Track Review
Disc One
Best Of Acoustic & Electric Sessions        
Peepin' An A Moanin' Blues

There is a down-home bluegrass meets blues kind of vibe to this number. The lyrics to this are so creepy. Then again, it's told from the point of view of a serious perv, so that makes sense.

Funk and jazz dance all over this killer jam. This instrumental is all class.
Frankie And Johnny
An acoustic guitar number, this has a real old-time musical arrangement. It is a porch blues song. 
Michigan Water Blues
Old-time blues is on the menu here. This has some cool piano and guitar. It's heavily rooted in traditional blues that it's scary.
Effinonna Rag         
An acoustic guitar solo, this has plenty of old-time sound and texture built into it.
The Gospel Truth
Another instrumental, this has more of a full arrangement. It's an electric blues jam with some killer guitar soloing.
Pleading Blues
Down-home blues is on the menu here. This has piano, slide guitar and vocals at its heart. It's another that feels so traditional.
Mood Indigo
A slow bluesy number, this is acoustic, but features a multi-layered arrangement. I particularly love both the piano and slide guitar on this tune.
You Took My Money
The horn on this is a great touch. This has a real Dixieland feel to it. The vocals remind me of Randy Newman. The whole piece has a little bit of a Rolling Stones feel to it, as well. This is cool stuff.
Lights Out
A fast paced tune, this has a bit of a Little Feat groove to it. I'm reminded of the Blues Brothers, too.
Junker's Blues
This is a powerhouse tune. I love the guitar soloing on this thing. The horns bring something special to the table, too.
It'll Be Me
Energetic electric blues is at the heart of this powerhouse stomper.
Although this is more of a slow blues, it definitely lands more in the blues rock zone. It's also a very classy tune.
At The Cross
I love the slide guitar on this killer slow moving instrumental.
Hilo Waltz
More slide guitar based, this is an acoustic guitar number.
Guitar King
I dig this bluesy rocker. It's classy stuff for sure.
My Children, My Children (I Call You)
There are some killer soul leanings here. It's still a blues rocker for certain, though. It's also one of my favorite tunes here. The full band arrangement just works so well.
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
A more acoustic based, number, this has a filled out arrangement and a lot of style.
Disc Two
Live In San Bernardino      
If You See My Baby

I love the mix of blues and jazz on this killer tune. It has a great swing to it and plenty of smoking hot guitar work. The horns are great on the tune, too. Don't miss that walking bass line, either.

Poor Kelly
At about 13-minutes long, this killer tune is the epic of this disc. It's a great blues rocker with plenty of magic built into it.
Statesboro Blues
A song everyone knows of from The Allman Brothers, this is a more traditional blues take on it. The horns are a great touch, and the guitar soloing is on fire. It should be noted that neither the Allman Brothers or this version is the original. It was written and performed originally by Blind Willie McTell in the 1920s.
You Won't See Me
Here we get a cover of a Beatles song. This has an almost Motown vibe to it. It's classy stuff.
I Found True Love
This is an energized and soulful romp that makes me think of The Blues Brothers.
Come Back Baby
Here we get another soulful powerhouse tune. The repetitiveness of this song doesn't work well for me. Still, it has its charms.
Drifting Blues
The closer is the second longest track of the set. It's a blues standard with a performance that weighs in at about ten minutes. This slow blues features some horn soloing. It also has some smoking hot guitar soloing, but you expect that, right. This is not a full instrumental piece, but the bulk of it is sans vocals.
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