Exposé Online banner

Paul Butterfield — Live New York 1970
(ROC-3347, 1970/2017, 2LP)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-10-19

Live New York 1970 Cover art

In the last half of the 60s, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was omnipresent, playing every major venue coast to coast, bringing the blues to rock audiences along with artists like The Electric Flag, James Cotton, John Mayall, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, and so many others during that fertile period long before music became segmented and radio playlists became rigidly this or that. This excellent live set was recorded in December 1970 and simulcast on WLPJ in New York City after a long string of very successful studio album releases in the late 60s, including the self-titled debut, East-West, The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw, In My Own Dream, and Keep on Moving, as well as a 1970 double Live album recorded at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. The eight-piece band led by Butterfield (vocals and harmonica) included David Sanborn (alto sax), Gene Dinwiddie (tenor sax, flute, vocals), Trevor Lawrence (bari sax), guitarist Ralph Walsh, drummer Dennis Whitted, bassist Rod Hicks, and trumpeter Steve Madaio, nearly the same nine-piece lineup as the Troubadour album, sans keyboardist and a different drummer. The setlist includes some great blues standards that followed the band in nearly every set from that time period (“Driftin’ Blues,” “Born under a Bad Sign,” “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”) along with Hicks’ “So Far So Good” and “The Boxer,” “Love March” by Gene Dinwiddie and Phillip Wilson, and three Butterfield originals (“Back Together Again,” “Play On” and “Stuck in the Countryside”) the latter of which hadn’t appeared in a studio version previously. Here, unlike the studio albums which contained songs in the mostly three to four minute range, here the band is loose and fully animated, stretching everything out to epic length (“Driftin’ Blues” clocks in at nearly fifteen minutes!), and these players are on fire, Butterfield’s harp front and center. This has been available on CD for a couple years through another label (songs in different order) but this marks its first release as a double LP. If you love Chicago style blues, it doesn’t get much better than this.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases, 1970 recordings

Related artist(s): Paul Butterfield

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Faith & Disease - Insularia – The new Faith & Disease album is a continuation of the sound set forth on the Livesongs: Third Body album. That is slow, dreamy music, more similar in style to Mazzy Star than Dead Can Dance. If...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues