Saturday, September 6, 2008


Chicago-style blues practitioner Barry Goldberg (keyboards/vocals) first came to prominence after appearing with Bob Dylan (guitar/vocals) at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Shortly after that he teamed up with Steve Miller (guitar/vocals) to form the Goldberg-Miller Blues Band, releasing a pair of mostly ignored 7" singles. After Miller split to the Bay Area to form his own blues band, Goldberg and the remnants of the short-lived Goldberg-Miller union headed to Music City U.S.A. to cut Blowing My Mind (1966) . Joining Goldberg were several up-and-coming notables, including Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica), Harvey Mandel (guitar), Roy Ruby (bass), and Maurice McKinley (drums). This quintet drives through a blend of high-energy originals as well as an interesting combination of equally commanding cover tunes. However, Goldberg's "Mean Old World" stands as an anomaly. It mirrors a decidedly traditional blues style and incorporates a slower -- if not somewhat methodical -- pace with plenty of room for well-crafted solos. Mandel's projections notably help to coalesce the band's sound and overall direction. On tracks such as the rowdy and playful "Twice a Man," he foreshadows the aggressive and full-bodied approach that his solo fretwork would eventually follow. The same side is also highlighted by Musslewhite's remarkable ensemble interplay as he interjects some tasty amplified mouth harp accents. The title cut is a midtempo Goldberg/Ruby tune with an edgy garage rock feel, slightly reminiscent of Dylan's "Positively Fourth Street." The pair also contribute the upbeat and soulful "Put Me Down." McKinley really shines with a solid backbeat that is fleshed out by some clever licks and fills. Again, front and center is Musslewhite's reserved yet expressive co-lead as he responds to Goldberg's vocals. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" and "That'll Be the Day" are recommended reworkings that perhaps best exemplify the bluesy synthesis that defined the Barry Goldberg Blues Band, at least on this initial effort. Rather than attempting a note-for-note re-creation, they fuse their own blend of electric blues onto the well-known and already established melodies. The same holds for the cover versions of Jimmy Reed's "Can't Stand to See You Go" and Jimmy McCracklin's seminal side, "Think." The 1998 CD reissue on the Collectables label also includes a previously unreleased and highly effective reading of Geoff Muldaur's "Ginger Man."

Tracks :

The Goldberg-Miller Blues Band:
1 The Mother Song 2.57
2 More Soul, Than Soulful 3.13
The Barry Goldberg Blues Band:
3 Getting' It Down 2.08
4 Mean Old World 3.49
5 Twice A Man 2.28
6 Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' on 2.37
7 Big Boss Man 2.57
8 Blowing My Mind 2.57
9 That'll Be The Day 2.22
10 Can't Stand To See You Go 2.24
11 Put Me Down 1.53
12 Think
13 Ginger Man 1.46

Band Members :

Barry Goldberg - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Harvey Mandel - Guitar
Maurice McKinley - Drums
Charlie Musselwhite - Harmonica
Ron Ruby - Bass

Link :

Artwork - No Back Cover

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