Mike Bloomfield - Sweet Little Angel

Fillmore West (San Francisco, CA), 02/02/1969

Music Audio Mike Bloomfield
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At this Fillmore West show, Mike Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites, Mike Naftalin and friends opened for Chuck Berry.

"Born In Chicago" is a significantly different arrangement here than it is in the Butterfield Blues Band version. Bloomfield lays low throughout this song, letting the horn section lead the way. At times this approach borders on free jazz, but the rhythm section keeps it grounded in the blues idiom. "Work Me Lord" is next. Again, Nick's singing is excellent and Mark Naftalin's piano work is a stand out. It's a very tight arrangement, varying very little from the previous night. It's obvious that some of the repertoire was extensively rehearsed while other songs were intentionally left loose so they could explore and jam. Next up is a version of "It's About Time" that is much longer than the album version. "Young Girl" is another standard blues tune, typical of Nick's songwriting at the time and featuring Bloomfield on lead vocals with his guitar leads punched up by the horn section. Naftalin is also propelling things along. Respectable playing, but not as outstanding as the other songs that the group was playing in this mode, as Bloomfield's guitar playing seems distracted by his singing. A second version of "Born In Chicago" is next followed by "My Heart Beats Like a Hammer" featuring Bloomfield on lead vocals. Bloomfield seems more focused and his lead guitar work is strong and assured, rather than being a mere second thought to his vocals.

After Graham watched these shows, he unexpectedly invited them to headline over The Byrds the following week. After listening to these tapes and needing more material for a headliner slot, they quickly developed more songs, including several more slow blues numbers to augment those final shows.