Paul Butterfield Blues Band
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was crucial to Elektra’s shift from folk and blues into rock. The core group included spellbinding guitarist Mike Bloomfield, led by harmonica man Paul Butterfield.
Bloomfield and Butterfield backed Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 where by famously plugging in, Dylan pointed to the future for those prepared to listen. The Butterfield Band’s self-titled debut that same year was already motivating young white kids to play high-energy electric blues.
The band’s second album East-West spun off into an entirely different direction, its long improvisational jams, notably the raga-tinged “East-West,” more Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane than Muddy Waters. It was the last album by the classic original line up and by the end of the 60’s, first Bloomfield, then the rest of the group had moved on. Butterfield continued to record for Elektra until 1971.