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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Driftin & Driftin - Jerome Arnold w/ The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Jerome Arnold is an American bassist, known for his work with Howlin' Wolf and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the 1960s. His playing appears on the albums The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and East-West. He was a member of the Butterfield Band at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, and was among the musicians who supported Bob Dylan for his controversial performance at that Festival. Butterfield dropped out of college to devote himself full-time to music. His first break came when Big John’s, a Chicago blues bar, invited him and Bishop to play regularly. They accepted, and put together the Butterfield Blues Band, luring bass player Jerome Arnold and drummer Sam Lay away from Howlin Wolf’s band with promise of more money. The band was one of the first racially mixed blues groups. In 1965, they brought Michael Bloomfield, who was also playing around Chicago at the time, in to play lead guitar. The group’s energy stunned the Chicago blues scene and it wasn’t long before they had a recording contract with Elektra Records. While they were making that first album, Mark Naftalin sat in on Hammond organ. His contribution—to eight of the album’s eleven cuts—was so impressive that he stayed in the group after the sessions were finished. The band was renamed the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Jerome Arnold, a year younger than his more famous harmonica-playing brother Billy Boy Arnold, was born in Chicago on November 12, 1936. He was playing bass guitar in the city in the 1950s and from around 1957 played in HOWLIN WOLF’s band (though he didn’t play on Wolf’s records till the 1962 session that yielded ‘Tail Dragger’, to which the lyric of Dylan’s 1990 blues ‘Cat’s In The Well’ slyly alludes.) He and SAM LAY were poached from Wolf in 1963 by PAUL BUTTERFIELD, who was forming the pioneering Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Arnold and Lay were the bi-racial band’s black members, and the authentic Chicago blues rhythm section on which the band’s white soloists built. Arnold kept things solid when MIKE BLOOMFIELD introduced Indian music into the band on their second album, East-West, yet while reportedly uneasy with the ‘progressive’ organ-playing of Mark Naftalin (who joined in 1964), he was more than capable of laying down jazz-rooted bass lines flowing around behind Bloomfield on the 8-minute-long ‘Work Song’, which emerged on the Bloomfield compilation Don’t Say That I Ain’t Your Man: Essential Blues 1964-1969. He continued to play on Howlin’ Wolf records after joining the Butterfield outfit. Arnold, described by Butterfield Blues Band enthusiast Charles Sawyer as ‘quiet and unassuming; a conservative dresser given to double knits and loafers’, was nevertheless one of those who played behind Dylan - with Bloomfield, AL KOOPER, BARRY GOLDBERG and Sam Lay - at Dylan’s controversial electric d├ębut at the 1965 NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL. It was the only time he played behind Dylan; he continued with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which Butterfield disbanded in 1972. By 1978 he had changed his name to Julio Finn and moved to London. Now playing more harmonica than bass, he played with jazz acts, including Archie Shepp (for instance on the album Black Gipsy) and the Art Ensemble of Chicago (Certain Blacks, recorded in Paris in 1970). On the 1970 eponymously-titled album by Archie Shepp & Philly Joe Jones, Finn is credited as composer of the 21-minute-long ‘Howling in the Silence’, on which he contributes vocals as well as harmonica. In 1981 he was asked to write the sleevenotes for the UK label Charley’s album Crying and Pleading, by his brother Billy Boy Arnold.  In 1998 he played harmonica on the Linton Kwesi Johnson album Independent Intavenshan; in 2000 he was the respondent at a panel discussion on ‘The Blues as Individual and Collective History’ at a conference on ‘The Blues Tradition’ at Penn State University and inducted into the Rok N Roll Hall of Fame on April 18, 2015,. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

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