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Paul Butterfield's Better Days: Bearsville Anthology

Colin Escott, Rhino Bearsville, 2000

PAUL BUTTERFIELD was a legend long before he ever set foot in Woodstock. Perhaps the first authentic white voice in the blues, his legendary '60s aggregations showed how the blues could progress long after it had ceased to be nourished from the black neighbourhoods. In Butterfield's hands, the blues could be heavy with rock 'n' roll attitude or fleet with jazz. His bands were loud, ballsy, and aware of tradition without being overawed by it. Butterfield was a musical eclectic. His roots were in jazz, blues, R&B, and rock 'n' roll, and he saw nothing wrong with combining them all. That eclecticism could sometimes be his undoing, but at his considerable best Paul Butterfield was a towering giant of American music.

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