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Retrospective for Guitar Legend’s Influence

Carlos Santana
Matt Roberts/Getty Images

A good chunk of the career of the late guitarist Michael Bloomfield has been compiled in a new retrospective, From His Head To His Heart To His Hands, that will be out February 4th, just 11 days shy of the 33rd anniversary of his death.

Best known for his work on Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, Bloomfield was a a blues player who has influenced many, including Carlos Santana, who says, “The first time I saw Michael play guitar…it literally changed my life enough for me to say, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.’” Eric Clapton says, “Mike Bloomfield is music on two legs.” And Bob Dylan adds that Bloomfield was “The best guitar player I ever heard.”

The three-CD and one-DVD collection was produced and curated by Bloomfield’s friend and musical partner Al Kooper, and it contains a lot of unreleased material, including his demos for Columbia and his final public performance, an appearance with Bob Dylan in San Francisco in 1980. It also includes his studio work with Dylan, plus selections from his time with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, who were just nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Electric Flag, Muddy Waters and Janis Joplin.

The DVD is a documentary on his life called Sweet Blues: A Film about Michael Bloomfield. Bloomfield died of a drug overdose on February 15th, 1981. He was 37.

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