Bob Jones played drums on what is arguably Michael's best album (Michael Bloomfield and Friends – Live at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West) and went on to play with him for the final ten years of his career. You can hear that Michael And Me was mostly recorded live in the studio with crack players (Jimi Bott, Greg Marsh, etc.) and yet the recording quality transcends a mere live document thanks to the painstaking care taken by the engineer. The album’s performances benefit from both the rich cache of material culled from Bob's touring years with Michael in the 70s, and Bob Jones’ remarkable vocals. The latter cannot be emphasized enough – this is not just another record of killer guitar jams over pedestrian backing tracks. Michael himself compared Bob to Otis Redding when he first heard him, and it is this that firmly plants Michael and Me on the same level as the very best classic blues albums. As if that weren’t enough, the album also features guest appearances by Bloomfield Band mainstays Nick Gravenites and Mark Naftalin,
The album was originally the idea of Nils Rosenblad, a Bloomfield aficionado who learned his first guitar licks (at 9!) from the Butterfield albums. But it soon caught fire in the hearts and minds of Bob and the rest of the members of The Drive. Nils plays most of the lead guitar on the album and the chemistry between he and Bob is the driving force behind the project.
Michael and Me is a return to a style of playing and recording that has been almost completely lost in the modern age of ProTools and overdubbing. It is this authenticity and traditional methodology that makes the album 'fresh' and a great modern recording that can compete with the originals from back in the day on their own terms. Michael and Me will remind people that the style of blues that informed their earliest experiences with the genre did not end in 1958, or '68, or even '87, as well as inspire and astound every new generation of Blues and Americana fans that have come along since then.
The Tunes and Their Connection to the
“Mike Bloomfield and Friends” Band
By Bob Jones
1) Michael Bloomfields’ intro to my song “Backroad” from a live performance in the late 70's.
2) Backroad - Our modern version. Mike loved to play this song ‘cause he loved the topic. Great harp and lead guitar. Drummer Greg Marsh shows why he is first call from Chicago to Maui.
3) Blue Movies - Written by “Gashouse” Dave Shorey, one of the bass players in “Friends”, about the porn tracks Mike and I played on for the Mitchell Brothers. The “mambo, mambo, Little Sheba on the side” line is a direct Mike quote about carnal events.
4) Minglewood Blues/.45 Blues - A stormer with the floor tom groove we used in the Michael band all the time.
5) Lollipop Mama - You’ve got to have a great shuffle on a Mike tribute album. Jimi Bott, six time winner of the Blues Drummer of The Year award, plays a solo that only he could. Jimi has told me he was also heavily influenced by the Fillmore West album.
6) Knocking Myself Out - Mike’s ode to his love of consciousness alteration.
7) Mary Ann - The only tune from Super Session we do. We do it the way the “Friends” band did it, much more like Ray Charles’ original. Nils so invokes Mike on this.
8) Corrina - Inspired by the Taj Mahal version, Mike enjoyed playing this nine bar blues.
9) Raising Cane - Another Shorey tune written at that time about me.
10) Blues From A Westside - My vocal duet with Nick Gravenites on a song which Nick wrote. Originally recorded on “Live at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West” I play drums on this as I did on the original. Nick is the most sophisticated Blues lyricist ever.
11) Do Me - A single entendre modern “Gashouse” Dave Shorey song.
12) Women Loving Each Other - Mark Naftalin’s keyboard contributions to the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the “Friends” band are legendary. Here he shows he has just gotten better. In addition, Mike loved that the original writer, an old blues guy, would complain about lesbians cutting in on his action. Some verses were added by Mike.
13) Too Much Smoke - Mike came up with the intro guitar line. Nils takes that theme and extends it beautifully.
14) Cigarettes and Coffee - Originally done by Otis Redding. This is the song I was playing when Mike first met me and compared it to hearing Otis singing and Al Jackson playing.
15) Guitar King - This was Mike’s anthem. We often did it at the beginning of shows. It said “We play high energy punk blues like Wolf and if you don’t like it, leave.” Greg plays the drum part just like I would.