Wed 4/17 @ 7PM
Blues harmonica player/vocalist Paul Butterfield was one of a group of middle-class white kids who became immersed in Chicago’s blues scene in the early-mid 60s. His Paul Butterfield Blues Band also included legendary guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, and keyboard player Mark Naftalin, the latter two both graduates of the elite University of Chicago, conveniently located on the south side of the city, not too far from its legendary blues clubs of the era.
Between 1965 and 1971, the group released six influential albums, although Bloomfield left after the first two and the final two featured only Butterfield from the original lineup.
The group, which helped fuel the interest in black blues among young white musicians on this side of the Atlantic (while a similar movement was happening in England) was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. Sadly, Butterfield was not around to see it: health issues led to the drug addiction which killed him in 1987 (Bloomfield had died of a drug overdose six years earlier).
The 2018 film Horn from the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story follows the saga of the young musician, mentored by Muddy Waters, who was known for playing harmonica like it was a saxophone. It screens at the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater as part of its ongoing film series. Tickets for non-members are $5.50.