Keeping the Blues Alive / Blues News  / Blues Video Of The Week – Paul Butterfield At Woodstock

Blues Video Of The Week – Paul Butterfield At Woodstock

This week’s Blues video of the week is “The Paul Butterfield Blues Band” and their performance at Woodstock.

Growing up in Southside Chicago, Paul learned the blues from the original masters performing nightly in his own back yard.  Muddy Waters was his mentor and a lifelong friend. He’s also one of the first white harmonica players to play well enough to shine in the limelight of the well-known blues greats.  In addition, his storming musical sound and respect for the blues was a major catalyst in bringing electric Chicago blues to white audiences.

Paul Butterfield had a dream of transcending the confines of genre, race and all other convenient mainstream labels.  When it came to his music, he wasn’t someone that performed with strict technique, but instead played by instinct.  He was the real deal when it came to playing the blues.  He was the perfect ringleader when it came to his strength as a bandleader, again, he trusted his instincts.

For those of you not familiar with Paul Butterfield, he was a rebel when it came to his craft.  He didn’t follow mainstream hype, but instead created music that would resonate with future generations of music fans. When he sang the blues or played the harmonica, it was with a lot of intensity and emotion. People watching him and his band performing, left inspired by the performances. 

The Paul Butterfield Band’s music was eclectic and teetering on the edge of blues rock, psychedelia, jazz and even Indian classical music. So, it was no surprise that he and his band left quite an impression and were popular with the festival circuits. 

Sadly, he passed at the age of 44 due to a drug overdose. But his music legacy still lives on.  Finally, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

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