MIKE BLOOMFIELD & NICK GRAVENITES
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 3:51PM
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Mike Bloomfield & Nick Gravenites: Steelyard Blues—Original Sound Track from the Motion Picture. CD

With a killer leading couple of Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland—fresh from their box office triumph co-starring in Klute—and a soundtrack by the Electric Flag’s Mike Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites—with performances by Paul Butterfield and Maria Muldaur—you would think that the 1972 film Steelyard Blues would be better known than it is. Alas, the film was one of those only-in-the-early-‘70s countercultural romps that died at the box office; Fonda plays a call girl (again) who hooks up with Sutherland’s bumbling ex-con to restore a seaplane and attempt an escape from The Man breathing down their collective necks. Poorly reviewed and largely forgotten by film audiences, it has remained a cult classic because of its soundtrack, which marked Mike Bloomfield’s first release of any kind in three years, and reunited him with Gravenites, with whom he’d composed music in the Electric Flag for the soundtrack to Roger Corman’s B-movie classic The Trip. Here, the emphasis was less on psychedelia than on a jaunty mix of blues, rock and country to match the shambolic goings-on on screen; there’s no mistaking Bloomfield’s stinging blues-rock licks for those of any other guitarist, and a pre-“Midnight at the Oasis” Muldaur serves notice of her impending superstardom. Completing the musical cast was Paul Butterfield, in whose band Bloomfield first broke into prominence, keyboardist Merl Saunders, later of course to collaborate with the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, and Annie Sampson of the Bay Area group Stoneground. This Real Gone release marks the first domestic issue of the soundtrack—new copies of the now out-of-print Japanese release go for hundreds of bucks—and it sports new liner notes by Richie Unterberger. A long-lost underground soundtrack gem!

Songs:

1.   Swing with It

2.   Brand New Family

3.   Woman’s Love

4.   Make the Headlines

5.   Georgia Blues

6.   My Bag (the Oysters)

7.    Common Ground

8.   Being Different

9.   I’ve Been Searching

10. Do I Care

11. Lonesome Star Blues

12. Here I Come (There She Goes)

13. If You Cared

14. Theme from Steelyard Blues (Drive Again)

 

Article originally appeared on Real Gone Music (http://www.realgonemusic.com/).
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