Saturday, June 10, 2023

Mike Bloomfield - Try It Before You Buy It (1973 us, wonderful gospel folkish bluesy rock)

This was Mike Bloomfield's second solo album for Columbia Records recorded in 1973. By that time Mike's popularity had faded so they did not release it then but put it out briefly on the CBS Special Products label in 1975.

The cover shows Mike Bloomfield with his mother. The album didn’t leave a trace and the reason could be that it probably never even got a release! (1973 or 1975 promo copies are known to exist). Even the CBS special product CD is hard to find. It’s a good album with fine playing from a great band. The lead singing is split between 4 people. There are some great tracks like “Your Friends”, which is what Mike Bloomfield and his friends do best: music that’s bluesy, slow and with a feeling. A great track. Also a great vocal performance on  from Mike Bloomfield.

It’s not exactly a blues album, but it’s rooted in the blues for certain. It’s not a Rock ’n’ Roll album either (well, the Dr. John song “Lights Out” certainly is a rocker!). Mike Bloomfield penned  even has a Caribbean feel to it due to Mark Naftalin playing the marimba. Nice bottleneck on “Baby Come On”, a track any guitarist would be proud of. 

The highlights on this record are Roger Troy’s contributions. He sings lead on three gospel-like songs: “Shine On Love”, “When I Get Home” and “Let Them Talk”. It’s understandable that all three were used again when “Living in the Fast Lane” was released in 1980.
1. Been Treated Wrong (Robert Brown) - 5:10
2. When It All Comes Down - 3:07
3. Lights Out (Mac Rebennack) - 1:48
4. Baby Come On - 3:48
5. Shine On Love (Roger Troy) - 4:57
6. When I Get Home - 4:27
7. Try It Before You Buy It - 3:48
8. Midnight On The Radio - 2:58
9. Your Friends (Deadric Malone) – 6:54
10.Tomorrow Night - 2:10
11.Let Them Talk (Sonny Thompson) - 5:22
All songs by Mike Bloomfield except where indicated

*Michael Bloomfield - Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Mark Naftalin - Keyboards, Vibes, Marimba, Accordion, Trombone
*Barry Goldberg - Keyboards 
*Roger Troy - Bass, Lead Vocals 
*George Rains - Drums 
*Nick Gravenites - Lead Vocals 
*Ron Stallings - Lead Vocals, Tenor Sax 
*Jimmy Vincent - Rhythm Guitar 
*Howard Wales - Keyboards 
*John Wilmeth - Trumpet
*Mel Graves - Tenor Sax
*Harry Mann - Alto Sax
*Hart McNee - Baritone Sax 
*Chuck Bennett - Trombone 
*Joe Bullock, Ollie Griffin, Tommy Tony (From The Church Of God In Christ) - Background Vocals
*John Wilmeth - Horns Arranger

1965-66  The Barry Goldberg Blues Band - Blowing My Mind ..Plus (2003 remaster and expanded)
1968  Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills - The Super Sessions (2014 Hybrid Multichannel SACD 24/88)