Barry Goldberg was a keyboard player who had a reputation as one of the best sidemen in the business. He even backed Bob Dylan when Dylan went "electric" during his legendary Newport Jazz Festival Show. The Barry Goldberg Blues Band is actually the remainder of the Miller-Goldberg Blues Band which was formed when Steve Miller left to form his own band. This album was recorded by the group in 1966 in Nashville. This disc includes a bonus track.
Barry Goldberg Blues Band includes: Barry Goldberg (vocals, keyboards).
Personnel: Barry Goldberg (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Harvey Mandel (guitar); Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica); Maurice McKinley (drums).
Liner Note Author: Mark Marymont.
Chicago-style blues practitioner Barry Goldberg (keyboards/vocals) first came to prominence after appearing with Bob Dylan (guitar/vocals) at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Shortly after that he teamed up with Steve Miller (guitar/vocals) to form the Goldberg-Miller Blues Band, releasing a pair of mostly ignored 7" singles. After Miller split to the Bay Area to form his own blues band, Goldberg and the remnants of the short-lived Goldberg-Miller union headed to Music City U.S.A. to cut Blowing My Mind (1966) . Joining Goldberg were several up-and-coming notables, including Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica), Harvey Mandel (guitar), Roy Ruby (bass), and Maurice McKinley (drums). This quintet drives through a blend of high-energy originals as well as an interesting combination of equally commanding cover tunes. However, Goldberg's "Mean Old World" stands as an anomaly. It mirrors a decidedly traditional blues style and incorporates a slower -- if not somewhat methodical -- pace with plenty of room for well-crafted solos. Mandel's projections notably help to coalesce the band's sound and overall direction. On tracks such as the rowdy and playful "Twice a Man," he foreshadows the aggressive and full-bodied approach that his solo fretwork would eventually follow. The same side is also highlighted by Musslewhite's remarkable ensemble interplay as he interjects some tasty amplified mouth harp accents. The title cut is a midtempo Goldberg/Ruby tune with an edgy garage rock feel, slightly reminiscent of Dylan's "Positively Fourth Street." The pair also contribute the upbeat and soulful "Put Me Down." McKinley really shines with a solid backbeat that is fleshed out by some clever licks and fills. Again, front and center is Musslewhite's reserved yet expressive co-lead as he responds to Goldberg's vocals. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" and "That'll Be the Day" are recommended reworkings that perhaps best exemplify the bluesy synthesis that defined the Barry Goldberg Blues Band, at least on this initial effort. Rather than attempting a note-for-note re-creation, they fuse their own blend of electric blues onto the well-known and already established melodies. The same holds for the cover versions of Jimmy Reed's "Can't Stand to See You Go" and Jimmy McCracklin's seminal side, "Think." The 1998 CD reissue on the Collectables label also includes a previously unreleased and highly effective reading of Geoff Muldaur's "Ginger Man." ~ Lindsay Planer