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Check It Out!: April 3, 2014

Mike Bloomfield: Guitar Great Gets His Due

Michael Bloomfield — From His Head to His Heart to His Hands (Columbia/Legacy) — Eric Clapton once famously said that, “Mike Bloomfield is music on two legs.” A supernova that burned brightly throughout the ’60s, by the time of his death on Feb. 15, 1981, Bloomfield’s legacy had fallen far behind those of fellow guitar heroes Hendrix, Clapton, Page and Beck. But one listen to this Al Kooper-curated 3-CD/1-DVD set will have you rethinking his place in the pantheon of musical greats.

The three discs are separated into “Roots,” “Jams” and “Last Licks.” Right out of the gate, Bloomfield’s prowess is readily evident via the trio of previously unreleased demos the then-21-year-old cut for legendary A&R exec John Hammond, Sr. back in 1964. Solely accompanied by session stand-up bassist Bill Lee, (father of Spike), Bloomfield expertly strums and growls his way through the traditional “I’m a Country Boy” and Bessie Smith’s “Judge, Judge” before convincing Hammond to hear the Merle Travis-inspired “Hammond’s Rag” featuring a flurry of fleet-fingered picking. Other highlights include an instrumental take of “Like a Rolling Stone” taken from the same Dylan session, an alternate version of Dylan singing “Tombstone Blues” with harmonies by the Chambers Brothers along with Bloomfield’s seminal work with the Butterfield Blues Band (“Born in Chicago,” “East-West”) and the Electric Flag (“Killing Floor,” “Texas”).

Disc 2 (“Jams”) is equally as illuminating and features selections from both the studio and live Super Sessions releases along with Fillmore East: The Lost Concert Tapes. Alongside live and studio versions of the eclectic mélange of rock, jazz and raga that is “Her Holy Modal Highness,” are equally tasty covers of Ray Charles (“Mary Ann”), Arthur Crudup (“That All Right Mama”) and Simon & Garfunkel (“59th Street Song [Feeling Groovy]”) in which Kooper edited together the best pieces of separate live versions recorded at the Fillmore East and Fillmore West. Disc 3 (“Last Licks”) rounds out the audio portion of this box set with mostly live performances with Muddy Waters (“Can’t Lose What You Never Had”), Janis Joplin (“One Good Man”) and Dylan (“The Groom’s Still Waiting At the Altar”). Best of all is Bloomfied playing live solo acoustic versions of “Darktown Strutters Ball” and “Hymn Time.”

Adding icing to this aurally rich musical cake is the inclusion of the DVD, Sweet Blues: A Film About Mike Bloomfield. Among the enlightening interviews with the likes of Bloomfield himself, B.B. King, the late Bill Graham and Al Kooper and live performances is a quote by Quicksilver Messenger’s Gary Duncan where he mentioned that Bloomfield was listed on a number of best guitar player lists way below the likes of Clapton and Hendrix. In Duncan’s opinion, Bloomfield was better than both. After immersing yourself in From His Head, it’s easy to understand the man’s point of view.


April 3

Westhampton Beach

Carolina Chocolate Drops @ Westhampton Beach

Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., 8 p.m.

$40, $38, $35. 631-288-1500 www.whbpac.org

Nowadays, the notion of old-time music revivalists brings to mind artists like Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch and Nickel Creek. And while most fans consider mountain music to be the domain of legendary Caucasian performers like Dock Bocks and Jimmie Rodgers, it’s also a significant part of African-American culture due in part to artists like Charlie Patton, Blind Blake and Etta Baker. Carolina Chocolate Drops have continued to carry on that tradition into the 21st century and in the process, won a 2010 Best Traditional Folk Album Grammy. The band’s last outing, was 2012’s stellar Leaving Eden. With it featuring selections from a variety of sources ranging from the 1870 songbook Kerr’s Collection of Merry Melodies to Alan Lomax field recordings and South African blues guitarist Hannes Coetzee, it’s no surprise that the Chocolate Drops continue to be trustworthy keepers of the mountain music flame.


April 3

Bay Shore

Joan Osborne Acoustic Duo @ the YMCA Boulton Center

for the Performing Arts, 37 W. Main St. 8 p.m. $65, $60.

631-969-1101 www.boultoncenter.org

Even though 2012’s Bring It On Home was Joan Osborne’s last studio outing, she’s most recently kept busy as a member of Trigger Hippy alongside Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman and roots-rock singer-songwriter Jackie Greene. Osborne finally returned to the studio and as such, the curvy southern siren is out in support of the newly-released Love and Hate, a collection of songs inspired by the vagaries of amor.


April 4

Westbury

Art Garfunkel @The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave.

8 p.m. $75, $50, $40. 800-745-3000,

www.thespaceatwestbury.com

Voracious reader, walking enthusiast and the erstwhile on-again, off-again partner of Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel most recently was battling vocal chord woes for the better part of the last four years. With 2007’s Some Enchanted Evening, a walk through the Great American Songbook being his last recorded album, expect the Forest Hills native to be dipping into the canons of Berlin, the Gershwins and Rodgers & Hammerstein.


April 4

Amityville

Red Dragon Cartel (featuring Jake E. Lee)

@ Revolution Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd.

7 p.m. $20 adv. $25 DOS.

631-264-7712 www.revolutionli.com

One of rock’s more reclusive artists in recent times, Jake E. Lee has finally re-emerged with Red Dragon Cartel. Even though he was reportedly fired from his stint playing with Ozzy during the Ultimate Sin era via a telegram sent by Sharon Osborne, Lee bounced back with his group Badlands through the course of three albums. And while he spent most of the past two decades playing on tribute projects and cutting the occasional all-covers album (2005’s Retraced). With this new outfit, Lee not only recruited bandmates Darren James Smith (vocals) and Jonas Fairley (drums; vocals) via Facebook, but also wound up with a cadre of famous guests on the band’s self-titled debut including Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander, ex-Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno and former Pantera bassist Rex Brown. With Black Water Rising, Magus Beast, Strychnine, Vonhell & Plague Legion.


April 5

Port Washington

On Your Radar with John Platt @ Landmark on Main Street,

223 Main St. 8 p.m. $47, $42, $37.

516-767-6444 www.landmarkonmainstreet.org

On the second Tuesday of every month for the past eight years, WFUV music guru John Platt has presented a triple bill in New York City of artists who merit your attention. Now he’s bringing his concept to Landmark. For this go-round, it’s the male harmony trio of Pat Wictor, Joe Jencks and Greg Greenaway known as Brother Sun, Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph and Shakespearian actress-turned-songwriter Amy Speace, a favorite of Judy Collins who signed the younger musician to her Wildflower Records imprint.


April 10

Bay Shore

Roger McGuinn @ the YMCA Boulton Center

for the Performing Arts, 37 W. Main St.

8 p.m. $45, $40. 631-969-1101 www.boultoncenter.org

With his trademark 12-string Rickenbacker, Roger McGuinn not only ushered in the folk-rock boom and was an early proponent of incorporating country music nuances into pop music, (along with then-bandmate Gram Parsons), but proved to be a musical and stylistic forefather to Tom Petty. Nowadays, McGuinn has reverted back to his folk troubadour roots, criss-crossing back and forth across the country along with wife/tour manager Camilla (check out her blog at rogermcguinn.blogspot.com).


April 10

Brooklyn

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony @ Barclays Center,

620 Atlantic Ave. 7:30 p.m. $576.40, $120.40, $66.75.

917-618-6700 www.barclayscenter

Drama, thy name is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. With Kiss finally getting in, the big controversy is the fact that Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are refusing to play live with original founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. While Simmons initially wavered, Stanley was adamant about not doing this seeing as he believed that Frehley and Criss’ replacements, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer respectively, should be inducted as well. As if this weren’t enough, all this doesn’t even take into account the tension that’s going to be at the Nirvana table Dave Grohl and Courtney Love will be sharing. It’s enough nonsense to overshadow the fact that the other evening’s inductees are Hall & Oates, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Andrew Loog Oldham and the E Street Band.