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Winner CDs


East-West Live
Three live versions of "East-West" -- 56 minutes

Strawberry Jam
More live nightclub recordings 1966-1968

Percy Mayfield Live
The only authorized live recordings by the Poet Laureate of the Blues

Just Like A Devil
Solos, band tunes, duets with Mark Naftalin


East-West Live | Strawberry Jam | Percy Mayfield Live | Just Like A Devil

East-West Live
(Winner 447)

East-West Live

The recordings in this album, made on portable tape recorders during nightclub performances, were collected by Mark Naftalin during his travels with the Butterfield Band.



1 - Whiskey A Go-Go, Hollywood, California, winter, 1966
2 - Poor Richard's, Chicago, spring, 1966
3 - Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, California, winter, 1967


Thanks to Ellen Naftalin, Arthur & Frances Naftalin, David & Genie Ames, E.E. Barker, Fred & Cathy Steck, Allen Bloomfield, Val Parker, Jan Mark Wolkin, John Stepek, George Jones, Beth Patterson, Gayle Harvey

Special thanks to Billy & Mattie Davenport for the use of their photo and memorabilia archives

East-West Live

by Dave Marsh
May, 1996

           NO MATTER WHAT you may believe, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was not the first great white blues band. In the first place, its membership was always integrated; black musicians played a central role in the Butterfield bands from day one. More important, the original Butterfield group, especially the one that made the first two albums, does not deserve to be judged with any modification or apology. It was a great blues band by any standard.

           ONE REASON the appellation "white" gets tacked onto the Butterfield group's accomplishments is that it was, even then, unusual for people like Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop and Mark Naftalin, who had not grown up in African-American communities, to play Chicago blues with such authenticity and intensity.

           UNDENIABLY, HOWEVER, the Butterfield Band laid the foundation for much of the white rock experimentation of the mid- Sixties. It did this with the fiery emotional personality its central figures, singer/harpist Paul Butterfield and guitarist Michael Bloomfield, brought to remolding blues music, and by exploiting the wide variety of interests possessed by its members, including drummer Billy Davenport's jazz background, and the serious music training of Naftalin.

           BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER was Bloomfield, a prodigious talent who forged the essential components of his style in the Butterfield Band. Bloomfield once told Naftalin that his ambition was to create a sound so distinctive that it was immediately recognizable to anyone who heard it, and as much as anyone this side of Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King, he came close to doing that. He started out on the Butterfield Band's 1965 debut album, as an heir of the best Chicago blues guitarists--Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin--as well as the Memphis-based King whose most famous album (Live at the Regal) had been cut in Chicago. But his style changed radically within a year, in part because Bloomfield also paid serious attention to his contemporaries in soul, jazz, and funk--you can hear Steve Cropper's Stax/Volt single-string attack and some of Wes Montgomery's cool jazz. Bloomfield also clearly listened to the English rock guitarists like George Harrison, Brian Jones, Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton, who were beginning to expand their blues-based guitar vocabularies by toying with intense amplification and other forms of noise, and, in the case of Harrison and Jones, with what would today be called "world music."

           IT REAMAINED FOR SOMEONE to synthesize all of these influences, and the possibilities that the mixture suggested, into a signature style. The person who made that synthesis, before even Jimi Hendrix, was Michael Bloomfield.

           THIS CASE doesn't have to be argued, because it can be heard--on the second Butterfield album, East-West, originally released in 1966. The components of what Butterfield was doing to extend the blues, and to meld it with other musics, would have been familiar to the dozens of musicians who flocked to the band's shows after it left Chicago, from New York to Detroit to San Francisco and Los Angeles. But where Bloomfield and his bandmates took those elements could not have been predicted by anyone--there were strong suggestions of the Indian ragas with which Harrison had been experimenting, but there were also echoes of both jazz and classical avant-gardism, and a heavy Latin accent frequently came to bear.

           PAUL BUTTERFIELD RAN a strictly disciplined group, and by early 1966, the Butterfield Band was playing Chicago blues, by strict definition, and the existential kind of blues that Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray describe: Music of inner torment, heartbreak and, at the same time, spiritual reaffirmation and even transcendence. In this respect, every great bluesman or blues combo redefines the idiom in his or their own terms--by playing with what the cliche calls "soul." "East-West" is the climactic expression of the Butterfield Band's redefinition of the blues, and it is a magnificently soulful piece of music.

           MARK NAFTALIN SAYS that Michael Bloomfield brought "East- West" to the Butterfield Band in the days following an all-night acid trip (in Cambridge in late 1965). "Mike sequestered himself in the wee hours of the night," Naftalin recalls, "and when he emerged at dawn he said he'd had a revelation into the workings of Indian music." At first simply called "the raga," "East-West" was an exploration of music that moved modally, rather than through chord changes. As Naftalin explains, "This song was based, like Indian music, on a drone. In Western musical terms, it 'stayed on the one.' The song was tethered to a four-beat bass pattern and structured as a series of sections, each with a different mood, mode and color, always underscored by the drummer, who contributed not only the rhythmic feel but much in the way of tonal shading, using mallets as well as sticks on the various drums and the different regions of the cymbals. In addition to playing beautiful solos, Paul played important, unifying things in the background--chords, melodies, counterpoints, counter-rhythms. This was a group improvisation. In its fullest form it lasted more than an hour."

           THERE'S NO PERFORMANCE quite that long included in this set, which is drawn from tapes that have survived three decades--from the winter 1966 shows the band did at the Whisky in Hollywood, a sweet Chicago homecoming at Poor Richard's that spring, and a show at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, south of L.A., the following winter. But the three performances, taken together, play like an extended, ever-developing suite. Solo flourishes and ensemble turns emerge and re-emerge as the music pours towards its final, joyful climax, and in the path from first to last, one can read much of the temper of that cataclysmic year.

           IN THESE INCARNATIONS, "East-West" can be heard as part of what sparked the West Coast's rock revolution, in which such song structures with extended improvisatory passages became a commonplace. In particular, Billy Davenport's use of a bossa nova rhythm for the basic beat must have helped to inspire Carlos Santana's early salsa-rock experiments. It can even be argued that the Butterfield Band did a much more thorough job of integrating Indian music into the basic rock soundscheme (to which Jerome Arnold's still blues-centered bass ensures they are anchored) than any English band, the Beatles included.

           "EAST-WEST" WAS IN SOME WAYS much further ahead of its time. When Bloomfield and Bishop begin to use their instruments and amplifiers to really bang and clang, what emerges is a hint of the noisy attack favored by postpunk and grunge guitarists of the Eighties and Nineties. Those contemporary guitarists almost certainly don't think of Bloomfield, Bishop, the Butterfield Band or even the blues when they do this. Nevertheless, the sounds are the same.

           BY CREATING an entire album from "East-West," however, Mark Naftalin has done something more important than just capturing an organic force, or tracing the patterns left by some kind of happy accident. He's paid an ultimate tribute to one of the greatest bands of the rock era. The Butterfield Band inspired those who wanted to play blues, and those who wanted to hear them, by showing that the form wasn't restricted in any way. This isn't nostalgia; it's history. And that's so because the Butterfield Band didn't make music to study at a distance. What that group played was exciting, alive, happening right now. With "East-West," above any other extended piece of the mid-Sixties, a rock band finally achieved a version of the musical freedom that free jazz had found a few years earlier. In this respect, East-West Live isn't a glimpse of the past so much as it is a preview of the future--a future that does not just happen but is made to occur through the application of talent, brotherhood and love. Those things are as inspiring at the turn-of-the-century as they were thirty years before.

East-West Live

"...ONE OF THE FINEST archival projects of the year, East-West Live fills in a crucial gap in the histories of a great American band -- and even rock itself..."

-- Steve Futterman, Rolling Stone

read the complete Rolling Stone review

"...FLOWS as a single otherworldly piece...The three long versions echo loud and clear across the years..."

-- Frank-John Hadley, Down Beat

"...AMAZING PERFORMANCES...Takes you inside this extraordinary improvisation and returns you for a few minutes to the glory days of a great American band..."

-- Jan Mark Wolkin, Blues Access

"...PUNCHY Bloomfield solo work and impassioned harp blowing from bandleader Butterfield..."

-- Chris Morris, Musician

"...THE PERFORMANCES boast surprisingly good sound and impressively document a confident band blazing forth in new-found creative glory..."

-- Kevin Toelle, Illinois Entertainer

"...THE MUSIC is incredible...a fascinating and illuminating window into the improvisational genius of what was undoubtedly one of the most cutting-edge blues groups EVER..."

-- Hal Horowitz, Poets, Artists & Madmen

"...THESE RECORDINGS capture a valuable moment in time while proving that great music can at once define an era and transcend it..."

-- Mark Rowland, Microsoft Network Music Central

"...AN INCREDIBLE DOCUMENT, and an opportunity to get inside the minds of some amazing musicians..."

-- DJ Johnson, Cosmik Debris

"...THE THREE live versions soar like a long, long meteor in the dark sky..."

-- Steven Rosen, Denver Post


East-West Live | Strawberry Jam | Percy Mayfield Live | Just Like A Devil

Strawberry Jam
(Winner 446)

Strawberry Jam

The recordings in this album were collected by Mark Naftalin during his time with the Butterfield Band. Some of them he made himself, others were made by friends. The tapes were made on mono or stereo portable recorders during nightclub performances.


  1. Just To Be With You (3:45)
  2. Mystery Train (3:52)
  3. Tollin' Bells (3:22)
  4. Cha Cha In Blues (4:24)
  5. Rock Me (9:07)
  6. One More Heartache (3:56)
  7. Strawberry Jam (10:35)
  8. Come On In This House (5:05)
  9. Born In Chicago (4:06)


1 - Whiskey A Go-Go, Hollywood, California, winter, 1966
2,4 - Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, California, spring, 1967
3,8,9 - Golden Bear, winter, 1967

5,6 - New Penelope, Montreal, summer, 1967
7 - JD's, Tempe, Arizona, winter, 1968


Strawberry Jam

by Dick Shurman
February, 1995

           IN THE 1960'S in the blues clubs on Chicago's south side, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was setting off the first depth charges of what would come to be a worldwide blues explosion. Its main role model was the reigning Hoochie Coochie Man himself, Muddy Waters. Did Butterfield and band play and sing Muddy's music as well or as enduringly as Muddy did? Even the band, with all its legendary brashness, might well concede that one to Muddy. But as musical trendsetters and subversives, popularizers of the blues and prototypes for at least a generation of blues bands, the Butterfield band holds its own and has indeed, in Muddy's words, "carried it on."

           AT A TIME WHEN the typical nationally-marketed white blues was either acoustic, solo-oriented folk music or the enthusiastic but generally unconvincing covers of British Invasion bands, it was the racially-integrated Butterfield group who brought to the fore a groundbreaking take on electric Chicago blues with all its grit and ferocity. Butterfield's vocals had all the toughness and passion of the kings of the ghetto bandstands where the School Of Blues was in session, and his heavily amplified harmonica was firmly in the Little Walter tradition (with a strong sense of James Cotton's huge tone and power and a great appreciation of the use of hands to provide nuance). But he also always had a strong sense of himself ("I think I'm better than all the people who are trying to reform me," he allegedly wrote for a school yearbook), which translated into an everpresent sense of style on top of the traditional aggressiveness.

           ATTITUDE HAD A LOT to do with the band's image, beyond the chip on the leader's shoulder. Perhaps because its members came from musical and cultural backgrounds outside the Chicago blues idiom, they took some license with it. Their de facto anthem, "Born In Chicago," was in part a declaration of something original to contribute to the blues repertoire (via a Nick Gravenites composition in this case), without sacrificing the mean, hard point of view. The group's two guitarists also blended more modern guitar influences into the harmonica-led Delta motif, once describing their ensemble approach as "The Muddy Waters band with B.B. King on lead guitar." Mark Naftalin was a solid, well-schooled pianist but was heard more often on organ, then a progressive and jazzy edge to a blues band. Of course, all this rested on the foundation of a seasoned hard-core rhythm section, to the occasional irritation of Howlin' Wolf, former employer of bassist Jerome Arnold and original drummer Sam Lay.

           WITHOUT QUESTION the band was charismatic. Even the studied sleaze of the first album cover had so much blues pull for searching white eyes that it finally lured young guitarist Robben Ford to buy it, thereby identifying his calling and changing his life forever. That effect happened so often, in so many ways, that Butterfield and his band acquired the same sort of style-setting status among the growing white blues (and rock) audience as Muddy once had, in his world, when southern black migrants to the cities were defining the music. Many modern players echo Butterfield's harp techniques. Mike Bloomfield was the first white American blues guitar hero, with an incalculable influence. Elvin Bishop's considerable impact came as much from his good-timing, barstool persona as it did from his highly original guitar playing. The band even had a literally electrifying effect on the larger musical scene as accompanists; its 1965 Newport appearance with Bob Dylan was widely heralded as a revolutionary (and controversial) event in folk music.

           INITIALLY, THE BAND used Chicago blues to turn on a whole new coterie of listeners (and imitators), enough to achieve stardom and also enough to reflect some of the spotlight on some of their mentors. The Butterfield band led many followers to explore the whole idiom. (B.B. King singled out Bloomfield for praise in helping him cross over to a white audience and stated at the time, "I'm grateful...because to me, it seemed to open a few doors for us that seemed like they were / never going to open.") Band members played on and/or produced breakthrough records by Muddy, James Cotton, Otis Rush, John Lee Hooker and others, not to mention Dylan. But the band's musical trailblazing went rapidly past electric club blues. Their extended improvisations brought jazz and non-western sensibilities not only to the Butterfield band, but to countless garages and stages. When a horn section was added and emphasis began to shift toward R & B, much notice was taken and, along with Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago, the group rceived renown as pioneers in the use of R & B horns in white popular music. And while the band's increasing adventures into fusion weren't always seamless or successful, they nevertheless had an anticipatory spirit which reflected Butterfield's continuing determination to make music his way. The transformation during these times appeared to be happening at warp speed. Though Butterfield and company demonstrated plenty of appreciation for their contemporaries and predecessors, boundaries and categories never seemed to matter much to this band. They seemed to take pride in trampling more than a few, from their incursions into the ghetto blues scene onward through musical history.

           THE MUSIC OF the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was many things -- a cry for recognition of a harder, fiercer kind of blues than white ears were used to; an accommodation of diverse musical influences with a personal verve and virtuosity; and a celebration of freedom to reinvent the context for its musical voice as it went along. Even those who would chalk the last up to youthful impudence must acknowledge that it was a perfect mirror for the ascendant spirit of the times (especially the psychedelic ballroom circuit), where other impudent souls were striving to reinvent culture and society with emphasis on tolerance and diversity, and music was the main bearer of the message for those who knew how to tune in. Surely the empathy between the group's aspirations and those of its audience had a lot to do with the band's popularity. In both cases, the results weren't always pretty, but they were bold, idealistic and ambitious -- and they changed the landscape forever.

Strawberry Jam

"...BUTTERFIELD COULD WORK his harp like a jazzman's horn, as demonstrated on the standout title track...A vital intro, Strawberry Jam reminds us that the blues remains unbound by time and circumstance..."

-- Paul Evans, Rolling Stone

"...BUTTERFIELD PLAYS with limitless raw passion and guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop are already earning their heroic stature..."

-- Dave Marsh, Playboy

"...THE SOUND IS ALWAYS clear and listenable...Strawberry Jam is both an excellent introduction for newcomers and a wonderful reminiscence for old-timers..."

-- Peter Aschoff, Living Blues

"...THESE SIDES REAFFIRM Butterfield's status as one of the most significant trailblazers in the history of the blues...Paul Butterfield has been gone for almost ten years but he lives again on Strawberry Jam..."

-- Thomas J. Cullen III, Blues Revue

"...BUTTERFIELD'S HIGHLY PERSONAL single-note cries on the title track reveal a vast emotional range...Great versions of 'Mystery Train' and 'Born In Chicago' show a band obviously polished, but one that always seems ready to explode beyond the confines of the songs..."

-- Tom Ellis III, Blues Access

"...BUTTERFIELD'S HARP sounds almost explosive...An historic document from a band everyone should hear..."

-- Al Handa, Delta Snake Blues News

"...THERE'S A DARK MENACE to 'Tollin' Bells' and a fat throb to 'Mystery Train,' but the standout is the title track...This music rang a bell that echoes today..."

--Tony Glover, Twin Cities Reader

"...GREAT HARP AND VOCALS by Butterfield...The band not only was influential in its time, but also sounds ahead of its time..."

-- John Gorny, The Hard Report

"...IT'S ALMOST TERRIFYING to hear how deep these guys were...Historically, this is a treasure..."

-- Gary Erwin, Long Distance Call (Newsletter of the Lowcountry Blues Society)

"...THIS BAND, more than any other, helped open up the possibilities for a new generation to take blues in new directions, as evidenced by the extended title track..."

-- Ed Silverman, Dirty Linen

"...SIMPLY A GREAT COLLECTION of blues recordings...a piece of history..."

-- Cai Campbell, Cosmik Debris

"...A MUST GET for any blues collection...The live feeling and the immediacy of this CD are evident from the first notes..."

-- Barry Silverberg, NY CD Blues

"...A REAL TREAT, with a live blues sound that most recordings don't quite capture...This is a unique look at a band that truly changed the scope of modern blues..."

-- William R. Kolstad, Governors State University Innovator

"...SHOWS HOW STRIKINGLY well the band was able to capture the sound of Muddy Waters-era Chicago blues..."

-- Scott Cooper, Santa Cruz Sentinel

"...GREAT CLUB AMBIENCE and performance...Butterfield's harp comes through loud and clear, alternately sweet and smokin'!...If you are like me and Butterfield was an important early inspiration in discovering the blues, this is a disc for you..."

-- Bob Sekinger, BluesRag (Newsletter of the Baltimore Blues Society)

"...POSITIVELY FEROCIOUS...Sizzling performances by the influential Windy City-born band who first turned rock listeners' ears to the insistent sounds of amplified Chicago blues 30 years ago...The disc is eminently listenable, and the power of the music pours through undiluted..."

-- Kevin Toelle, Illinois Entertainer

"...THE MUSIC HERE is absolutely great!...Anyone who is interested in the development of blues, and particularly Paul Butterfield's contributions, should acquire this..."

-- Mac Hart, Music City Bluesletter

"...THIS WAS A BALL-to-the-wall band with no frills, gimmicks or glitter; they shot straight from the hip...It's Mark Naftalin's 'Strawberry Jam' that makes this a collectable..."

-- Red Dog, Blues Connection Of Central New York

"...THE REAL STAR as always is Paul himself, his harp coercing, conversing, convincing, especially in the languid Gershwinesque intro to the "Strawberry" showpiece..."

-- Marvin Hohman, Bluesworld.com

"...THE REAL FEELING of being in the club with the band, where the feel of cold beer, sweaty bodies and peeling walls permeates into the music...This is blues as it ought to be..."

-- Mark T. Gould, Sound Waves


East-West Live | Strawberry Jam | Percy Mayfield Live | Just Like A Devil

Percy Mayfield Live
(Winner 445)

Percy Mayfield Live

           Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party was a weekly rhythm & blues show and dance held at two San Francisco Bay Area nightclubs between March, 1979, and September, 1983. The performances in this album were recorded during the live radio broadcasts (heard throughout the Bay Area on KTIM-FM) which emanated from the Blue Monday Party between February, 1982, and September, 1983.


  1. Never Say Naw (2:31)
  2. The River's Invitation (4:42)
  3. Strange Things Happening (2:51)
  4. Don't Start Lying To Me (7:32)
  5. Loose Lips (2:20)
  6. My Jug And I (6:13)
  7. Please Send Me Someone To Love (5:28)
  8. My Mind Is Trying To Leave Me Too (3:12)
  9. The Flirt (3:11)
  10. P.M. Blues (5:30)
  11. Medley: My Bottle Is My Companion/The Highway Is Like A Woman (8:25)




Percy Mayfield Live

"This is the man as he really was."
-- Tina (Mrs. Percy) Mayfield

           In the early 1980's, in the San Francisco Bay Area (in Marin County, to be exact, just across the Golden Bridge to the north), the great blues singer and poet PERCY MAYFIELD had a final heyday.

           At a time when the world seemed to have forgotten him, Percy was drawn into a circle of Bay-Area musicians and friends who accepted him as a prophet and a star -- and labored to present him as widely as possible. He sang at private parties and in nightclub shows. He headlined blues and jazz festivals and starred in a series of live radio concerts. And he was featured in a BLUE MONDAY PARTY television special and in the Handy Award-winning videodocumentary "Percy Mayfield -- Poet Laureate Of The Blues."

           When Percy was on the scene, everyone (on stage and off) was influenced by his matchless style, impressed by his wise words (in song and out), touched and inspired by the beautiful feeling of his singing.

           Percy Mayfield said his philosophy of life was "live, love...and let love." To know Percy was to love him. His life story was a love story and this album is the last musical chapter in that story. On his behalf -- and in his memory -- we offer this music as our PRAYER FOR PEACE.

Percy Mayfield Live

"...HE SPINS HEART-STOPPING TALES of loneliness, despair, addiction and redemption, timeless comments on life at the edges of American society...From the hypnotic plea of 'Never Say Naw' to the langour of 'My Jug And I,' the busted hope of 'My Mind Is Trying To Leave Me Too' and the final acceptance-of-life medley, 'My Bottle Is My Companion'/'The Highway Is Like A Woman,' Mayfield weaves a spell that will live in people's minds for years to come..."

-- John Swenson, Rolling Stone

"...MAYFIELD HAD A GIFT for writing songs that can tear into your heart, as illustrated by the 11 tracks here...The band is on the money throughout this clear-sounding, atmospheric effort..."

-- Bob Santelli, CD Review

"...CREATES A RIVETING sense of intimacy...His lyrics are sublime...Fuses soulful tenderness with a ribald wit..."

-- David Whiteis, Down Beat

"...WITTY AND MUSICALLY BRILLIANT...This disc goes to the head of my blues collection..."

-- Stu Norwood, The Secret Guide To Music

"...THE DEPTH of his involvement with his songs is so palpable that it causes a lump in the listener's throat -- prepare yourself for 'Please Send Me Someone To Love'...Pianist Mark Naftalin is warmly receptive to his adopted father throughout that signature song and 11 others..."

-- Frank-John Hadley, Jazziz

"...WHEN HE SLIDES into the first low note of 'The River's Invitation,' he makes hearts flutter and knees quake...For anyone who has ever loved Mayfield, this album is a necessity..."

-- Elijah Wald, Boston Globe

"...AN EXTRAORDINARY ALBUM...A magic moment in Mayfield's career..."

-- Howard DeWitt, DISCoveries

"...THE KIND of summer-evening, front-porch stuff that borders on the mythic...It's blues as high art..."

-- Richard Chon, Bakersfield Californian

"...SOME OF THE MELLOWEST blues around..."

-- Bart Groom, Options

"...LOVINGLY PRESENTED...Glistening acoustic piano work...Reveals Mayfield's fundamentally gentle artistic soul..."

-- Michael Wright, Goldmine

"...THE ATMOSPHERE and Mayfield's voice almost conjure up classic Ray Charles..."

-- John Douglas, Blues Access

"...EVERY SONG is bolstered by a terrific group of sidemen, but Mayfield's vocal work is the sweetest deal...one of the best midnight-in-the-juke-joint voices you'll ever hear..."

-- Philip Van Vleck, Spectator Magazine

"...PIANO PLAYER Mark Naftalin's touch is magnificent...The artists who suppoprted Mayfield on these sessions are nothing short of superb..."

-- Brian Long, Rockpool

"...SOME OF THE MOST STUNNING vocals Mayfield set down on tape...So cool, you'll think, 'There ain't enough O's in "smoooth" to describe this record'..."

-- Joe Sokohl, Richmond Blues Society Newsletter

"...THE SHEER ABUNDANCE of vocal musicality here is an opera in one man..."

-- Barry Silverberg, NY CD Blues

"...HERE YOU HAVE the joyous essence of Mayfield on a single CD. His voice is perfect, his words, melodies and rhythms are brilliant..."

-- Dave Prychitko, Blues 101, WYNO

"...HIS DELIVERY of these mostly confessional songs was warm and personal, as if you were his dear friend and he really wanted you to understand him..."

-- DJ Johnson, Cosmik Debris

"...FULL OF relaxed, deep blues, like you'd hear in an after hours club, with the music honed down to its essential emotions...As you listen to Percy's singing, you begin to realize what years of life and experience can add to a simple blues..."

-- Al Handa, Delta Snake Blues News

"...HIS BEAUTIFUL SOULFUL VOICE is complemented so well on this record, what a tribute... This is the ultimate recording to hear Mark's keyboards..."

-- Peter Cahill, New England Blues Spectrum (New England Blues Society)

"...THERE'S PLENTY to enjoy here: Percy's songs and his deep, cool vocals, of course, but also Mark Naftalin's beautiful piano work...An excellent showcase for the talents of the man they called the Poet Laureate Of The Blues..."

-- Norman Darwen, Blues & Rhythm (England)

"...NOBODY SINGS MAYFIELD better than Mayfield...The easy mood which this 'live' recording radiates and the often subtle and inventive manner in which his accompaniment manages to color the space in and around Mayfield's voice lift the entire performance..."

-- Kees van Wijngaarden, BLOCK (The Netherlands)

"...THE EMPHASIS for much of the album is on the mellow, poetic moments of Percy Mayfield, when there's time to savor the rich beauty of the message and mood of the songs he wrote...It's a delightful album to hear..."

-- Maria Bainer, Blues Life Journal (Austria)

"...SO MELLOW AND SMOOTH...He sings with his natural dandy style...That's him!...Let's recall the great master of the blues, listening through this well-done album..."

-- Hitoshi Koide, Black Music Review (Japan)

"...WHAT A DELIGHTFUL SURPRISE...Excellent West Coast musicians provide exactly the sort of support that an artist of this calibre requires...What a pleasure it is to hear such a warm bass sound and drummers who can employ the brushes deftly..."

-- Dave Williams, Juke Blues (England)

"...HIS SINGING -- mature, deep and alluring -- has evolved with time...The original motions of the songs are broken, slowed-down, sometimes dramatized in an allusive dialogue with the audience that has the flavor of a long night-time soliloquy...Naftalin and a wide court of Bay Area musicians second and enrich Mayfield's enunciation in an exemplary way, giving to the history of blues perhaps the last, precious inheritance of its laureate poet..."

-- Edoardo Fassio, Il Blues (Italy)

by Dick Shurman
(Record Producer, Re-issue Annotator and Percy Mayfield Biographer)

           PERCY MAYFIELD has been widely heralded as one of Black America's greatest songwriters ever, "The Poet Laureate Of The Blues," by the likes of RAY CHARLES and B.B. KING, both of whom hired Percy to tailor his genius for them. His treatments of the themes of loss, insanity, alcohol and the pain and tricks of memory are enduringly striking and profound, and are continually covered and updated.

           His renown as a brilliant and unique recording artist and singer of the blues has also endured for almost half a century; as a balladeer he has been called a master equalled only by FRANK SINATRA. During his forty-year career before his death in 1984, he created timeless masterpieces such as his prayer for peace, "Please Send Me Someone To Love," and overcame a terrible auto wreck to create a remarkable body of music and songs.

           During his last few years, Percy's deepest musical bond was with Bay-Area pianist and entrepreneur MARK NAFTALIN. Percy often introduced Naftalin onstage as "my son, Mark Naftalin Mayfield" during their frequent appearances at festivals, concerts and clubs and on the radio, TV and film.

           Naftalin has long demonstrated his commitment to the blues through his live shows, studio work, radio shows and the many special events he's organized. Now he continues to honor the Mayfield legacy and Percy's special place in his heart through PERCY MAYFIELD LIVE, a superb and sublime compilation of the high points of their collaboration, culled from six live radio and television performances.

           As Percy renders some of his most memorable compositions with his immortal style, insight and depth of feeling, Naftalin's piano plays off every nuance of Percy's approach with a rare sensitivity. Percy also demonstrates his own piano skills, recorded for the public for the first time. Blues stalwarts including guitarists PEE WEE CRAYTON, BOBBY MURRAY and RON THOMPSON, drummer FRANCIS CLAY and other exemplary saxophone and rhythm players round out the immaculate bands. But the highlights are Percy's voice, lyrics and wisdom and the surpassing interplay between him and his disciple and advocate.

           The results are a stunning communication of some of the best truths to savor, remember and celebrate about the blues and music. As such, the album naturally aspires to some of the commercial appeal which helps keep Percy's songs reissued and revived. Most importantly, though, PERCY MAYFIELD LIVE is a testimonial to the empathy, love and understanding for which Percy's greatest song was a plea, and which he and Naftalin -- and their fellow musicians -- found and expressed together through their music.


East-West Live | Strawberry Jam | Percy Mayfield Live | Just Like A Devil

Just Like A Devil
(Winner 444)

Just Like A Devil

           Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party was a weekly rhythm & blues show and dance held at two San Francisco Bay Area nightclubs between March, 1979, and September, 1983. The performances in this album were recorded during the live radio broadcasts (heard throughout the Bay Area on KTIM-FM) which emanated from the Blue Monday Party between February, 1982, and September, 1983.


  1. Just Like A Devil (3:14)
  2. Walkin' Blues (3:14)
  3. Honest I Do (3:41)
  4. Little Red Rooster (3:41)
  5. Pin-Eyed Woman (6:51)
  6. Terraplane Blues (2:55)
  7. Rollin' & Tumblin' (3:38)
  8. Shotgun Blues (4:52)
  9. Ss Breakin' Down (3:36)
  10. Hip Shake (6:10)




Just Like A Devil

           The Ron Thompson Story...From Richmond to Vallejo with BIG ROGER COLLINS...From West Oakland to East Palo Alto with LITTLE JOE BLUE...From Coast to Coast (for three years straight) with JOHN LEE HOOKER... Jamming onstage with LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS and EDDIE TAYLOR...

           Club dates with JIMMY REED (and JIMMY McCRACKLIN and LITTLE JOHNNY TAYLOR)...Touring California with SUNNYLAND SLIM (and BIG WALTER HORTON and ROBERT JR. LOCKWOOD)...Blues Connoisseur 45's with LITTLE WILLE LITTLEFIELD and SCHOOLBOY CLEVE...Live recordings at the San Francisco Blues Festival with LOWELL FULSON (and ROY BROWN and BIG MAMA THORNTON)...

           European concerts with LUTHER TUCKER and MISSISSIPPI JOHNNY WATERS...Acoustic blues at the Monterey Jazz Festival with MARK NAFTALIN and CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE...Sessions and shows with MICK FLEETWOOD'S Zoo...And all those Rhythm & Blues Revues with SONNY RHODES and CHARLES HOUFF...

           "RON THOMPSON?...MY MAIN MAN!"

-- John Lee Hooker

Just Like A Devil

"...SHOWCASES Thompson's considerable talents singing and playing Delta-style acoustic guitar on Robert Johnson's 'Terraplane Blues," plus searing single-note electric leads on the swamp-boogie classic 'Hip Shake'...Thompson also deliver two solid originals, the title track and the chilling lament 'Pin-Eyed Woman'..."

-- John Swenson, Rolling Stone

"...SHOWCASES Ron's extraordinary talent as he literally bursts with electric and acoustic slide fury...His sense of phrasing, timing, and touch are caes studies in style..."

-- Art Thompson, Guitar Player

"...THOMPSON'S CRASHING SLIDE work distinguishes Just Like A Devil, especially on the solo acoustic outings...Thompson was seriously into Robert Johnson long before it was fashionable, conjuring up heartfelt readings of three Johnson standards here..."

-- Bill Dahl, Living Blues

"...THOMPSON WAILS...Showing you how heart-wrenching the blues can be..."

-- Robert Barone, Gavin Report

"...A POWERHOUSE blues rocker who plays like a man possessed...The depth of his skills and knowledge is revealed..."

-- Greg Cahill, Pacific Sun

"...INCLUDES a typically impassioned reading of Thompson's heaviest slide-drenched ballad, 'Pin-Eyed Woman...It's heavy..."

-- Tom Surowicz, Twin Cities Reader

"...IF ROBERT JOHNSON sold his soul to the devil, Ron Thompson sold his soul to Robert Johnson...The man will move you..."

-- Cai Campbell, Cosmik Debris

"...'STOP BREAKIN' DOWN' and 'Terraplane Blues' have Thompson in the center field of gutbucket blues...His own blues tunes show sterling writing abilities as well...."

-- Tom Graves, Pacific News And Review

"...FEATURES Thompson's National Steel prowess and audacious slidework...His original true-life ballad 'Pin-Eyed Woman' is profoundly gripping...This is Ron Thompson at his best..."

-- Dave Klingen, Cascade Blues Association Newsletter


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