This album was originally released in 1981 just after the passing of legendary guitarist Michael Bloomfield. In addition to his solo recordings, Bloomfield is also known by many as a member of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band…hugely influential to so many other artists and bands in the 1960s. This album presents all ten tracks that appeared on Michael’s original album plus one bonus track (“Maudie”).
There’s a short biography included in the package written by Austin Powell that quickly and effectively tells Bloomfield’s story in a nutshell. These tracks were recorded at various times and, as such, probably offer a good overview of the man and his music. With all the renewed interest in blues/rock in the twenty-first century, the timing just may be right for folks to revisit this man’s catalog.
And Living In The Fast Lane might just be the best starting point. These tracks have stood the test of time. Hearing these tracks, it sure seems sad that this guy passed away at such an early age. Michael was only thirty-seven at the time of his death, and the circumstances surrounding it are still blurry and unclear. But the music lives on, of course, and thanks to the internet more and more folks can discover (and re-discover) artists and bands they would’ve never had access to last century. Well-crafted compositions include “Sammy Knows How to Party,” “Let Them Talk,” “When I Get Home,” and “Big C Blues.”
babysue (January 2019)
The funk influenced ‘Used To It’ is an interesting autobiographical sounding track, the soulful ‘Roots’ recalls The Temptations, the atmospheric ‘Andy’s Bad’ hints at hip hop, there are a couple of attractive ragtime songs and there is incisive Bloomfield electric guitar here and there…
Blues In Britain (November 2018)
The contents of this engaging ragbag of Mike Bloomfield recordings were probably never intended for commercial release, but devotees of the late great guitarist’s work with seminal rock outfits such as The Electric Flag and Paul Butterfield Blues Band should find it well nigh indispensable. The contents span a broad time period from the early seventies to Bloomfield’s untimely death in 1981.
Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (November 2018)
…’Watkin’s Rag’ is a lovely, sprightly, ragtime-flavoured instrumental; another instrumental, ‘The Dizz Rag’, is charming and, although at times Bloomfield’s guitar playing isn’t particularly prominent, he plays searingly on ‘Big C Blues’. Early releases of the album included either ‘Sammy Knows How To Party’ or ‘Maudie’. This reissue has both tracks.
RnR Magazine (November 2018)
Living In The Fast Lane was released just after Bloomfield’s death; the recordings were gathered from various sessions, but his talent shines through on every track, from up-tempo numbers like ‘Sammy Knows How To Party’, through the acoustic picking of ‘Watkin’s Rag’ to the mellow ‘Let Them Talk’. Eleven tracks which form a fitting testament to his musicianship and reissued not a day too soon.
Wrekin News (October 2018)
This album is being released by Angel Air in the UK and is a re-issue of an album with the same title released in 1981 with the addition of a bonus track ‘Maudie’, this album was originally released shortly after Michael’s death in 1981, it contains material recorded over several years but predominately around the min 1970′s, the bonus here is that the supporting musicians include Mark Naftalin who Michael played with in the original Butterfield Blues band…The pick of the material is the self written song ‘Big C Blues’ which is a slow Chicago blues that highlights some sumptuous restrained slide guitar playing by Michael and is one of the few tracks where he performs the lead vocal, in addition Mark Naftalin provides some wonderful duelling Piano. The bonus track ‘Maudie’ is an excellent song written and sung by Frank Biner who also sadly left us too early in his life, it has a much harder rock edge to it and some gritty lead guitar playing from Michael, of the non blues material the track ‘Roots’ is the most enjoyable with its infectious funky soul beat, very reminiscent of the Temptations in their prime…a very enjoyable and varied album that incorporates some talented musicians whose playing is impeccable.
Blues Matters (October 2018)
…In the summery ‘Andy’s Bad’, Mike’s slide guitar colours enhance the composition. On to the gospel tunes with ‘When I Get Home’, the funky ‘Big C Blues’ and the slide guitar from ‘The Dizz Rag’. As a bonus track the Angel Air Record label treats us to the jazzily constructed ‘Maudie’.
Keys and Chords (Translated – October 2018)