Monday, September 17, 2007

Electric Flag - 1968 - Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco

AS POSTED ON DIME HERE

ELECTRIC FLAG
CAROUSEL BALLROOM,
S.F.,CA.
MAY 18 OR 19,1968

CD1
1-SOUL SEARCHIN'
2-MILK COW BLUES
3-I'D RATHER DRINK MUDDY WATER
4-GROOVIN' IS EASY

CD2
1-STAGE BABBLE
2-INTRO > INTRO THEME
3-BLUES FOR THE WEST SIDE
4-TEXAS
5-HEY JOE
6-IT TAKES TIME
7-I'VE BEEN LOVIN' YOU TOO LONG
8-ANOTHER COUNTRY ( CUTS AT END )
9-AINT NO DOCTOR ( CUTS IN )
10-DON'T LIE TO ME
11-SOUL SEARCHIN'
12-OUTRO

SB MASTER REELS > AUDIO CD > EAC > FLAC

I received this dated 5/18 or 19/68.Below is some text i came across
on db.etree noting is as 5/18/68.You can make your own conclusions.

Mike Bloomfield: guitars
Nick Gravenites: vocals
Buddy Miles: drums, vocals
Barry Goldberg: keyboards
Harvey Brooks: bass guitar
Kerbie Rich: baritone sax
Marcus Doubleday: trumpet, flugelhorn
Peter Strazza: tenor sax

This three day run at The Carousel Ballroom was a feast for horn section fans, featuring Pacific Gas & Electric, Electric Flag and Don Ellis and His Orchestra. Due to popular demand, a matinee show was added. Although Electric Flag was the headliner for these shows, they opted to go on second to allow Don Ellis and His Orchestra to close the shows.

These sets feature the original lineup, toward the end of founder, Michael Bloomfield's, involvement. He would depart shortly thereafter, leaving the band to struggle onward for several months before disbanding. However, at this point the band was full of fire and highly influential. Their unique blend of soul, rock and blues, punctuated by horns, didn't go unnoticed. Later that year, Al Kooper would create a similar band, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Chicago Transit Authority would also use this formula, both achieving far greater commercial success. However, it was Electric Flag that created the template and who were the most diverse musically. The incendiary guitar playing by Bloomfield during this time period set a level that few (if any) other white guitar players could match.

The afternoon show was a relatively short affair with Electric Flag relegated to a half hour set. Apparently, Mike Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites were late to arrive and surprisingly, the rest of the group begins. The group uses this number to warm up their chops, while waiting for their frontmen to arrive. Due to Bloomfield's absence, this is a unique version that features extended sax solos and extra improvisation. This is a mix in progress until close to the third minute, and there are also some pitch problems evident as the tape speed varies throughout the song. Bloomfield arrives onstage during the last two minutes, but sits out until the next number.

After several minutes of getting Bloomfield tuned up and situated, they tear into the old traditional, "Milk Cow Blues." Nick Gravenites takes lead vocals and with no warm-up necessary, Bloomfield immediately tears it up on this funky blues tune.

Giving Bloomfield another chance to display his extraordinary technique, they next ease into a slow smoldering rendition of B.B. King's "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water," a song they never released themselves. Following a two minute guitar solo intro section, Buddy Miles takes over on vocals. Following the verses, the group eases the dynamics way down low, letting Bloomfield solo in an unusually delicate and tasteful manner, before building it back up.

They close the set with their first single, "Groovin' Is Easy," Gravenites again taking over on lead vocals. The big horn section sound, swirling organ and Miles' fatback drumming kick this into high gear. In this mix the separation is very audible and one can clearly hear the nuances that Bloomfield is adding as a support player. As a bonus, Bloomfield lets it rip by adding a demented psychedelic guitar solo near the end.