They came roaring out of Chicago, playing electric blues that seemed plugged into the cosmos.
Grounded by the music of their South Side heroes - Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Elmore James, and others - the Paul Butterfield Blues Band changed rock & roll as surely as any band in mid-sixties America. They did it with a combination of street-smart swagger, an endless well of feeling, and, maybe most strikingly, an impossibly energetic attack on the soul.
The group, originally composed of Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloom- field, Elvin Bishop, Sam Lay (later replaced by Billy Davenport), Mark Naftalin, and Jerome Arnold, made true blues accessible to the growing youth counterculture, and in the process opened up the possibilities for what rock & roll could really be.
Photography: Michael Zorn