In the 1960′s there were few guitarists more prolific and higher profile than Michael Bloomfield. Cutting his teeth with blues masters like Muddy Waters, session playing for Bob Dylan’s famed Highway 61 and backing him up at the legendary “electric” Newport Folk performance of 1965, then serving an essential role in the white rediscovery of the blues with the Paul Butterfield Band before playing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival with his own band Electric Flag. What could be considered a career of legendary status for most, it was not a bad decade for Mike. In the 70′s he continued to do session work, collaborating frequently with fellow Dylan alum Al Kooper. Plagued by constant insomnia and personal demons, Bloomfield would die of an overdose in 1981. In an effort to elevate his old friend to the legend status he deserves, Al Kooper put together “From His Head to His Heart to His Hands”, a 3 CD box set showcasing some of his finest work. The DVD documentary, ” Sweet Blues” is included as well, profiling Bloomfield at work through all phases of his professional career. For anyone interested in blues, the San Francisco music scene in the late 60′s or the blues revival in America, this is as good a place as any to start. And when you hear his electric guitar, give a nod to Michael Bloomfield.
Depeche Mode’s new CD “DELTA MACHINE” has the group back with the electro-grundge sound that harkens back to their mid ’90s material. The group now features a full-time drummer and Martin seems to play guitars most of the time.
‘Welcome To My World’ opens the album with heavy beats and an ominus soundscape.
The first single release ‘Angel’ is as heavy with lots of clicks and buzzing chirps.
‘Heaven’ is the second single that features duets with lead singer Dave Gahan and lyracist Martin Gore.
‘Broken’ is a likeable mellow tune with a sinister electro beat.
“You can’t fake it, I can feel it, You were broken from the start”
‘Should Be Higher’ opens like a rush of fresh air at a slow pace with a big bass drum beat with a progressive drive.
“Your lies are more attractive then the truth”
‘Soothe My Soul’ is the third single release and perhaps my favorite and it’s danceable. A lusty song about knocking down doors and getting what ya need.
“There’s only one way to soothe my soul!”
‘Alone’ is a hypnotic track about looking back at past love and circumstance.
“I was there when you needed me most…”
On a scale of 1 to 10, lamest to greatest, I give Delta Machine a 7.
Will it be a classic? Probably not.
Would I listen to it again? Yes.
Depeche Mode play live at Shoreline on Thursday, September 28th with Crystal Castles opening.
For a great live preview performance, search for the Depeche Mode “Live On Lettermen” 2013 webcast!
-DJ Danny “On The Radio”
“Living In The ’80s”