Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Paul Butterfield

  • Better Days [Bearsville, 1972] B
  • Put It in Your Ear [Bearsville, 1976] B-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Better Days [Bearsville, 1972]
Butterfield's new band--a Woodstock roots-blues supergroup of honest men singing honest songs--is his clearest concept since 1965. Unfortunately, the music is so relaxed it sounds as if they decided--collectively, of course--that laid back meant lying down. B

Put It in Your Ear [Bearsville, 1976]
The modishly far-out rhythms and textures here are so authentic they recall Jimmy Witherspoon or Bobby Bland casting desperately about for a hit. The bluesman fluffs one ballad and sounds a little strange doing romantic patter, and producer Henry Glover has for some reason set his own "Breadline" amid enough instruments to feed a family of four for six months, but once you conquer your suspicion that this is a disaster it sounds pretty good. I don't hear any hits, though. B-