MJFF’s SOLD OUT Sweet Blues event rocked the Portland Museum of Art on Saturday.
The event featured the documentary film “Sweet Blues” about blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield. Music legend Mike Bloomfield was known for his searing, lyrical guitar playing, but the word he used to describe his music was sweet. “You know, I like sweet blues”, says Bloomfield in this lovingly crafted documentary from award winning documentary filmmaker Bob Sarles. His awesome instrumental prowess is on full display as the film celebrates the legacy of a hard-living, finger-fretting renegade. Bloomfield drew on African American tradition while burnishing his licks with a radical compositional approach reflecting the social and cultural upheaval of the 1960s. Sarles includes interviews with numerous people who knew Bloomfield including guitarist Carlos Santana, harmonica ace Charlie Musslewhite, singer/songwriter Country Joe McDonald, guitarist Elvin Bishop, B.B King and Al Kooper.
Folllowing the film, the audience engaged in a lively panel discussion. The panel discusssed Bloomfield and his music, the music scene of the sixties and seventies, and the legendary Super Session. Panelists included pianist Mark Naftalin, who played with Bloomfield, along with biographer David Dann and co-producer Larry Milburn.
And to cap off the event, Mark Naftalin treated the audience to a great set of blues keyboard tributes to his friend and collaborator, Michael Bloomfield.