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Colwell-Winfield Blues Band

Colwell Winfield Blues Band 1968 Live Bust the Colwell Winfield Blues Band

   I was happy to see the Colwell-Winfield Blues Band included on a Bosstown Sound sampler because I thought they were forgotten and maybe would not be invited to the party because they were not playing rock. They were definately part of the scene. A lot of us rockers were finding the blues during this period. One of my most thrilling musical experiences was seeing BB King at the Boston Tea Party. I vaguely knew Clapton drew from him. BB's quitar playing opened up a whole new world to me and that night the audience reacted to every bend and trill.
Colwell Winfeild Band    I always thought of them as our Paul Butterfield Blues Band and they do cover I Got A Mind To Give Up Living on the album like Butterfield and have a similar sound and feel. The album is real sweet with good horns and a tasty quitar tone. All together it's a solid blues album you would not be dissapointed in if you bought it now.
   I saw on the web somewhere that Colwell-Winfield backed Van Morrison on the Moondance LP and thought that was a pocket full of crap but sure enough I found a Danish radio interview Morrison did in 1985 and he says...."I suppose it was just the timing and I'd just found a band that was able to play what I had in mind, actually. I think that was what happened. I did the Woodstock festival. Not the other one. And there was a band on it, Colwell-Winfield Blues Band and that was most of the band that played on Moondance. It was from that group. So I just met them at that festival and did a couple of rehearsals and it seemed to be what I was looking for. And that was it." Link to Van Morrison Interview
Memory from Collin Tilton of the Colwell Winfield in this article - CLICK

   In the December 7, 1968 issue of Billboard they talk up an interesting gig:

The fifth annual Blues Bag for the Cafe Au Go GO featured the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Colwell-Winfield Blues Band and special guests Ritchie Havens, Dave Van Ronk, the Mike Bloomfield Band with Al Kooper and more. The event is co-osponsored by MGM and Verve/Forecast.
That must have been a great show.

   In 1971 Bill Cowell and Mike Winfield reunited along with Chicago Bob, Chuck Purro and Michael Constantino to play a gig at the Phoenix Coffee House that was recorded by Harry G. Chickles (That's the guy who held the Boston Sound Festival at the Psychedelic Supermarket) and released as Live Bust. The police closed them down at the end and you hear that anouncement on the LP. There is down and dirty live blues playing here. Colwell really burns it up. What a great blues player in the BB King style. Blues doesn't age like the psychedelic rock does, so these two albums sound good now . A cover of Sombraro Sam by Charles Lloyd gives the piano player room to solo.

  • Filmore 4/24-27/1969 with Led Zeppelin/Julie Driscoll,Brian Auger and the Trinity
Here is an article on the Colwell-Winfield Blues Band gig at the Psychedelic Supermarket. This was in the MIT magazine called The Tech.
Colwell-Winfield Band, much more than blues.
By Randy Hawthorne

   The Colwell-Winfield Blues Band. A nice enough, nondescript name for what would seem to be a nice enough nondescript white blues band, a somewhat fashionable commodity these days. But here is where the listener is suddenly surprised, for, as was evidenced at the Supermarket this weekend, the band comes complete with a pair of saxophone players.
   Until the group gets warmed up to the prospect of playing as a group they manage to maintain the audience's interest with a succession of very well done sax solos, done in the jazz vein. The combination of an electric rock-blues band and pair of jazz saxophonists' is extremely well-blended, creating a feeling not of a rock group attempting a jazz piece, but the impression that these guys really were jazz musicians disappointed with the undefined ramblings of the 'new Jazz' musicians and searching for a new outlet, in rock. The influence upon them is obviously Coltrane and Coleman, yet there is occasionally soft and gentle (Shorter)? influence for balance. It's very gratifying to know that there is a group associated with the rock legions that uses a saxophone for what it is, not a member of the 'sock-it-to-me' rhythm section, but a solo lead instrument.

   As a blues band, Colwell-Winfield is a fine representation of the musicl works of BB. King, Muddy Waters, Skip James both in presentation and style, but that is not enough. The problem involved with being a good blues band is one of identity. Too many good blues bands exist today, not enough groups have something else. For this reason (their ability to combine horns with a basic heavy blues background) Colwell-Winfield should be heard. Easily the most impressive number of the night was their overwhelming handling of "Dead End Street" a sometimes slow, sometimes rapid creative structure of sounds.
   Starting like another of their saxophone based jazz-influenced numbers the song proceeded to catch everyone up in its magnitude. In much the same manner that the Cream has been known to play, i.e. a desire by each individual to outdo the next, the song soared through guitar solos, sax solos, electric piano phrasings, electric bass, horns, and drum breaks in continuing excellence. And amazingly enough they accomplished it all while remaining together as a unified whole, to the delight of the audience, which finished the twenty minute outburst on its feet applauding and cheering, the group seemed unable or, more likely unwilling to quit. This group should make it very big, very soon. If you can't hear them live (by far the best way) get their 'Cold Wind' album. It is a better than average studio production of an often times inspiring group…why couldn't this have been the 'Boston Sound'?

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