100 Greatest Guitarists: David Fricke's Picks

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Mike Bloomfield

Michael Ochs Archive/Getty

Bloomfield's reputation as the American white-blues guitarist of the 1960s rests on a small, searing body of work: his licks on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, his two LPs with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and his sublime jamming with Al Kooper on 1968's Super Session. Born in Chicago, Bloomfield grew up in local blues clubs, where he worked with many black legends. His modal runs and jabbing breaks were executed with pinpoint force in a ringing-bell tone. Bloomfield's gifts faded as he fell into drug abuse. He died of an overdose in 1981.

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