Similar to all successful leaders, Butterfield surrounds himself with high caliber talent who can help him successfully reach his destination. When Bloomfield leaves the band in early '67, it creates a big void, but it also provides new opportunities for Butterfield explore different musical directions. After the moderate success of East West, his band is in even more demand, headlining concerts, and consequently, everyone is making more money. These financial rewards will provide him with the capability to expand his band in away that he could never accomplish in the past.
For Bishop, the departure of Bloomfield is a windfall. He recognizes that he lacks the combination of musical finesse, and stage charisma of Bloomfield, but he prepares to work at over coming these liabilities. So, he practices constantly, and then using time off to visit local jazz and blues bars. Many the accomplished musicians he hears and meets are hard bop players like Roscoe Mitchell and Lester Bowie who belong to the non-profit Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). One of the saxophone players he meets during these visits is Louisville, Kentucky native Gene Dinwiddie.
Dinwiddie is a late bloomer, he doesn't start playing saxophone until he's 19, but like so many great musicians, he develops a spiritual connection with the instrument. By 23 he is duplicating the tone and solos coming out of players like Harold Land and Sonny Stitt. In the mid-60s, the live Jazz audience is shrinking, so he has to drive a public transit bus for the City of Chicago to support playing Free Jazz in the downtown clubs at night. During the period when Bishop is making the rounds in the jazz clubs the two develop a bit of friendship, so, when Butterfield mentions that he would like to add some horns to his band, Bishop doesn't hesitate to refer Dinwiddie's name.
In spite of his motivation toward the money and work, he is impressed with the quality of the band's musicianship, in addition, Arnold and the band are willing to stay for "instant after hours rehearsal" in an effort to get him integrated quickly. From Butterfield's point of view, the Maugh's hire is yet another real bandleader accomplishment. He has always wants to share the solo vocal work, but never has anyone who can match his strengths as a solo singer, and Maugh is not only excellent bass player, but he can sing too.
While the new band works the East-Coast circuit, rehearsing new arrangements, Albert Grossman informs them that they will need at least 30 minutes of music for a large California rock festival in mid-June. The Monterey Pop Festival is expected to draw between 50 and 100 thousand people, so it will be the first major gig for the new band, and it will also be their largest audience ever. Just to add to the pressure, the whole festival will be filmed for international release in theaters the next year. Later they will discover that they will be sandwiched between Al Kooper and The Electric Flag. Fans will be watching for the first of the new Butterfield Blues Band big band lineups, he will have a few, the biggest rock festival of 1967 could make or break them.