Legendary guitarist Elvin Bishop has returned with a brand-new live CD called Live on the Legendary Blues Cruise, featuring performances by many of Bishop’s friends including John Nemeth, Finis Tasby, Kid Anderson, and Terry Hanck. Icon Fetch talks with the Oklahoma native about what it’s like playing this cruise year after year and gives us background on each member of his “Raisin’ Hell Revue.” Plus, we discuss his early days in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and the story behind his smash hit from 1976, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”
Elvin Bishop – Red Dog Speaks (Delta Groove) – CD review –
Elvin Bishop has been making music for almost 50 years, and his latest CD, Red Dog Speaks, is a reflection of the twists and turns he’s taken throughout his career. The title refers to Elvin’s vintage Gibson guitar, which has become his axe of choice. Some tracks on the disc are sung by him, others by John Nemeth (the best of which, “Neighbor, Neighbor,” is a blistering cover of an old Jimmy Hughes song).
While Bishop has never been much of a singer, he does make the best of it by turning his songs into conversations, as in “Fat & Sassy,” where he bemoans a trip to the doctor, where he’s told all the things he can no longer eat; or “Clean Livin,’” where he wonders how he “ever got this old / It sure wasn’t clean livin.” There are several tasty instrumentals, including the “Doo Wop Medley” which melds “In the Still of the Night” with “Maybe,” two Fifties classics that let Bishop’s slide work really shine.
There’s also “Blues Cruise,” which was actually recorded on the boat of the same name, featuring many of the other musicians who were part of the trip. The real surprise is that despite the album’s hodge podge of styles, nothing comes off as a stretch; it all works. This dog might be old, but he’s still capable of surprises like this one. — Tony Peters
Veteran blues guitarist Elvin Bishop returns with a new CD “Red Dog Speaks,” on June 15th. The title refers to his favorite stringed instrument, a 1959 Gibson hollow body. Bishop’s storied career includes a stint in the acclaimed Butterfield Blues Band in the mid 1960’s. In ’68, he went solo and played a series of stellar co-headlining shows with the Allman Brothers Band at the Fillmore East. Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” hit #3 in 1976 and is still a staple at classic rock stations around the country. He was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Blues Album for 2008’s star-studded “The Blues Rolls On.” You can order Elvin’s CD by going directly to his record label’s site or at amazon.com as well.
You can find out more about Elvin, by going to his official site