Elvin Bishop (Guitar,Vocals)
01 Can't Even Do Wrong Right
Elvin Bishop has played, last summer, his first show in France, even if his career began in 1963 with the Paul Butterfield band.He is one of the rare white guitarist who was close to the Blues legends in the 60s, and has played on many famous musical adventures. He's present, for instance, on the famous Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore in 1971 and plays on the Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper. Then he played the Blues with his own band. His new album, Can't Even Do Wrong Right on Alligator Records, has five new songs and five covers. Charlie Musselwhite and his harmonica bring the fire on "No More Doggin". Then Elvin record an instrumental cover of Jimmy Reed "Honest I Do". This song is the first blues he listened on the radio that's why he enjoys that song. In his cover, he mixes Hawaiian music and Lynyrd Skynyrd or Allman Brothers style Southern Rock sounds. It's a great melting pot!
Then we get a Fats Domino cover "Bo Weevil", a kind of tribute to the New Orleans and the great Lionel Hampton "Hey-Ba-Ba-Re-Bop" to ends the covers. Bishop plays a classical blues on his own compositions and "Everybody's In The Same Boat" is a good representation of his style, close to his origins, with some short guitars licks, and some short but heavy slide guitar parts that lead to a solo.
His band is good, with Bob Welsh who plays many different instruments, Ed Earley on trombone, Steve Willis on piano, Ruth Davies on bass guitar and Bobby Cochran on drums.
Mickey Thomas, ex member of the band who left to join the Jefferson Starship, is back on "Let Your Woman Have her Way"… just forty years after his departure, but his voice is wonderful and blues and totally fits to the leader guitar sound.
Even if Elvin Bishop albums always go to the blues, showing a kind of lack of originality, but his music is far away from the commercial style, it's important that men such as him can keep the tradition alive, can record such albums with covers and still can play on stage.
So, when the CD ends on Lionel Hampton "Hey-Ba-Ba-Re-Bop" created in 1946, in the great tradition of the post-war jazz bands, we just can hope that maybe everything's not lost!