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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Alligator Records artist: Elvin Bishop - Can't Even Do Wrong Right - New release Review

I just received the newest release, Can't Even Do Wrong Right, from Elvin Bishop and it's the best of Bishop in possibly 15 years. I have been a huge Elvin Bishop fan since his first note on the first Butterfield Blues band stuff and my admiration grew as he became more loose. He is an excellent guitar player, raucous story teller and an all around amazing performer. This release takes me back to his more primitive style days of Juke Joint Jump and Let It Flow and that is excellent! Opening with the title track, Can't Even Do Wrong Right, Bishop fronts as a vocalist and is right up to one of his curious stories. Bishop has such a great time with his stories you can't help but not only get sucked in but want to sit down and party with him! He has his 345 cranked up to fat and you sit thinking, this guy invented the real country blues... this is absolutely excellent! Blues With A Feeling has a real strong Bishop country funk with cool vocal harmonies. Bishop plays both slide and his signature straight blues riffs. This is another terrific track and one that strikes you right between your Bishop loving crossed eyes. On Old School, Bishop is joined by Charlie Musselwhite and with only light percussion, rhythmic bass, Bishop and and Charlie trade riffs. Very cool. On R&B style ballad Let Your Woman Have Her Way, old band mate Mickey Thomas (Fooled Around And Fell In Love), takes the lead vocal lead joined by gospel like backing vocals and organ. Regretfully, the literature supplied to me doesn't allocate credit to these talented participants but I will say that this is a really nice track showcasing Thomas, and Bishop plays a really tasty and classically memorable slide solo. Super! No More Doggin' has Bishop back in the easy two steppin blues and playing slide melody. Oh Yeah! This is what you real Bishop guitar fans come for... to hear the dog bark. Bishop has not lost a quarter of a step playing with the wisdom of a 90 year old and the fire of a 20 year old... with a lot of time on his hands to have some real fun. Musselwhite does really fine harp solos complimenting Bishop making, this instrumental track a tight highlight for both artists on this release. Everybody's In The Same Boat is a cool down and dirty blues track. Bishop takes the opportunity to tell one of his thought provoking but light hearted stories with a twist of humor but also with that great guitar work that we all want to hear. Very solid track. Dancin' has a definite taste of gumbo with the addition of accordion stylistic percussion. There is even some steel guitar thrown in to the mix but this track is all Bishop... loaded with fun! Honest I Do is a brilliant instrumental with lush guitar work both fat and lightly articulate reminiscent of dual guitar leads featuring Johnny V and Bishop in earlier years. Addition of accordion gives it a Louisiana spice. Excellent! Bo Weevil is all fun with the pure Zydeco sound and Elvin's vocal style fitting the bill perfectly. With both accordion and guitar taking the instrumental this is a well balanced track and a lot of fun. Wrapping the release is classic Hey-Ba-Ba-Re-Bop, a hard stompin rockabilly blues track. With a cool coronet solo on this track as well as guitar, this is an excellent track leaving you wanting more. Bishop pulls out the stops on guitar on this track with his carefree, freewheeling guitar style guaranteed to put a smile on your Elvin lovin face! This is an excellent release and one that I will be playing for a long time!  

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  1. Here's the personnel for the album:
    Elvin Bishop: Guitar and Vocals
    Bob Welsh: Guitar, Organ on "Let Your Woman Have Her Way," Bass on "Old School" and Piano on "Blues With A Feeling"
    Steve Willis: Piano and Accordion, Background Vocals
    Ed Earley: Trombone and Background Vocals
    Ruth Davies: Bass
    Bobby Cochran: Drums and Background Vocals
    with special guests:
    Mickey Thomas: Vocals on "Let Your Woman Have Her Way" and Harmony Vocals on "Blues With A Feeling"
    Charlie Musselwhite: Harmonica on "Old School" and "No More Doggin'"
    Willie Jordan: Cajon on "Old School", Harmony Vocals on "Old School," "Bo Weevil" and "Can't Even Do Wrong Right"
    June Core: Drums on "Can't Even Do Wrong Right"
    Steve Evans: Bass on "Blues With A Feeling" and "Let Your Woman Have Her Way"
    Emily Bishop, Kristen Lindsat, Susan McKay: Background Vocals on "Dancin'"