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Elvin Bishop
The Blues Rolls On

 

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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  Elvin Bishop is struttin' his stuff again just as he has for a long time now. It was 1975 when the album Struttin' My Stuff came out and suddenly it seems (in reference to musical output) that 2008 came very fast indeed. Bishop is still crankin' out the blues on The Blues Rolls On. Bishop is in the higher echelon of performers in the genre now and he tells you why with all the guests that comes on board to help him deliver twelve smoldering tracks of blues-rock.

This is a predominately studio album with a few select live cuts. Warren Haynes, an amazing player from The Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule, stands alongside Bishop and they peel off some amazing slide guitar work. Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds) sings and plays harp as well making the lead off track "The Blues Rolls On" unforgettable. "Struttin' My Stuff" is equally tantalizing as Allman Bros. band mate Derek Trucks delivers the goods with Haynes again coming in and adding his licks. Now if that wasn't enough to get your heart pumpin' then the king of the court B.B. King and his longtime love Lucille step on stage for a short interview conducted by Bishop then the duo launch into "Keep A Dollar In Your Pocket," a classic blues song that everyone seems to enjoy playing and it never gets old.

Some may say what you get is predictable on a star studded affair such as this however I beg to differ, what you can count on is great music from a lineup anyone would give their right arm to play with. This is an indication of Bishop's ascendancy to blues royalty. Lord knows the man deserves it; he has been pumping out quality blues and entertaining folks for several decades now.

I especially liked Bishop's solo flight on "Oklahoma." He lets you all know he does not need any of the stellar all-star blues support to sound great and like an individual artist. The lyrics are simple and down home with the blues and his guitar playing is scorching hot, yep Elvin still knows how to bend those strings to his liking. His voice is still darn good too. "Send You Back To Georgia" is another barnburner with one of my all time favorites Mr. Bad To The Bone, George Thorogood, another old timer that has paid his dues and can still rock down the house. In addition, you cannot forget to mention the man with the harp James Cotton, there are not too many better than this guy anywhere in the world today. James teams up with Elvin, John Nemeth and veteran blues mama Angela Strehli. The combination proves to be just what the doctor ordered - blues by the truckload and everyone that joins the party is a star.

Now these are just some highlights from a recording that comes filled with them from top to bottom. If you love the blues this is a necessary possession to claim yourself as a true blues fan, so don't y' all miss it now!

 

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