Review: Elvin Bishop – Can’t Even Do Wrong Right

Posted on: Monday, Dec 8, 2014

Elvin Bishop CD Cover

Elvin Bishop – Can’t Even Do Wrong Right

(Alligator Records)

Singer/guitarist/songwriter, Elvin Bishop, has graced the American blues scene ever since his recording debut in 1964 as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues band and continues to exude the same infectious enthusiasm in denial of complete his 71 years of age. On this excellent album, he mixes five original compositions with five well-chosen covers. He is joined by Bob Welsh, who impressively plays a range of instruments on various tracks, Steve Willis on piano and accordion and Ed Earley (trombone), Ruth Davies (bass) and Bobby Cochrane on drums. There are also guest appearances by several other musicians, some of which are detailed below.

The album gets off to a great start with the title track, which provides a humorous take on the trials of an inveterate, wrong-doing loser. A superb, very different, upbeat version of Little Walter’s “Blues With A Feeling” is followed by “Old School”, a tribute to the old days and ways prior to the advent of the technological era, which features the first guest appearance of the wonderful Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica. Mickey Thomas then delivers terrific lead vocals on the slow, bluesy ballad, “Let Your Woman Have Her Way”, before Musselwhite returns to share lead status with Elvin Bishop on the instrumental “No More Doggin’”.

“Everybody’s In The Same Boat” expresses a philosophical acceptance of the passing of time while “Dancin’” introduces a foot-tapping, rockabilly flavour to the party. A very effective, slow, instrumental version of Jimmy Reed’s “Honest I Do” is immediately contrasted by a bouncing, country-rock rendition of Dave Bartholomew/Fats Domino’s “Bo Weevil” before the delightful melange is rounded off splendidly with a brilliant performance of “Hey-Ba-Ba-Re-Bop”. Extremely enjoyable and strongly recommended.



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