Saturday, September 11, 2010
Red Dog Speaks reviewed by Rick Davis
Record Label: Delta Groove Music, Inc.
In 1963, Elvin Bishop met Paul Butterfield in Hyde Park, joined the band, and remained with him for five years. Traveling the road all over the world as a rock-n-roll artist and blues performer with a host of other artists, has allowed him to accumulate many life experiences that he weaves into his lyrics on his new cd.
Red Dog Speaks is a collection of stories like only Elvin can tell them, mixed with blues, gospel, rock, zydeco, R&B, and doo-wop. This cd with is the second with the Delta Grove label and includes guests like John Nemeth, Roy Gaines, Tommy Castro, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Kid Anderson.
In the title track "Red Dog Speaks", he talks about his '59 Gibson ES-345 as his long time partner that he appropriately names "Red Dog", who has been faithful to him all these years. Throughout the cd, his cherry red Gibson performs well creating a great slide guitar sound with a little help from Elvin. He continues the cd with a song about his nosey neighbor in "Neighbor, Neighbor" and his attitude about life lived on his terms in "Fat And Sassy", with more smooth slide guitar throughout. He picks up the pace and rocks with "Barbeque Boogie". The album follows with a soulful "Many Rivers To Cross", in my estimation, an award winning gospel/R&B number with wonderful vocals. Bishop continues with a zydeco tune "Blues Cruise", featuring many of the guest artists, followed by a nostalgic doo-wop instrumental "Doo-wop Medley". The rollicking tune "Get Your Hand Out Of My Pocket" is a good blend of harmonica and slide guitar. "His Eye On The Sparrow", another instrumental, features a small horn section and steel guitar sound that Elvin creates with his slide. He returns to his stories about life with the "roots" blues tune "Clean Living", and completes his collection with a country blues number "Midnight Hour Blues".
After listening to this cd, I'm sure you will agree that it is one of Elvin's finest and most diversified collection of songs. It really shows the versatility, wit, and humor that makes Elvin Bishop a unique artist.