Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Raisin’ Hell Revue reviewed by Harmonica Joe

Raisin’ Hell Revue
Elvin Bishop
Delta Groove Music
13 tracks /53:25

Elvin Bishop has been on the rock, blues music scene for well over forty scenes. Early on Bishop honed his music skills with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band before forming the Elvin Bishop Group. He also spent time with Bloomfield and Kooper and the Allman Brothers Band to name a few of the many that he performed with. Elvin Bishop created his own sound with his guitar, used his unique vocals and song writing ability to become a powerhouse performer while also releasing numerous studio and live recordings. Of course, we all familiar with his tunes “Fooled Around and Fell In Love” and “Travelin’ Shoes”. Check out for more information on this artist.

The Delta Groove Music release of Elvin Bishop’s “Raisin’ Hell Revue” is a very interesting and enjoyable event. This CD was recorded live on the 2010 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise. Joining Bishop on stage is a fine bunch of guitarist and vocalist. Featured singers included are, Elvin Bishop, John Nemeth, and the great blues vocalist Finis Tasby. The guitar slingers showcased on “Raisin’ Hell Revue” include Bishop, Chris “Kid” Anderson, and Bob Walsh. Terry Hanck adds his awesome saxophone playing and also sings on “Cryin’ Fool”. The list of players and background singers just adds to the enjoyment of this recording.

“Raisin’ Hell Revue” treats us to a really good selection of full blown blues, funk, Cajun, rockin’ blues and also a little gospel. This is all a good mix of music. On Bishop’s tune, “Fooled Around and Fell In Love”, John Nemeth takes over the vocal part of the song and let’s Elvin handle the guitar solos. This is a really good rendition of this tune. Finis Tasby is the featured vocalist for several tunes on “Raisin’ Hell Revue”. “Whole Lotta Love” showcases Tasby’s true blues vocals. He has that raw, raspy quality that yells out the blues to our ears. On this track Kid Anderson and Elvin Bishop trade some awesome guitar licks between themselves. Another standout tune, “Down In Virginia”, also has Tasby on vocals. This song features John Nemeth plying some very tasteful high end harmonica for us as well as Bishop doing some slide guitar.

“Dyin’ Flu” serves up some true Elvin Bishop blues. We get the old days narrative of Bishop’s times with the great Albert Collins, which is very interesting.  Bishop a really good rendition of this Albert Collin tune both vocally and instrumentally. I really enjoyed this tune.

“Raisin’ Hell Revue” shows us why the blues should be recorded live and spontaneously. One can listen to each track over and over to visualize the musicians and vocalists. It is a tough job to give all the players and background singers their credit due on “Raisin’ Hell Revue” but they all add to the quality of this project. All 13 tunes recorded here are enjoyable and leave one wanting for more of the same.

Reviewed by Harmonica Joe

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