Elvin Bishop

Elvin Bishop
Booty Bumpin'

Blind Pig BPCD 5118

By Art Tipaldi
November 2007

In these past two years, Elvin Bishop must surely be gettin’ his groove back.

A new record on Blind Pig and two Blues Music Award nominations in 2006 for Album and Song of the Year, and now this long awaited live record.

Bishop has survived more tragedy than any human should be asked to. Yet Bishop knows that the power of the blues is that it can shed light on life’s darkest times, and offer hope and light. The blues always says: “Everything’s gonna be alright,” and that’s Elvin’s hopeful message here.

Recorded at Constable Jack’s in Newcastle, Calif., in December 2006, Booty Bumpin’ features Bishop and his crack touring band. The eclectic mixture of Bishop’s guitar, Ed Earley’s slippery trombone, and Steve Willis’ piano and accordion gives a rootsy feel to the 12 booty shakin’ tunes.

“Stomp” opens the night out with Bishop’s slide guitar and Bobby Cochran’s heavy tom-tom drum centering the music between Chicago and New Orleans. Bishop

follows with his funky classic “Stealin Watermelons,” featuring Earley’s howlin’ trombone. From there, Bishop reprises his classic tune from his 2005 award winning Blind Pig record. Bishop’s sparse and dark, John Lee Hooker styled boogie kicks off “What The Hell Is Gonna On,” a depressing look at our world, where we keep our doors locked and airplanes fly into buildings. This definitely deserved its Song of the Year nomination.

One of the most pleasurable songs on the album is his 8-minute groove on “I Feel All Right Again.” Like most of the music he plays, the song is a gumbo of Elvin’s red Gibson, Steve Willis’ piano, and Ed Earley’s trombone and vocals.

One of Blind Pig’s new stars, harmonica player John Nemeth, joins Bishop for the high flyin’ title cut.

The disc moves into party mode with Elvin’s signature sound on “My Dog,” a testimonial to the blues Bishop loves to play. There’s slow blues with “Belly Rubbin” - where you can do exactly what the song’s title tells you to do, and an up tempo “I’ll Be Glad,” where Bobby Cochran sings that he’s tired of livin’ in a big old world of hurt, and gettin’ the old groove back.

As Bishop ends the night, he turns the lights low on “Blue Flame.”

For the finale, Bishop returns to New Orleans for a rousing cover of Allan Toussaint’s “I’m Gone,” a staple of every Bishop live show. For everyone who has experienced Elvin live, Booty Bumpin’ is an energetic reminder of how much fun there is to be had during a night with Elvin Bishop.


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