Elvin Bishop

Red Dog Speaks

Delta Groove

bishop2Bishop has excelled at his craft through many phases, from Bay Area blues rock to southern rock to just plain blues.

But his post-Capricorn Records efforts with Alligator and Blind Pig were spotty, as if he were searching for a new identity. With “Red Dog Speaks,” Delta Groove has helped him find one after just two CDs, delivering on the promise of 2008’s “The Blues Rolls On.”

“Red” rightly returns to emphasizing his main strength: slide guitar. It expands on the previous release’s enlistment of heavyweights, with Tommy Castro, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Roy Gaines, Buckwheat Zydeco, John Nemeth and Kid Anderson in featured sidemen roles.

The best pure-slide cuts are aren’t always instrumental, as “Many Rivers to Cross,” with Nemeth on lead vocals, proves. But “Doo-Wop Medley” (consisting of “In the Still of the Night” and “Maybe”) and “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” join a long line of slide-showcasing instrumentals by Bishop, including “Last Mile,” “Stomp,” “Devil’s Slide,” “Mellow D,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Honest I Do.”

Nemeth also supplies vocals on “Neighbor Neighbor” (written by the Crazy Cajun, Huey P. Meaux) and Otis Spann’s “Get Your Hand Out of My Pocket.” Bishop, often shortchanged when it comes to recognition as an above-average singer, provides slightly hoarse yet heartfelt performances on such numbers as Leroy Carr’s “Midnight Hour Blues” and originals “Fat & Sassy” and the live “Blues Cruise.”

“Clean Livin’ ” and the title song continue his specialty in talking blues, offering advice from a senior party animal’s perspective and relating the history of the 1959 Gibson ES-345 he calls Red Dog.gnm_end_bug

Tracks
1. Red Dog Speaks
2. Neighbor Neighbor
3. Fat & Sassy
4. Barbecue Boogie
5. Many Rivers To Cross
6. Blues Cruise
7. Doo-Wop Medley
8. Get Your Hand Out Of My Pocket
9. His Eye Is On The Sparrow
10. Clean Livin’
11. Midnight Hour Blues

Total time: 39:49

External links
artist’s website
amazon.com
iTunes Store

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