The Center For The Arts Presents Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio
Thursday, December 16, 2021
8:00pm, Doors Open at 7:00pm
Main Stage Theater
“A good time romp…raucous blues with high-energy soloing, mixtures of careening slide and razor- edged bursts, all delivered with unflagging enthusiasm and wit.” –ROLLING STONE
“Rousing, down-home, feel-good music…spunky rhythms and razor-sharp slide…Bishop’s a superb guitarist of great strength and skill…a rockin’ good time.” –GUITAR WORLD
On the title track of his new album, Can’t Even Do Wrong Right, legendary blues guitarist, songwriter and singer ELVIN BISHOP spins a tale of a not-too-smart criminal getting caught by his own foolish missteps. The shaggy dog story, fueled by Bishop’s down-home delivery and deep blues slide guitar, is an affirmation of the Chicago Sun-Times’ ebullient praise: “It’s impossible not to like Bishop. He’s always singing something lowbrow and uplifting.” With his buoyant and deceptively loose-sounding ensemble behind him, he’s also playing some of the most spirited and distinctive blues slide guitar today.
Can’t Even Do Wrong Right, with hilariously spot-on cover art by musician/artist Paul Thorn, finds Bishop firing on all cylinders and having fun while doing it. Fueled by his stellar road band, Bishop has created another highlight in a career chock full of them. Five of the songs are Bishop originals, including Let Your Woman Have Her Way, on which Bishop’s friend Mickey Thomas sings the lead (this is the first time Thomas, the ex-Jefferson Starship singer, has recorded with Bishop since he provided vocals on Bishop’s classic hit Fooled Around And Fell In Love). An outstanding instrumental version of Jimmy Reed’s Honest I Do harkens back to Elvin’s childhood: this was the very first blues song he heard coming from Nashville’s WLAC, the late night R&B 50,000 watt powerhouse radio station, beaming all the way to his Oklahoma home. In the 1950s in Oklahoma, everything was racially separated except the radio (“They couldn’t segregate the airwaves,” Bishop recalls). With the addition of his Grammy Award-winning pal Charlie Musselwhite on Old School and No More Doggin’, Can’t Even Do Wrong Right hits its target at every turn. The album is sure to find a place in the hearts and ears of his many longtime fans, and will open the door to scores of those just joining Elvin’s never- ending party.
Although Bishop has been performing his rollicking brand of electrified front porch blues for over 50 years (his first professional gig was as guitarist for Junior Wells’ band in 1962), he is as vital and creative an artist today as he was when he first hit the national scene in 1965 with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He is still as slyly good-humored and instantly crowd-pleasing as he was when he was effortlessly creating solo hits during the 1970s. His reemergence on Alligator Records in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, along with his more recent releases on Blind Pig and Delta Groove, insure his place on the short list of bona fide blues guitar heroes. Elvin’s music mixes thick blues grooves with timeless rock flavors spiced with a touch of country, a dab of Moms Mabley’s and Pigmeat Markham’s ribald black comedy, and the laid back feel of his Northern California home. His guitar playing seems to improve with every performance, and his songwriting is filled with clever revelations and homespun wisdom. Living Blues says Elvin’s guitar playing is “as full of fresh licks and unbounded energy as the day he and Mike Bloomfield set the blues/rock world on its ear.”
Now, with Can’t Even Do Wrong Right, Bishop again is ready to share his happy-go-lucky vibe with his fans around the world. His guitar/vocal/songwriting triple-threat talent, along with his ability to deliver a rollicking good time wherever he goes, assures his not-to-be-missed live performances are consistently packed to the gills with cheering fans. The Chicago Tribune says Bishop plays “good-time music guaranteed to put a smile on your face…serious playing, potent slide guitar and razor-sharp licks.” Musically, it’s as if Elvin Bishop can do no wrong, and that is perfectly all right.
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