Elvin Bishop has been traveling the blues road longer than most, and he's got the stories to prove it - many of which are contained within the songs on this release. Stops along the way include his work as a founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the early '60s, and pop success with his 1976 smash hit Fooled Around and Fell In Love. Bishop's long and varied career has included plenty of side trips along the way as well, from deep down gutbucket blues played in smoky south side Chicago taverns, to raucous roadhouse R&B, to good time rock & roll on concert stages and festivals around the world. And at every stage along the way, he's instilled all of his music with passion, creativity, and a healthy helping of wisdom, wit, and good humor.Delta Groove Productions president Randy Chortkoff has been a fan and follower of Elvin's music through all the many phases of his career, beginning with Butterfield Blues Band in the mid 1960s, and when the opportunity arose to bring Elvin into the Delta Groove fold, Chortkoff jumped at the opportunity. The result was Elvin's Grammy-nominated 2008 CD The Blues Rolls On, and a flurry of other awards and accolades, including being named 2009 Male Blues Artist of The Year by Blues Blast magazine. Elvin's brand new release Red Dog Speaks, his second on Delta Groove Music, is the exciting next step in his blues journey.Right out of the gate, Bishop leaves no doubt where his heart is, cleverly introducing his long-time cohort - a 1959 Gibson ES-345 that lovingly answers to the name of 'Red Dog', with a gritty slow blues calculated to set the pace for what's to come. Along the way he smoothly steers the way from strutting blues and R&B, to a good dose of good-time rock & roll, and even an occasional detour through doo-wop, zydeco and gospel. Elvin has made plenty of talented friends over the years, and many of them jumped at the chance to help out including John Nemeth, Buckwheat Zydeco, Roy Gaines, Tommy Castro, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Kid Andersen who all make guest appearances. And all of it adds up to an amalgam that can only be called 'Elvin Bishop music.'QUOTES:'The North Bay-based musician remains one of the genre's most distinctive guitar stylists, melding a slashing attack with a keen ear for melody.' East Bay Express'...careening slide and razor-edged bursts, all delivered with unflagging enthusiasm and wit.' Rolling Stone'Nemeth's harp and Bishop's slide make beautiful old music beautiful again.' Pittsburgh Post Gazette'Bishop is a good-hearted soul whose life mission is to entertain to the best of his ability.' Downbeat
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Kil Roi | Ashburn, VA | 07/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When a musician sees his instrument as a life-long companion, you know you're in for something good. Such is the case with Elvin Bishop and Red Dog, his faithful Gibson ES-345, cherry-red, 1959.
Red Dog Speaks is a journey of a man and his guitar down a long, storied road that is his career, never aptly given its due, but nonetheless filled with vague joys and no regrets.
Red Dog Speaks is the soul of Elvin Bishop. Yes, the Elvin Bishop who played in the towering shadow of Michael Bloomfield in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band days.
Yes, the Elvin Bishop whose brush with commercial success came in the mid'70s' "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," which was catapulted up the charts on -- let's face it -- the vocal prowess of Mickey Thomas.
Yes. That Elvin Bishop. The Elvin Bishop who in decades hasn't changed his hair or shirt style, and who stands curiously devoid of pomposity.
To appreciate Red Dog Speaks, one must first listen to the opening title cut, where Elvin introduces Red Dog, faithful through busted strings, blown amps and beer spills seeping deep into the pickup coils. Here, you hear Red Dog speak, get to know his bark, bite and whimpers.
The songs are well-crafted, catchy and varied. You'll hear foot-stompin' boogie, doo-wop, jazz, blues, country, ballads and a guitar icon truly enjoying himself.
RED DOG SPEAKS: Juicy slide, jazzy piano and a laid-back intro to Red Dog.
NEIGHBOR NEIGHBOR: An anthem to the nosy neighbor. Toe-tapping boogie; lots of slide guitar and sax.
FAT & SASSY: A good rollicking piece trumpeting the pleasures of gluttony; the tune is mighty tasty as well.
BARBECUE BOOGIE: A quick-paced instrumental dripping blue.
MANY RIVERS TO CROSS: A pretty ballad; Red Dog slides along.
BLUES CRUISE: Tommy Castro, Buckwheat Zydeco, John Nemeth and others join in on this one.
DOO-WOP MEDLEY: '50s instrumental; slow and pleasantly greasy.
GET YOU HAND OUT OF MY POCKET: Red Dog unleashed; great mouth harp.
HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW: Red Dog makes a great statement on this instrumental.
CLEAN LIVIN': Elvin waxes nostalgic on the vices he's survived; Red Dog agrees.
MIDNIGHT HOUR BLUES: Sultry blues; a great closer.
There you have it. Elvin Bishop, unblinkingly true to the stuff that matters most, has reached a new height.
Red Dog tells you so.
The Real Thing!
Richard W. Grove | USA | 07/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is not typical of what sells these days. This is real downhome, gutbucket, country blues by a master. It's enheartening to see folks from Mr. Bishop's generation become the elder bluesmen of today just like the previous generation was for them. If you want to get a sense of authentic music that can actually sound the same or better live without an studio gimmickry, buy this album. And he's funny, too: Fat and Sassy is hilarious."
Red Dog Does Speak
Slag | TX. | 07/21/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes Red Dog Does Speak on this new Elivin Bishop disc. I have been a fan of Elvin Bishop for many years and it's exciting and refreshing to hear this wonderful CD. More artists should include some of the Doo Wop as Elvin let's Red Dog do here. The track "Clean Living" will apply to a whole bunch of us for sure. This disc is getting extended play time with me and friends. If you love Elvin Bishop and Red Dog then get this CD asap."