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June 2nd & 3rd 2017

Longview, Texas

Elvin Bishop Band

 

Growing up in the 1940s on a farm in Iowa with a loving but non-musical family, Elvin seldom heard music as a kid. “This was beforeelvin amylehman TV,” Elvin says, “and on the radio you got a lot of Frank Sinatra and ‘How Much Is That Doggie In the Window’ type of stuff.” The family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, when Elvin was 10, in 1952. Tulsa was “totally segregated,” says Elvin, “I mean, hard core.” However, “the one thing they couldn’t segregate was the airwaves. When rock and roll started up, in the mid-’50s, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard showed up on white radio.”

And then, late one night when Elvin was 14 or 15, the atmospheric conditions a little rough, Jimmy Reed’s harmonica came cutting through the static from WLAC in Nashville, and Elvin Bishop’s life was changed. The song was “Honest I Do.” “That piercing harp came through, cutting in like a knife, and I said, ‘Oh, man, that’s it.’ I found out that blues was where the good part of rock and roll was coming from.”

And about that time, he started trying to play guitar. “I wanted to play it from the beginning,” Elvin says. “I kept trying and then quitting it. Hurtin’ my fingers, playing those old pawn-shop guitars with the strings two inches off the fret board. Nobody I knew played.” But he kept after it. “Not being able to dance, and seeing how the musicians did with the girls, and loving the music, I finally stuck with it.”

The 70’s saw Elvin hit the charts with solo tracks like “Travelin’ Shoes,” “Sure Feels Good” and what would become his biggest hit, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” with a powerful vocal by Mickey Thomas. During the 1980’s, Elvin spent most of his time on the road, “entertaining the people and maybe having a little too much fun myself.” Later in the decade he hooked up with Alligator for a number of excellent albums that grew right out of his blues roots. Later recordings resulted in 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.

Deceptively loose but always tight...the raspy chuckle in Bishop's singing and the sharp sting of his guitar are forceful and fresh, enduring and fun. —Fresh Air, NPR

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

It’s impossible not to like Bishop (his lyrical persona is not just for show). He’s always singing something lowbrow and up-lifting… – Chicago Sun Times

 

Where you at, got to be New Orleans 2016
Juke Joint Jump 2013
Travelin Shoes

 

 

 

 

 

Travelin Shoes 

 

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