Blues Underground Network
Elvin Bishop "Raisin' Hell Revue"
Elvin Bishop has been Raisin' Hell for well over 40 years and although his career has had it's share of slow times in the past, Elvin has been coming on strong again, especially with his stint with Alligator Records, a smart move that garnered him many accolades from his peers and has put him at the top of the heap when talking about exceptionally gifted electric blues guitarists. In 2008, Delta Groove Music had the opportunity to sign Elvin, and they didn't think twice about it. His first release for them was the Grammy Nominated Album “The Blues Rolls On, a project supported by an all-star cast of blues royalty featuring B.B. King, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, George Thorogood, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Tommy Castro, John Németh, Angela Strehli, plus many more." "Raisin' Hell Revue" marks, "this founding member of the original Paul Butterfield Blues Band's", third release for Delta Groove Music.
"Raisin' Hell Revue" is a Live production which took place on the 2010 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise and featured Special Guest Finis Tasby (Vocals), John Nemeth (Vocals/Harmonica), Terry Hanck, a longtime band mate with Elvin (Tenor Sax/Vocals), and Chris (Kid) Andersen (Guitar). Other members of the supporting cast on "Raisin' Hell Revue" included Ed Earley (Trombone/Vocals/Percussion), Steve Willis (Piano/Accordion/Vocals), Bob Welsh (Guitar), Bobby Cochran (Drums/Vocals), Ruth Davies (Bass), and Lisa Leu Andersen (Vocals). With such a wide and diverse amount of Talent and Instruments, one would think that the listener would be in for quite a musical treat and they would be absolutely right.
"Raisin' Hell Revue" consists of 13 Tracks with a really good mix of Originals, Covers, and Standards. From "Callin' All Cows", "a Blues Rockers song based on the famous Bo' Diddley Beat", to "The Night Time is the Right Time", "a blues standard that has been interpreted and recorded by a variety of music artists, the first being by Roosevelt Sykes, a.k.a. "The Honeydripper," in 1937", to you guessed it, "Fooled Around and Fell in Love", Elvin Bishop's Top Ten Hit from the 70's. "It appeared on his 1975 album Struttin' My Stuff and was released as a single the following year. Bishop did not sing lead vocals on the track; feeling that his gravelly voice didn't do the song justice, he invited vocalist Mickey Thomas who was a background singer in his band at the time, to sing it. Based on his work with Bishop, Thomas was invited to become the lead singer for Jefferson Starship. The song peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in May 1976." Keeping with that tradition, Elvin Bishop also does not sing the song on this release either, leaving that job to the more than capable John Nemeth. John Nemeth has also been Vocalist and Harmonica Player for Elvin on his two previous Delta Groove Music, as well.
Beyond the great selection of music is the fact that "Raisin' Hell Revue" was done in Revue Style, meaning everyone got in on the act, without any one Artist dominating. Vocal duties were spread between no less then 7 Artists on this release, with some Tracks being Solo Vocal's to as many as 5 Vocalists (Lead/Background) on Track 7 "Rock My Soul" and although Elvin Bishop did not sing on a fair number of the Tracks, he still managed to play his heart out on his guitars.
For me, "Raisin' Hell Revue" came across as yet another really strong release for Elvin Bishop, punctuated, as always with a steller group of Guest Performers. A fun Album to listen to, for sure, with a little something here for everyone.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
1) Callin' All Cows (5:27)
2) Whole Lotta Lovin' (4:32)
3) Fooled Around and Fell in Love (4:48)
4) What the Hell is Goin' On (3:33)
5) The Night Time is the Right Time (3:28)
6) Down in Virginia (3:27)
7) Rock my Soul (5:50)
8) Cryin' Fool (5:04)
9) River's Invitation (4:33)
10) Dyin' Flu (6:23)
11) Tore up over you (2:49)
12) It Hurts me Too (3:07)
13) Bye Bye baby (5:17)
Listen To Samples Here...