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Elvin Bishop: The Skin I’m In

Elvin Bishop has always known how to throw a party in the studio. He offers more of the same on The Skin I’m In (Alligator 4859; 45:56). Kicking off with the goodtime anthem “Right Now is the Hour,” he lays out some wicked slide licks right off the bat, following through with a vengeance on the New Orleans-flavored “I’m Gone” and the title track, his humorous meditation on racism and sexism. He provides more humorous insights and slashing guitar licks on “Middle Aged Man” and “Country Blues,” which features some great exchanges with guest guitarist Joe Louis Walker. Elvin and the boys frolick on the uptempo “That Train Is Gone” and they mellow down easy on “Long Shadows,” featuring some expressive call-and-response work between Bishop’s slide and Norton Buffalo’s harmonica. “Radio Boogie,” an informal un-plugged jam with harmonica ace Charlie Musselwhite and guitarist William Schuller, is Bishop’s personal tribute to the great blues djs of his youth. And “Slow Down” is another rollicking brand of downhome blues that addresses advancing age…”You better get off cocaine and get on Rogaine/You’ll have to slow down, you’ll have to make a change/You wanna keep on having birthdays, you can’t do it that way.” You can always count on Elvin to make you smile as he kicks your ass with dangerous guitar licks.

Originally Published