Elvin Bishop plays tracks from Can't Even Do Wrong Right and talks about the joy & danger of having your songs played at weddings.
Also on this episode, country rock from Nancarrow, a Leadbelly cover by Dave Ray, a ballad by Jonathan Byrd, a rock & roll anthem by NQ Arbuckle, roots rock from Eliot Bronson, boogie blues from John Dee Holeman, a beautiful crooner by Emma Swift, folk-rock from Shakey Graves, and some swingin' blues from Luke Winslow-King.
- Party / Nancarrow / Heart / 3:35
- Becky Dean / Dave Ray / Legacy / 2:41
- Slip Away / Jonathan Byrd / You Can't Outrun The Radio / 3:42
- Hospitals / NQ Arbuckle / The Future Happens Anyway / 3:32
- Comin' For Ya North Georgia Blues / Eliot Bronson / Eliot Bronson / 3:33
- Chapel Hill Boogie / John Dee Holeman / We Are The Music Makers / 2:16
- James / Emma Swift / Emma Swift / 4:03
- Only Son / Shakey Graves / And The War Came / 4:42
- Cadillac Slim / Luke Winslow King / Everlasting Arms / 3:28
Elvin Bishop Info
- Preview Can't Even Do Wrong Right by Elvin Bishop on Amazon.
- Read the review of Can't Even Do Wrong Right
- Visit the Elvin Bishop web site.
Elvin Bishop interview recap
Calvin introduces Elvin Bishop and notes that he's working on 5 decades of being in the music business. Calvin asks if there's any such thing as retiring from the blues. Elvin Bishop says, "It ain't football! You don't have to quit when you're 30!". Calvin asks if the idea of retirement ever enters is brain and Elvin Bishop says, "It enters my wife's brain, but it hasn't entered mine yet. I love it too much. Some time ago, the romance of travel kind of wore off, you know. But the actual getting on stage and getting together with people and playing the music, I don't know how you could beat that that's an irreplaceable feeling. I intend to do it as long as I can."
Calvin asks Elvin Bishop how the album came together and how he chose which cuts he chose. He says, "I don't know. I just sort of did what I was interested, what seemed to be the right thing the fun thing to do at the time. I was able to catch guys like Mickey Thomas and Charlie Musselwhte at a time when they had time to do it. They were willing. They are both old friends of mine. We've got a great band and good engineer.
Elvin Bishop sets up "Cant' Even Do Wrong Right." He says, "You know how somebody will say something a little catchy phrase and somebody else will say 'that would make a great song' and then a song never gets written about it. Well, this one did. Our bass player, named Ruthie Davies, is a wonderful upright bass player. She was formerly with Charles Brown the blues piano player. She was telling me about some saxophone player who was always saying 'I can't even do wrong right.' That got me to thinking about how you see on the news dumb-ass criminals that drop their wallet at the scene of the crime, or they find them in the air conditioning vent in the morning at the 7-11. So it's about a guy like that."
[Calvin plays the title track from Can't Even Do Wrong Right by Elvin Bishop.]
Calvin notes that Elvin Bishop has been using the same Gibson ES-345 for almost his entire career and asks Elvin how he came to pick that guitar and stick with it for so long. He says, "Well, it was kind of an accident. I was playing a Fender Telecaster and not getting much satisfaction out of it. It just didn't seem to suit me and every time I picked it up I would break a string. And there was this guy who came to the club, this is when we were with the Paul Butterfield Band in the early days in the early 60s. And there as this blues player, a great blues player by the name of Louis Meyers came by. I told him, 'I'm having trouble every time I pick this up, Boing! There goes another string.' He said, "There's nothing wrong with that guitar, you're just square as a pool table and twice as green! You don't know what you're doing. He let me fool with his guitar a little bit and I said, "Man if I had this guitar I bet I'd never break a string. This guitar just feels great.' And we were both drinking and it kind of worked it's way around where we just traded guitars on the spot. He came back about a week later and by that time I was totally fully in love with that guitar. I was getting just the sound I wanted. It felt perfect in my hand. And the Fender by comparison was just like a piece of wood with some wires on it, you know? [laughs] And he said, 'Man, every time I pick this up a damn string snaps. We gotta trade back.' And if I'd had an ounce of decency in me, I would have done it. Because he was a great guy and a great player too. But I said, 'Nah, man, it's too late I can't do it.' I fell in love with this guitar and I've had one ever since."
Calvin asks Elvin Bishop at what point in the progression of his career did he start calling his guitar "Red Dog." He says, "I don't know. It's a red guitar. I used to hang out with the Allman Brothers and they had a road guy named Red Dog and some how I transferred the name to my guitar and it stuck."
Elvin Bishop sets up "Let Your Woman Have Her Way." He says, "This one is like a reunion with Mickey Thomas. He's an amazing guy. First of all he's the sweetest person in the world. He's a real nice guy. I got back together with him. We did a blues cruise together. I was amazed to find that after all these years, that super high voice of his, he hasn't lost an inch of that. He's got all of his high range. And now he knows better what to do with it, it seems like to me. I had this old tune, kind of the same story as 'Fooled Around And Fell In Love' I said I wrote a good song, but I can't sing the damn thing, I can't do it justice with the voice I got, which you hear right now, you know? So I said 'I got another one like that. Would you be interested n trying that?' and he said 'Sure.' And so we did it. And he kinda wrote the last verse for it. And I think it turned out real good."
[Calvin plays "Let Your Woman Have Her Way" from Can't Even Do Wrong Right by Elvin Bishop.]
Calvin notes that "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" has prominently featured in the summer blockbuster movie, Guardians Of The Galaxy, and asks Elvin Bishop how it makes him feel to know that song still has legs after all these years. He says, "Well, that's amazing. Whoever came up with the concept of the movie must have eyeballed the music that's going on today and said, "I bet you there's something that's not in that music that people are kind of craving.' And they put all the 70's stuff in it. And I guess it worked big time. Evidently it's the biggest movie of the summer. It's all good. I'm happy that people are going to be able to hear that song."
Calvin asks Elvin Bishop how it makes him feel to know that there are thousands of couples who think of "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" is "their song." He says, "Real good MOST of the time. One time there's this great big old dude came back. And he looked like he was mad at me. He said, 'Are you Bishop?' I said, 'yeah.' He said, 'Did you write that damned Fooled Around Fell In Love?' I said 'Yes, sir.' He said, 'Well, they played that at our wedding.' I said, 'Oh, that's nice.' He said, 'No, it's not. She got the house, both cars, the kid, you son of a bitch!'
Calvin asks if they can wrap up with the zydeco number, "Dancin'" Elvin Bishop sets it up. He says, "That one just popped out and it is from listening it's like a zydeco two-step. Glad you recognized that. Some people think that any song with an accordion in it is a polka, I guess. I've always love the zydeco music."
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