Elvin Bishop was right in the middle of that whole Capricorn Records scene in Macon during the seventies, and although I already knew him as a primo guitarist with Paul Butterfield's Blues Band, it wasn’t until he “went country” that I became a die hard Elvin Fan. Most people remember him for his number one hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.” The real meat and potatoes of Bishop’s work came with a record called Let it Flow, and with these two albums, both originally released in 1975,
Collected together on a single CD, Juke Joint Jump and Struttin’ My Stuff make for an amazing musical ride - 19 songs and over 80 minutes of Elvin at his best, including the funky “Juke Joint Jump,” the equally funky “Calling All Cows,” and the downright happy “Sure Feels Good,” featuring some fine Southern fried guitar pickin.’ The entire album Juke Joint Jump is just a lot of musical fun. Produced by Johnny Sandlin, who also contributed acoustic and electric guitar and percussion, the record also features guest appearances by Stephen Stills, Ross Mason, June Pointer and others.
The title track on Struttin’ My Stuff was recently re-recorded by Elvin on his latest record, but the original version still holds up very well. Funky as last weeks dirty socks, it’s a sheer joy from start to finish.
The album was co-produced by Allan Blazek and Bill Szymczyk, and featured the aforementioned hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” with lead vocals by Mickey Thomas. Other stand out tracks include the reggae tinged “Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey” and the rocked up rendition of The Temptations classic “My Girl.” Of course I always loved “Slick Titty Boom,” a funky, dirty number with Elvin and Mickey trading off lead vocals. Too much fun. There’s some major B-3 action going on too. And “Have a Good Time” is romping countrified blues that just makes you want to get up and dance a jig. The album closes with a rocking gospel sendup called “Joy,” which pretty much describes how I feel about the entire record.
Raven Records of Australia has really been turning out some Southern Rock classics these past few years, from Dickey Betts to Bonnie Bramlett, and this one is a perfect addition. I dare you to say you don’t like this collection. In fact, I double dare you.
-Michael Buffalo Smith