What makes this new Elvin Bishop record so amazing is the roster of special guests he has been able to assemble. This lineup shows just want a respected guitarist Elvin is with his peers. The guests on the album include B.B. King, George Thorogood, James Cotton, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Kim Wilson, Tommy Castro, Ronnie Baker Brooks, John Nemeth, Angela Strehli, Homemade Jamz Blues Band, R.C. Carrier and Andre Thierry. Pretty cool lineup.
With The Blues Roll On, Elvin returns to his roots. He really knows how to work and play well with others, making the whole project seriously fun. The title track leads off with trademark guitar squall from Warren Haynes on guitar and Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds) on harp. Warren's guitar playing is always prime, and Wilson blows super soulful blues harp.
"Struttin' My Stuff" is a classic from Bishop's Capricorn Records heyday in the mid 70's, and features a funky guitar army of Haynes, Derek Trucks, Johnny "V" Venazza and Mike Schermer. Funky as snuff.
Thorogood sounds perfect on Hound Dog Taylor’s "Send You Back To Georgia" and Junior Wells' "Come On In this House" is rocks in the hands of Homemade Jamz Blues Band which is comprised by three siblings, Ryan Perry (14), Kyle (11) and Taya (9). Serious next generation blues players.
Singer/harp man John Nemeth shines vocally on "Night Time Is The Right Time," Who's the Fool" and "I Found Out," in a super soulful voice. Nemeth returns to close things out on harp with an instrumental take on "Honest I Do," the song Elvin attributes to being his inspiration to make music in the very beginning.
The solo number "Oklahoma" is all Elvin on guitar, vocals and foot percussion and the centerpiece of the album is "Keep a Dollar In Your Pocket," with B.B. King on guitar. It begins and ends with King and Bishop talking, and it features some of King’s hottest picking of late.
Elvin Bishop has delivered a major blues party record that sounds really good when played really loud. Buffalo says, invite some pals over and check it out. And don’t forget the keg.
-Michael Buffalo Smith