A raucous, good-time live set from blues icon Elvin Bishop. Ever since coming of age as a bluesman on Chicago's South Side and joining up as an original member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1965, Elvin has always infused his music with a distinctive freshness and vitality. Booty Bumpin' & Belly Rubbin' finds him at the top of his game, delighting the audience with new tunes and old favorites.
No need to waste time making a mixtape for your next blues bash--just throw on this disc and let Elvin Bishop be your host for a night of rollicking fun. Bishop has traditionally been known for bouncy shows that incorporate both the deep blues he cut as an original member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the country-styled soul he gravitated to as one of the Capricorn label's popular Southern rock acts in the '70s. You can practically see his goofy grin and wild eyes as he knocks back an hour's worth of highlights from a 2006 show. Accompanied by a sympathetic eight-piece band that includes three background vocalists and a trombonist who also plays rubboard, this is a nonstop party that doesn't even slow down for the topical, politically based ruminations of "What the Hell Is Going On," one of only two tracks reprised from his appropriately titled 2005 comeback Gettin' My Groove Back. The slow blues of "Belly Rubbin'" and the opening instrumental "Stomp" spotlight Bishop's impressive guitar chops, but this is truly a group effort. He turns lead vocals over to other band members for three tracks, and if hes not enjoying himself as much as the audience, he ought to be nominated for an Oscar instead of a Grammy. Bishop cherry-picks "Stealin' Watermelons" from his early years, but generally sticks to fresh tunes and unusual covers such as Roy Milton's humorous "Keep a Dollar in Your Pocket" and Junior Parker's frisky "I Feel Alright Again." Let the booty bumpin' begin! --Hal Horowitz