Author Archive

Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite: Birds of a Feather Make Blues Together

This feature appeared previously in SF Weekly. The musical careers of Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite have followed similar paths. Both were raised in America’s heartland: Bishop in Iowa, Musselwhite in Tennessee. Both white musicians developed a deep and abiding love for the blues, eventually relocating to Chicago. After establishing themselves as formidable players –

Elvin Bishop: Still Struttin’ His Stuff at 78 (part 2 of 2)

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: Had you been playing guitar before you moved to Chicago in 1960? Elvin Bishop: I was fooling around with it in Tulsa. But it was hard to find anybody that really knew how to play the blues. I had learned a few chords, but it was basically like

Elvin Bishop: Still Struttin’ His Stuff at 78 (part 1 of 2)

Today, October 21, is the birthday of blues guitarist Elvin Bishop. He came on the scene with Chicago-based Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the ‘60s. The eventual Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (2015) and Blues Hall of Famer (2016) went on to a prolific and creatively fertile solo career, though his fame outside the

Here Comes Charlie Musselwhite!

Renowned blues harp (or harmonica, if you like) player Charlie Musselwhite was born in Mississippi, raised in Memphis, and headed to Chicago to follow the blues. His landmark 1966 LP Stand Back! Here Comes Charley [sic] Musselwhite’s Southside Band is an exemplar of the powerful Chicago blues style. He has won 14 Blues Music Awards,

Book Review: That Thin Wild Mercury Sound: Dylan, Nashville, and the Making of Blonde on Blonde

One of the most confounding and inscrutable of all artists, Bob Dylan and his body of work defy simple descriptions. Of course that hasn’t stopped journalists, academics and critics from trying. There’s no telling how many books and articles have been written about Bob Dylan and his music. But if a dedicated and thoughtful writer-researcher

Album Review: Circuline — Circulive: New View

For whatever reason, my own tastes with regard to progressive rock lean heavily toward music coming out of the UK. Given the choice between, say, Genesis and Kansas, I’ll always opt for the British group. There are occasional exceptions: the work of Spock’s Beard – especially the Nick D’Virgilio era – is some amazing stuff.

Album Review: The Greyboy Allstars — Como De Allstars

The Greyboy Allstars released their debut, West Coast Boogaloo, in 1994. That album, a collaboration with the great Fred Wesley, was reissued on vinyl this year. Now – more than a quarter century later, a period that included a seven-plus year break for the soul jazz ensemble – they return with their sixth album, Como

Modern Strangers: Self-made Men

Infectious tunes like the speedy pop of Modern Strangers’ “Where’s Your Man” – the speedy pop gem that’s the leadoff single from Modern Strangers’ debut album, Dangerous Fiction – combine rock grittiness and the sleek, streamlined vibe of classic pop. Listeners yearning for weepy, introspective balladry are advised to look elsewhere; this band is all

30 Days Out, October 2020 #2: Pretty Little Goat, Natti Love Joys, Marcus King Trio, Jane Kramer

Welp … looks like we’re back to live, in-person concerts. After a fashion, that is. All of the shows spotlighted in this edition of “30 Days Out” are socially-distanced in one manner or another. One’s a drive-in show (concertgoers stay in or near their vehicle). Another is an outdoor lawn concert. Another is in a

Album Review: Days Between Stations — Giants

Though he’s not credited as such, Billy Sherwood’s extensive role in the making of Days Between Stations’ Giants should earn him membership in the group. Officially, DBS is Oscar Fuentes Bils and Sepand Samzadeh, but Sherwood is co-credited as arranger, producer and composer. Instead, he’s listed as a “guest artist,” alongside bassist Colin Moulding (of