ARTIST: Elvin Bishop
TITLE: The Best of Elvin Bishop: Crabshaw Rising
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Stealin’ Watermelons
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: So Fine
LINEUP: Elvin Bishop and others
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A compilation of his first three albums (on Fillmore and Epic Records) that stayed pretty close to blues rock with some country leanings.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The original guitarist in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (joined later by Mike Bloomfield), Elvin Bishop went solo, signed with Bill Graham, and recorded three albums before moving to Capricorn Records in 1973. This collection picks up the highlights from those records.
Bishop isn’t the best vocalist – he’s best in his “Pigboy Crabshaw” persona – but he’s got a good knack for playing in the blues / rock era of the time, adding a bit of country highlights at times.
These ten tracks probably pick the best of the lot, though you sometimes wish he had a chance to do more instrumental stuff like “Hogbottom” instead of being constricted to pop song length.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Bishop also played with the Grateful Dead on a few occasions, and his group played a tour with the Allman Brothers in 1971.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but a larger collection exists on CD – it’s not streaming though.
GRADE: B: This material is overshadowed by his one hit and his later stuff, but it shows Bishop as a good guitarist and decent songwriter.