Elvin Bishop big hit at fair
To the Editor:
Saturday evening Chuck and I attended the Mother Lode Fair anticipating the Elvin Bishop Concert. The small, side venue of folding chairs instead of the grandstand was disappointing at first until his first gig in the evening at 7 p.m. It was a rousing good time to lively Rock ’n Roll Blues that brought smiles and drew whistles from a 50- to 60-plus-year-old crowd that reminisced about our concerts of the ’60s to ’70s. During the 9:30 p.m. performance the nighttime crowd came alive with a whole new set of the 40- to 60-year-olds. Knees-slapping, feet-jumping music drew a group out of their seats to dance on the small grassy area in front of the stage. Elvin’s band with a New Orleans style saxophonist, his blood-pumping keyboardist, his female bass guitar, and world-class drummer brought the crowd alive — then it got better. Elvin jumped off the stage with that electric guitar and wove his way among the music-goers like pied piper playing his Blues music with lyrics about fishing’ and watermelons with words that made you laugh. Overheard one 30-something woman say that she’d never heard of Elvin Bishop until now and he had gained a new fan. That was true of the group with children whose new parents were drawn like flies to honey. Kudos to the new fair manager, Don Bean, who made a brief introductory statement about meeting Elvin in Fresno in the ’60s (’70s?). For the price of a fair ticket, he gave people the chance to attend a real concert that was a bargain for those who can’t afford big concert prices any more. Our sincere thanks to Elvin himself — his vibrant music and country humor so animated you could tell he reacted to the crowd’s enthusiasm and his talented band for making such a memorable event.
Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties