Elvin Bishop - vocals, lead guitar; Donny Baldwin - drums, vocals; Michael Brooks - bass; Terry Hanck - saxophone; Bill Slais - keyboards, vocals; Reni Slais - backing vocals; Mickey Thomas - vocals; Johnny Vernazza - guitar, vocals; Guest: Charlie Daniels - guitar, vocals
In 1974, Elvin Bishop relocated from California to Georgia and began recording for Phil Walden's Capricorn Records label, then the epicenter of Southern Rock. He assembled a hot new touring band and recorded four albums, heralding a more commercial and soulful sound, but still containing plenty of loose, infectious romps through various blues, country flavored rock, and rhythm & blues stylings that made him so popular on the ballroom and nightclub circuit. Not surprisingly, Bishop's live performances took a decidedly Southern Rock turn during this time, often with the trademark twin guitar leads (courtesy of Bishop and Johnny Vernazza) and his albums featured guest appearances from label-mates like Charlie Daniels, Dickey Betts and Toy Caldwell.
During his Capricorn era, Bishop's group returned to the Bay Area many times. The Record Plant was an old familiar haunt to Bishop, having recorded many previous sessions there, and he and his new band participated in a couple of live broadcasts when they swung through the area. This one captures them at a particularly good time, when the band had a wealth of strong material from the 1974 album Let It Flow, his popular Juke Joint Jump album (released earlier that year), as well as material destined for his next album, Struttin' My Stuff, which would be released a few weeks after this performance. Add to this several good time, high energy covers, and you have a rejuvenated Elvin Bishop Group delivering exuberant rock 'n' roll that rarely lets up.
They kick things off with the title track to their previous album, "Juke Joint Jump," with its Stevie Wonder-like keyboard parts, and then things take a barn-dance turn over the course of the next 20 minutes, as they debut new material. "Hey Hey Hey Hey" and "Joy" are paired up, as are "Hollow And Shout" and "Slick Titty Boom," all soon to be featured on Struttin' My Stuff. Next up is "Stealin Watermelons," one of Bishop's most joyous songs from the 1974 Let It Flow album, followed by a sneak preview of the funkified title track to the forthcoming album.
At this point, Bishop invites the special guest of the evening up. Label-mate Charlie Daniels straps on a guitar and joins the fray on the next two numbers, covers of "Deep Elem Blues" and "Still In Love With You." Charlie Daniels handles lead vocals on these songs as well as adding a third guitar to the mix. Next is "Calling All Cows" from the 1974 album, which comes closest to straight rhythm and blues, with strong sax and guitar soloing over a Bo Diddley beat. The rest of the set hits a more soulful New Orleans-flavored groove, with Mickey Thomas belting out a medley of "Let The Good Times Roll," "A Change Is Gonna Come" and "Bring It On Home To Me."
Thomas would be a key element to the success of the forthcoming album, as his vocal on "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" would take the Elvin Bishop Group sailing up the single charts and bring Capricorn Records its first top ten hit since the Allman Brothers' "Ramblin Man."