Elvin Bishop, Can’t Even Do Wrong Right (Alligator Records)

Elvin Bishop, Can’t Even Do Wrong Right, album cover, OffBeat Magazine, October 2014

Elvin Bishop was never the deepest of bluesmen—he’s a good-timey entertainer and proud of it.

And if you boogied to his Struttin My Stuff album back in high school, you’ll find here that he’s still throwing the same party 40 years later: The most angst-ridden this album gets is on the title tune’s story of a guy who breaks into his neighbors’ stash of weed, then gets caught when he nods out on their couch.

Hard to resist a guy who’s this eager to please, especially since the tunes are generally solid and the band can really play. (This album’s funkafied version of “Blues With a Feeling” is no joke, and stands up well to the one Bishop recorded with Paul Butterfield in 1969.) There’s also a reunion with Mickey Thomas, who sang Bishop’s one top-40 hit, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”

Thomas is still in strong voice on “Let Your Woman Have Her Way,” even if the song’s nowhere near as good. Better are two songs that deal in a typically upbeat way with advancing age: “Old School” features some technophobe jokes (“Don’t send me no email, send me a female”), and “Everybody’s in the Same Boat” confronts mortality by offering to buy the next round.

In all, this is a good disc to play when you start feeling your Jimmy Buffett albums are getting too heavy.