Song of the Week – Travelin’ Shoes, Elvin Bishop


Back in the early 70s the Macon, Georgia based Capricorn Records was the home to the country’s best Southern rock bands. The kings of Phil Walden’s label were the Allman Brothers, but it was also the label for The Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws, Wet Willie, Grinderswitch and Cowboy. Country bluesman Elvin Bishop joined their roster for his fourth album, Let It Flow (1974).

The best song on Let It Flow was the 7+ minute “Travelin’ Shoes”, today’s SotW.

On “Travelin’ Shoes” Bishop makes use of the twin lead guitar style that was the Allman’s trademark.

The album’s liner notes credit a who’s who of rock stars — Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers), Toy Caldwell (Marshall Tucker), Charlie Daniels, and Sly Stone! – but doesn’t specify who played on which cuts. It has to be Betts playing that second lead guitar on “Travelin’ Shoes” but I can’t discern if any of those others also play on it.

Some of you may recognize Bishop from his 60s work with The Butterfield Blues Band and his collaboration with Michael Bloomfield/Al Kooper, when he was steeped in traditional blues. Others may be more familiar with his #3 commercial hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” (1976). “Travelin’ Shoes” finds him covering the territory somewhere smack in between.

Enjoy… until next week.

4 thoughts on “Song of the Week – Travelin’ Shoes, Elvin Bishop

  1. I love shuffles and this is a swell one, but I’ve always been disturbed by the line about using Hank Aaron’s bat to tenderize his gal’s head. Kind of spoils this one for me, at least until we get back into the guitars and I kind of almost forget.

  2. I agree that it’s no a very PC line, but I’ve always taken it as jest. It’s sung with a smile, not in anger.

  3. I’m not one to make a big issue about this sort of thing, there are a lot of reasons why people say things, so I’ll believe your interpretation of smile, not any anger. But even without being PC it’s hard to see how those lyrics are acceptable. Not if you think women shouldn’t be hit on the head with a bat.

    But I’ll admit, when I was 17 and hearing this, I was beguiled, not offended.

  4. Same with me, very put off by that lyric… would like to find an instrumental only, since the guitars and keys are off the charts from my perspective!

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