Elvin Bishop’s latest CD, ELVIN BISHOP’S BIG FUN TRIO, is rootsy, spirited, soulful and smile-inducing blues, performed by serious musicians hell-bent on having a good time. ELVIN BISHOP’S BIG FUN TRIO (featuring guitarist/pianist Bob Welsh and percussionist/vocalist Willy Jordan) delivers laid-back, front-porch vibes.
The album mixes four rollicking Bishop originals with three co-writes and five raucous, well-chosen covers of songs by Lightnin’ Hopkins, Fats Domino, Sunnyland Slim, Ted Taylor and Bobby Womack. And because one can never have too much fun, Bishop’s pals Kim Wilson, Charlie Musselwhite and Rick Estrin stop by the sessions, each adding his distinctive harmonica talent (and in Musselwhite’s case, vocals too) to a song. Listening to the proceedings, it’s easy to see why the Chicago Sun-Times enthusiastically declared, “It’s impossible not to like Bishop. He’s always singing something lowbrow and uplifting.
According to Bishop, “In a trio, there’s no place to hide. You need to be totally into it all the time and you got to have the right guys. The combination of the three of us clicked big time. We went out and played a couple of gigs, and it was really cool to see how the people reacted to the goin’-for-it feel of the music. We decided we better make a CD, so here ’tis. We enjoyed the hell out of playing this music, and we hope you do the same listening to it.”
Bishop’s previous release, 2014’s Grammy-nominated CAN’T EVEN DO WRONG RIGHT, turned the music-loving world on its head. Stellar reviews poured in from NPR’s Fresh Air, Rolling Stone, Living Blues, No Depression and many others. He appeared on TBS’ CONAN and performed repeatedly on A Prairie Home Companion.
Bishop toured across the country, bringing his smile-inducing blues music to eager fans around the world. He was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and soon after into the Blues Hall Of Fame. He won the Living Blues Award for Best Blues Album Of 2014 and three 2014 Blues Music Awards: Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year (for the title track) and The Elvin Bishop Band took the award for Band Of The Year.
Although Bishop has been performing his good-time brand of electrified, easy-rolling blues for over 50 years (his first professional gig was as guitarist for Junior Wells’ band in 1962), he is as vital and creative an artist today as he was when he first hit the national scene in 1965 with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and was scoring massive Rock ‘N’ Roll hits in the 1970s. His return to the blues on Alligator Records in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, along with releases on Blind Pig and Delta Groove before returning to Alligator in 2014, insure his place on the short list of bona fide blues guitar heroes.
Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Event: Paddock Concert Series
Venue: Del Mar Fairgrounds – Paddock Stage
Address: 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
City: Del Mar, CA
Ticket price: $11-$18 / children 5 and younger free
Top photo of Elvin Bishop at the Big Pines Blues Festival, from Elvin Bishop Facebook page.