Saturday, July 14, 2012

Elvin Bishop: The Blues Rolls On

Bishop was born in Glendale, California, and grew up on a farm near Elliott, Iowa. His family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he was ten years old. There he attended Will Rogers High School, winning a full scholarship to the University of Chicago as a National Merit Scholar finalist. Upon graduation, he moved to Chicago in 1960 to attend school, where he majored in physics. In 1963, he met harmonica player Paul Butterfield in the neighborhood of Hyde Park and joined Butterfield's blues band, with whom he remained for five years. Their third album, The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw, takes its name from Bishop's nickname.[1] In 1968 he went solo and formed the Elvin Bishop Group, also performing with Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper on their album titled The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper. The group signed with Fillmore Records, which was owned by Bill Graham, who also owned the music venues of the same name.[2]
Photo of the group in 1975.
In March 1971, The Elvin Bishop Group and The Allman Brothers Band co-billed a series of concerts at the Fillmore East. Bishop joined The Allman Brothers Band onstage for a rendition of his own song, "Drunken Hearted Boy". Over the years, Bishop has recorded with many other blues artists including Clifton Chenier and John Lee Hooker. In late 1975, he played guitar for a couple of tracks on Bo Diddley's The 20th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll album, and in 1995, he toured with B.B. King.[1]
Bishop made an impression on album-oriented rock FM radio stations with "Travelin' Shoes" in 1975,[3] but a year later, in 1976, Bishop released his most memorable single, "Fooled Around and Fell in Love", which peaked at #3 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart (and #34 in the UK charts). The recording featured vocalist Mickey Thomas and drummer Donny Baldwin who both later joined Jefferson Starship. The song was featured in the films Summer of Sam, Boogie Nights, The Devil's Rejects, and Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.
Bishop feels that the limitations of his voice have helped his songwriting.[4]
Bishop performing at the Riverwalk Blues Festival in February 2006
Bishop appeared at the 1984 Long Beach Blues Festival. In 1988, he signed with Alligator Records and released Big Fun featuring Whit Lehnberg & The Carptones, 1991's Don't Let the Bossman Get You Down, 1995's Ace in the Hole, 1998's The Skin I'm In and 2000's That's My Partner, on which he paired with an early Chicago blues teacher, Little Smokey Smothers. He later revisited Smothers in the studio, where the two recorded another album in 2009; Little Smokey Smothers & Elvin Bishop: Chicago Blues Buddies.
Bishop's Alligator Records releases have been consistently well conceived.[5]
In 2005, Bishop released his first new CD in five years, Gettin' My Groove Back.[6] In 2008, Bishop released The Blues Roles On, on September 23, 2008, switching labels to Delta Groove Music. He was supported by B. B. King, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, George Thorogood, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Tommy Castro, John Nemeth and Angela Strehli. The album was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. In 2010, Bishop released Red Dog Speaks.
Elvin sat in with the Grateful Dead on June 8, 1969 at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. He opened the second set with the lengthy blues jam, (Turn on Your Lovelight) without Pigpen or Jerry. He plays 2 more songs with the Dead, "The Things I Used To Do" and "Who's Lovin' You Tonight".
Bishop was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 1998.

Elvin Bishop’s heads back to his roots with his  album The Blues Roll On due out Sept. 23, 2008… On this project Bishop pays tribute to the musicians who helped give him his start. Joining Elvin are appearances by blues greats: B. B. King, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, George Thorogood, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Tommy Castro and John Nemeth. Bishop does most of the vocal work with Nemeth and others helping out.

Track Listing:
1. The Blues Rolls On
2. Night Time
3. Yonders Wall
4. Struttin’ My Stuff
5. Keep a Dollar In Your Pocket
6. Who’s The Fool
7. Black Gal
8. Oklahoma
9. Come On In This House
10. I Found Out
11. Send You Back To Georgia
12. Honest I Do

You will notice on the track listing above that Bishop revisits “Struttin’ My Stuff”, his own ’70s solo hit … Junior Wells’ “Come On In This House”, …The Butterfield Band’s “Yonders Wall” as well as Hound Dog Taylor’s “Send You Back To Georgia”. Bishop has also included “Honest I Do”, a song he heard on the radio while growing up that inspired him to take music much more seriously.

for the shareable link, send to (quality is far from the original album) 

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