ELVIN BISHOP’S BIG FUN TRIO Set For February 10 Release
Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer and blues master Elvin Bishop – along with his friends, guitarist/pianist Bob Welsh and percussionist/vocalist Willy Jordan – unleashes his latest musical mixture, Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio (AL 4973) on Friday, February 10, 2017.
Deceptively loose but always tight…the raspy chuckle in Bishop’s singing and the sharp sting of his guitar are forceful and fresh, enduring and fun. –Fresh Air, NPR
I love these guys; Bob and Willy are great musicians. With a trio there’s no place to hide – you’ve got to be pourin’ everything you got right out front, totally goin’ for it all the time. If you’ve got some real good musicians who are willing and able to do that, you’ve got something that will move people. And it’s fun! –Elvin Bishop
Bishop told The San Jose Mercury News, “Every time I pick up the guitar, something new comes out of it. I guess you’d call me a late bloomer. When you get to be my age, you’re not expecting to be progressing or coming up with any new ideas, but for some reason, I’m lucky enough that that’s what’s happening to me.”
Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio is among his very best musical ideas ever. The music is rootsy, spirited and soulful, performed by serious musicians hell-bent on having a good time. Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio features Bishop’s down-home delivery, deep blues picking and slide guitar playfully meshing with Welsh’s piano and guitar licks and Jordan’s soul singing and propulsive cajón playing. The album’s laid-back, front-porch vibe 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.”
When it comes to the formation of The Big Fun Trio, it’s best to let Elvin tell the story himself:
Me and a couple of fellas got to jamming in my studio one day and we lucked up on The Big Fun Trio. I knew Willy Jordan from when he played percussion on some of my albums, and I liked his singing and rhythm feel. This time he brought a cajón, a South American percussion instrument. It’s a square box you sit on to play it, and he got some amazing sounds out of it—bass drum, snare, anything—and he’s a real strong singer. Bob Welsh is a member of my regular band, an amazing talent. He plays great guitar or piano and can get a tremendous “bass” sound on his guitar.
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.
According to San Francisco Bay native Jordan, who has 27 years of experience playing drums with artists including John Lee Hooker, Joe Louis Walker and Angela Strehli, making this album was “crazy different. It’s rootsy but also new. We all stayed simple to stay strong.” Welsh, originally from Covington, Louisiana, has performed and toured with Bishop, Rusty Zinn, Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold, James Cotton and others. Welsh says he too was blown away by the sessions. “Recording this music was fun and fresh and new to us. I had to practice more, learn some new things. The result is fearless.”
Bishop’s previous release, 2014’s Grammy-nominated Can’t Even Do Wrong Right, turned the music-loving world on its head. Reviews poured in from NPR’s Fresh Air, Rolling Stone, Living Blues, No Depression and many others. He appeared on TBS-Television’s CONAN and performed twice on A Prairie Home Companion (the second time, in 2015, with The Big Fun Trio). He 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.
Now, with Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio, Bishop confidently debuts his new — yet satisfyingly familiar — sound, ready to share the group’s happy-go-lucky vibe with listeners near and far. The trio’s instrumental, vocal and songwriting talents guarantee a boisterous good time.
ELVIN BISHOP’S BIG FUN TRIO
Label: Alligator Records
Release date: 10 February 2017
1 Keep On Rollin’ 4:38
2 Honey Babe 2:28
3 It’s You, Baby 2:11
4 Ace In The Hole 2:35
5 Let’s Go 4:37
6 Delta Lowdown 3:01
7 It’s All Over Now 3:36
8 100 Years Of Blues 4:54
9 Let The Four Winds Blow 3:25
10 That’s What I’m Talkin’ About 5:03
11 Can’t Take No More 3:16
12 Southside Slide 2:41
Elvin Bishop: Guitar and Vocals
Willie Jordan: Cajon and Vocals
Bob Welsh: Guitar and Piano
Kim Wilson:Harmonica on “It’s You, Baby”
Rick Estrin: Harmonica on “Delta Lowdown”
Charlie Musselwhite: Harmonica and Vocals on “100 Years Of Blues”