Elvin Bishop keeps on rolling: he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame as part of the hugely influential Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall Of Fame for his lifelong contributions to the blues, both of these happening last year. You probably remember his string of recordings for the Capricorn label in the ‘70’s with his Top 40 hit “Fooled Around And Fell In Love”. This is his sixth disc for Alligator and it surely proves his contributions to the blues continue unabated. The Big Fun Trio is a very attractive concept, with Bishop, the pianist from his road band, Bob Welsh and a veteran percussionist/vocalist who played on previous albums, Willie Jordan, creating that all important chemistry. A catchy boogie opener, “Keep On Rollin’” has some good advice for dealing with difficulties, the first couple of lines about the political scene. Bishop & Jordan trade lines here. On Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Honey Babe”, they sing in unison and very well too. A couple of guests are on board, Kim Wilson being one of them and his harp work is featured on Sunnyland Slim’s rocking “It’s You”, a solo vocal for Bishop. Rick Estrin is featured on acoustic harmonica on “Delta Lowdown”, a Bishop-penned instrumental with some fine Welsh piano. The third guest is Charlie Musselwhite and he & Bishop wrote “100 Years Of Blues”. It’s the kind of talking blues Bishop is so good at and Musselwhite gets a verse too as they regale you about their combined 100 years of playing blues. They marvel that they’re still at it – a highlight among highlights. A good number of the songs, especially “That’s What I’m Talkin’ About”, feature hilarious repartee between Bishop & Jordan but Willie gets a solo on Ted Taylor’s “Can’t Take No More”, he does a fine job. The disc closes with a quite excellent instrumental, “Southside Slide”. Welsh play bass on some songs and Jordan plays cajõn throughout. Willie Dixon was a part of the Big Three Trio decades ago, Elvin Bishop has updated it wonderfully and they do have fun. His last album, Can’t Even Do Wrong Right, won a Living Blues Award and three Blues Music Awards, I suspect this one will be on those lists too.

John's Blues Picks March 2017 - Steve Strongman
John’s Blues Picks February 2017 – Steve Kozak