On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, The National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences (NARAS) announced a Grammy Award nomination for Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer and blues master Elvin Bishop. His latest album, Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio (with guitarist/pianist Bob Welsh and percussionist/vocalist Willy Jordan) received a nomination in the Best Traditional Blues Album category. The album is Elvin’s seventh release on Chicago-based Alligator Records.
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. The Chicago Sun-Times said, “It’s impossible not to like Bishop. He’s always singing something lowbrow and uplifting.”
“In a trio, there’s no place to hide,” says Bishop. “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. We enjoyed the hell out of playing this music.”
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 ensure his place on the short list of bona fide blues guitar heroes. In 2015 he was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and soon after into the Blues Hall Of Fame. This is Bishop’s third Grammy Award nomination. He won the Living Blues Award for Best Blues Album Of 2014 and three 2014 Blues Music Awards.