Elvin Bishop has been travelling the Blues road longer than most, and he’s got the stories to prove it – many of which are contained within the songs on this release. Stops along the way include his work as a founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the early ‘60s, recordings with legends such as Clifton Chenier, John Lee Hooker, and The Allman Brothers, and Pop success with his own 1976 smash hit “Fooled Around and Fell In Love”. Bishop’s long and varied career has included plenty of side trips along the way as well, from deep down gutbucket Blues played in smoky South Side Chicago taverns, to raucous roadhouse R&B, to good time Rock & Roll on concert stages and festivals around the world. And at every stage along the way, he’s instilled all of his music with passion, creativity, and a healthy helping of wisdom, wit, and good humor.
Elvin 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. His earliest exposure to music came from the family’s radio, where in between “How Much Is That Doggy In The Window” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” young Elvin could sometimes catch classic records of Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Once he’d got his feet wet, there was no turning back. He quickly acquired his first guitar and on his own began working out the basic outlines of the Blues, R&B and Rock & Roll that had captured his soul.
By the time he was preparing for college in the late 1950s, Bishop had earned a National Merit Scholarship that allowed him to go to almost any school he chose – and the only choice on Elvin’s mind was the prestigious University of Chicago, which just happened to be located on Chicago’s South Side, ground zero for much of the urban Blues Elvin had so far been studying only from a distance. He arrived in Chicago in 1959, and before long crossed paths with a fellow student Paul Butterfield. Together, they explored the taverns and Blues joints in the black neighborhoods surrounding the university campus at a time when Blues giants like Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Otis Rush, Magic Sam and Howlin’ Wolf could be found playing in corner bars for a $2 cover charge just about any night of the week.