Thursday, July 26, 2018

Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio
Something Smells Funky 'Round Here
Alligator Records

This is the second time for Elvin Bishop, Willy Jones and Bob Welsh for another solid recording. Big Fun Trio is an apt description for the mix of blues, R&B classics and more. Bishop of course is on guitar, Welsh plays piano, guitar and organ and Jones plays the cajon and all three contribute vocals. Andre Thierry adds accordion to one selection.

The title track is a topical blues about the stench coming from Washington DC these days with Elvin taking the lead vocal and followed by Willy taking an outstanding vocal on the the Jackie Wilson classic, "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher." This stripped down trio backing provides a husky, driving backing. A Bishop original with a group vocal,"Right Now Is The Hour," evokes Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, as they shout out to have fun with a brief guitar break. It is followed by a cover of Dave Bartholomew's, "Another Mule," that lyrically tracks Fats Domino's reworking of it "Man That's All," with an effective lazy groove and stinging guitar.

The trio get down with a funky groove for "That's The Way Willy Likes It," as Jones sings about what he likes in a lady with Jones taking a cajon drum break followed by Bishop's guitar solo. Welsh is showcased on "Bob's Boogie," a terrific rollicking instrumental followed a cover of "I Can't Stand the Rain," with Welsh on organ providing a solid underpinning for Bishop's guitar and Jones' strong soulful singing. "Stomp" aptly describes the simple driving groove on an instrumental with slide and rocking rhythmic solos. After Bishop's solid straight slow talking blues (with strong piano backing) about growing old and looking good with wrinkles, "Lookin' Good," Andre Thierry joins the trio (Welsh is on piano) for a driving rendition of an old Clifton Chenier recording "My Soul," with Jones taking another strong vocal.

Another album of wonderfully played recording that is is nothing but big fun.

I received my review copy from Alligator Records. This review appeared in the July-August Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 379) although I have made some corrections. Here they are seen performing "Higher and Higher."

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