Remembered by many these days as a founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Elvin Bishop also tasted pop success with his 1976 smash hit "Fooled Around and Fell In Love". Bishop's long and varied career has included other musical stops along the way as well, from deep down gutbucket blues played in smoky South Side Chicago taverns, to raucous roadhouse R&B, to rollicking good time rock & roll. And at every stage along the way, he's imbued all of his music with deep passion, a uniquely creative spirit, and more than a little bit of sly humor.

Born and raised in Glendale, California, Elvin Bishop didn't have much exposure to live music as a youngster. But his family had a radio, and in between the pop schmaltz and the C&W that ruled the airwaves in the 1950s, that radio could sometimes catch the legendary R&B programming beamed throughout the southern part of the U.S. at night by Nashville radio station WLAC. That station introduced Bishop to the classic records of Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, and once his ears had been hooked, there was no turning back for young Elvin. He soon got his first guitar and on his own began scratching out the basic outlines of the blues, R&B and rock & roll that had captured his imagination.

By the time he was preparing to go to college in the late 1950s, Bishop had earned a National Merit Scholarship, allowing him to go to almost any school he chose - and there was only one choice on Elvin's mind, 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 been studying only from a distance. He arrived in Chicago in 1959, and before long crossed paths with a kindred spirit in Paul Butterfield. Together, they explored the blues clubs 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 neighborhood joints on a weeknight. Elvin soaked it all up, gaining impromptu lessons and invaluable stage time in front of discerning audiences, and forging a fluid yet powerful guitar style of his own.

By 1963, Bishop and Butterfield were ready to graduate - not necessarily from the university, but certainly from their apprenticeship under Chicago's blues elders. Recruiting Howlin' Wolf's former rhythm section of Sam Lay on drums and Jerome Arnold on bass, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was born. In 1965, after adding Mike Bloomfield and Mark Naftalin to the lineup, their revolutionary debut LP was released, kicking open the door for virtually all the young white blues bands that followed. Bishop remained in the fold for three albums with the Butterfield band, including their innovative East-West release (on which Bishop and Bloomfield's intertwining guitars helped set the stage for the Allman Brothers Band among many others who followed), before venturing out on his own.

In 1968, Elvin Bishop left Butterfield's band following the release of In My Own Dream. He launched a solo career and relocated to the San Francisco area, where he made frequent appearances at the Fillmore with artists like Eric Clapton, B. B. King, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band. In March 1971, The Elvin Bishop Group and the Allman Brothers Band co-billed a series of concerts at the Fillmore East where Bishop joined the Allman Brothers Band onstage for a rendition of his own song, "Drunken Hearted Boy". Elvin released four well-received albums on Epic Records in the early '70s, before joining Capricorn Records in 1974. His recording of "Travelin' Shoes" in 1975 (from the album Let It Flow) was a hit on the pop charts, but the single "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" in 1976 (from the album Struttin' My Stuff) made a bigger splash when it peaked at number 3 on the Billboard charts. The song was subsequently featured in the films Summer of Sam, Boogie Nights, The Devil's Rejects, Harold & Kumar from Guantanamo Bay, The Family Stone, Big Daddy, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and featured on HBO's series Entourage and on NBC's LAX.

In late 1975, he played guitar on a couple of tracks for Bo Diddley's The 20th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll album. In 1995, he toured with B. B. King and in 1998 Bishop was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

Bishop paired with his early Chicago blues mentor, Little Smokey Smothers, for 2000's That's My Partner and in 2009 Bishop revisited Smothers in the studio where the two recorded another album, Little Smokey Smothers & Elvin Bishop: Chicago Blues Buddies.

In recent years Elvin brought his focus back to the blues that launched his career. His 2008 album The Blues Roll On was a 2009 Grammy nominee for Best Traditional Blues Album. An all-star cast joined in for the project including B.B.King, James Cotton, Derek Trucks, George Thorogood, Warren Haynes, Kim Wilson, Tommy Castro, John Németh, and more. This was followed by his 2010 album Red Dog Speaks, combining gritty blues, zydeco, gospel and R&B with a dose of good-time rock & roll, all in tribute to his trusty 1959 Gibson ES-345, affectionately named "Red Dog".

Once again Elvin's friends joined in to make Raisin' Hell Revue. Recorded live during the 2010 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, the album features John Németh, Finis Tasby, Terry Hanck, Chris (Kid) Andersen, Ed Earley, Steve Willis, Bob Welsh, Bobby Cochran, Ruth Davies and Lisa Leu Andersen.

Elvin not only makes great music, but also makes sure everyone on stage, in the studio or in the audience has a great time along with him. What more can we ask?