The Millard Agency
1545 Market Street
San Francisco, California
Funky Chicago blues - both the hard, driving kind and the soft, mellow kind - have found a San Francisco home with the arrival of the Elvin Bishop Band. Bishop, former guitarist with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (1965-1968), formed his new group in January, 1969, auditioned for Fillmore West in March and joined Bill Graham's Millard Agency the following month. The group's four members, with widely varied backgrounds in blues, jazz, R&B, and rock, combine these styles in their own music - basically blues, but also original compositions which they say are "unclassifiable" and "indefinable".
Leader Elvin Bishop, originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, moved to Chicago in 1960 and played with numerous Chicago blues bands including Jr. Wells and Hound Dog Taylor, prior to joining the Butterfield Blues Band, first young Chicago blues band to achieve national recognition. Original Bishop compositions recorded by the Butterfield Band include "Drunk Again", "Our Love Is Drifting".
John Chambers, Bishop's drummer was born in San Francisco, has played with jazz artist John Coltrane, the folk-rock group, The We Five and San Francisco's Loading Zone. In eight years of professional drumming, Chambers has played R&B, jazz and rock with equal facility.
Bassist Art Stavro, also from San Francisco, played with Chambers when both were still in high school. Prior to joining the Bishop band, he played with Jimmy Witherspoon, Albert Collins, Barry Goldberg and the Harvey Mandel group.
2-2-2-2-2 of Elvin Bishop
Applejack Walroth, born in Michigan, moved to Chicago in his teens, played harmonica with Chicago Bluesmen Jr. Wells, Sam Lay, Smokey Smothers, Little Nick, a Madison, Wisconsin group named "White Trash" and "a bunch of Applejack bands". Besides blowing a mean blues harp, Applejack has collaborated with Bishop on many of their original compositions.
Circa 1969 news release from Bill Graham's Millard Agency publicists.