It seems kind of wrong to be writing an “introducing” article about an artist who is already a Grammy winner, so apologies in advance to Bonnie that her name and music was unfamiliar to me until recently! And even then it was a random tweet about coconut oil (don’t ask!) that led me to her! But it turns out I did already know the stunning song that earned her a Grammy award. “Not Cause I Wanted To” was co-wrtitten with Al Anderson and recorded by her idol Bonnie Raitt for her 2012 album “Slipstream” which took home the Grammy for “Best Americana Album” the following year and Raitt has gone on to record several more of her writes.
The first song I came across when checking out this amazing artist’s own cuts was “Black Mercedes”, apparently a true story, one listen and I was hooked and wanted to discover more!
Texan born Bonnie Bishop has her next album due out in October (more of that later) but it wasn’t long ago that she came close to quitting the music business altogether.
She gained a degree in sociology from the University of Texas in Austin, and started off her musical career playing originals in honky tonks across her home state, cutting her teeth the hard way. After signing a publishing deal she relocated to Nashville in 2008, where she continued to hone her craft, co-writing with some of music city’s greats and recording and touring a number of well received albums. Her song “The Best Songs Come From Broken Hearts” appeared on the TV show Nashville in 2013.
But the stress of the music business took its toll, and she decided to stop writing music and channel her creativity into story writing instead. She had begun a masters degree in creative writing programme when she got a call from award winning producer Dave Cobb saying he’d like to work with her. It was an opportunity she thankfully couldn’t turn down, her 2016 album “Ain’t Who I Was” being the result . Bonnie says of the process this time round that “making music again felt different ….I didn’t have the pressure to ‘succeed’ in order to feel good about myself as a person. For the first time music was fun“. The album showcases her more soulful side.
The following year Bonnie left Nashville to return to her native Texas, although she was back in the game musically she wanted to reassess things on a personal level and undertook a number of challenges to help discover who she really was. A trip into the desert, and a year of sobriety were just two of the things that helped her find the sense of meaning she’d lost over the years… “when I was 20 all I wanted was to be a star” she says, continuing that “I felt that my life in Nashville had been very shallow and I had spent a long time trying to fit in with what I thought people in the music industry wanted me to be“.
October 4th sees the release of her new album “The Walk”, which she says “takes the listener on a journey through my own soul… it’s the journey of life. it’s full of ups and downs“. There’s an album release party that evening in Fort Wort TX followed by a string of shows Stateside and in Europe, but sadly no UK dates this time round… let’s hope she has plans afoot to visit us here soon!
“The Walk” is available to pre-order now, check out http://www.bonniebishop.com for more details.
Article written by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)