Thu, May 11, 2017
Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pmDuling Hall
$10.00 - $15.00
Doors open at 6:30pm, show at 7:30pm.
Tickets are $10 advance, $15 at the door.
Order tickets by phone at 877-987-6487.
There will be a $3 upcharge for persons under 21.
**Show Presented in part by Capital City Beverage, Cathead Vodka, A2Z Printing & Find It In Fondren!http://dulinghall.ticketfly.com/event/1442156/
Even though Bishop can barely believe it herself, it’s a story that will need no dramatic embellishment, because every twist of fate — and faith — is absolutely true.
Before landing with Cobb, whose credits include Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson, Bishop had thrown in the towel on her country-leaning career, too frustrated, beat-up and broke to go on after 13 years, five albums and one failed marriage. It landed on the rag pile despite monogramming by her idol, Bonnie Raitt, who recorded a Bishop/Big Al Anderson co-write on her comeback album, “Slipstream.” The song, “Not Cause I Wanted To,” topped the New York Times’ year-end best-of list, then “Slipstream” won 2012’s Best Americana Album Grammy. Bishop also popped onto iTunes’ country chart in 2013 with a song delivered by Connie Britton, the star of ABC-TV’s hit series “Nashville.”
But a girl can only live so long on accolades and exposure. After spending 200 nights a year on the road — loading her own gear, running her own sound and sleeping in her van — and still not earning enough to afford Christmas presents for her family, Bishop knew she’d hit a dead end.
“I started to break down mentally and physically from the stress,” she confesses. When a panic attack sent her to a Nashville emergency room, she was told to take a rest. So Texas-raised Bishop, who’d moved to Nashville in the hopes of writing Raitt-worthy songs, retreated to her parents’ ranch in Wimberley, outside of Austin. Feelings of failure and despair gnawed at her psyche; she went into mourning for the death of her dream.
“I spent three months crying and feeling sorry for myself, then decided I had to figure out what to do,” explains Bishop, her voice bright and cheerful. “I had all these amazing stories from the road, and I started writing them down as a way of healing. Then stories from childhood started coming out, and I started seeing these threads in my stories in a way that allowed me to celebrate what I had done, instead of beating myself up for having failed. I thought maybe I could make a career doing that. So I applied to graduate school.”
But before leaving Nashville, she called Thirty Tigers co-founder David Macias, whose multi-faceted entertainment company handles Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, Simpson and Isbell — whose Cobb-produced release won 2015’s Best Americana Album Grammy.
“David always believed in me,” Bishop says. “I told him what was going on in my life, and he said, ‘I don’t think your music career is over. You just need to make a great record with a real producer.’”
He sent Cobb some demos. Cobb invited her to lunch. At the time, he was working with Stapleton, recording what would become 2015’s Best Country Album Grammy winner and 2016’s ACM Album of the Year.
Bishop flew to Nashville to meet him. Cobb told her she should be singing soul, not country, and that he’d been wanting to record a soul album.
“I am from Texas, but there’s a lot of Mississippi in me,” Bishop offers. “I definitely got my soul from hanging with all the black girls in choir there. That’s how I learned to sing.”
She credits her late songwriter friend Tim Krekel with helping her rediscover her “bluesy voice.” Krekel had also written with Stapleton, and when Cobb mentioned to Stapleton and his wife, Morgane, that he was meeting Bishop, Morgane said, “I love Bonnie Bishop’s voice! You have to do this record!”
“The record is called ‘Ain’t Who I Was’ because I’m not the same person I was, personally or musically,” says Bishop. “I was at a point where I just didn’t know anymore. I didn’t even have a vision, and this amazing producer came alongside me and believed in me and pulled my voice back out and made me get back up and sing.”
“All these Davids believed in me and brought me back to life,” says Bishop. “I feel like I’m truly living a fairy tale. All I do on a daily basis now is get up and say thank-you, Jesus, that this is all going on, and show me how to show up today. Show me how to show up and not think too hard about it and not beat myself up and not allow what happened in the past to affect what I do today. … That is the gift that Dave Cobb gave me. And I’m so grateful and so excited.”
She’s also thankful she recorded with Cobb when she did; his work is winning so many awards, he’s more in demand than ever.
If Bishop and Cobb should share an award someday, that’ll be icing for the movie. But with or without that scene, she knows the message she wants it to convey: That dreams do come true. As long as you keep believing.
“Dreams are lifetime visions,” Bishop says wisely. “And life is valleys and mountains. And if you can accept that, you’ll be fine.”
622 Duling Ave
Jackson, MS, 39216