Ain’t Who I Was by Bonnie Bishop is Outlaw Magazine’s Album of the Month for July.
I met Bonnie Bishop at a Writer’s Night (yes, one of those) in Nashville, several years ago. Might have been around ’06 or ’07 (the years kind of blend together, hard to say). Despite the fact we were both from Texas, I’d never heard her music before. She didn’t say much when we were introduced and even seemed a little distant, but then she got up on stage, opened her heart wide and strong, and proceeded to rock my face off with her songs. It was impressive and refreshing, next to all of the “commercial oriented” offerings being given that night, she sure stood out. It doesn’t surprise me at all where she’s going in her career, talent like that will not be denied.
Bonnie Bishop was born in Ohio and bred in Texas and Mississippi. Her music definitely feels southern-influenced, Mississippi soul and Texas grit, personified. She released five albums prior to Ain’t Who I Was, maintaining a home base between Nashville and Texas, and toured relentlessly, living for her music. Bishop drew attention from many in the industry for her songwriting and vocal talent, including that of blues legend Bonnie Raitt, who recorded her song “Not Cause I Wanted To” (co-written with “Big Al” Anderson) on the Grammy Award-Winning Album Slipstream.
*** “She has a beautiful soul, artistry, honesty and courage. Bonnie is as gifted a prose writer as she is a musician, not to mention she’s an incredible singer.” -Bonnie Raitt
Road weary, Bishop took a break from the road to pursue graduate school at Sewanee – University of the South for creative writing, moving the focus from performing to storytelling. After a call from Dave Cobb, she found herself back into Music again and creating the best album of her career.
*** “I had spent a year-and-a-half killing my dream so when Dave Cobb said he wanted to make a record on me I was terrified. But I’d never had an opportunity to work with someone of his caliber, so I said ‘yes,’ in spite of my fears. The fact that this album is done is nothing short of a miracle. “Ain’t Who I Was” is the result of me letting go of the dream that I’d built my whole life around: Music. ~ Bonnie Bishop
2. Be With You
3. Looking For You
4. Done Died
5. Poor Man’s Melody
7. Too Late
8. Ain’t Who I Was
9. Not Cause I Wanted To
10. You Will Be Loved
The beautiful and soulful title track, “Ain’t Who I Was”, was written by Adam Hood and Brent Cobb yet sung by Bishop with every note as her life, her words…
And I suppose you know I can dig myself a hole
I’ve been told time and again
Yeah the rumors are true
But I ain’t who I was back then
Bishop’s voice is a call from the soul, to the soul. Emotions are raw, naked, honest and beyond beautiful. As a singer, she could stand strong on that talent alone. But her writing takes her to an even deeper level of connection with the listener. She can be tender and yet rip your heart out right out of your chest at the same time.
When I have nowhere left to hide
This world has stripped me of my pride
I come crawlin on my knees
Beggin’ you to carry me
Oh my soul
Let the Waters Wash Me Clean
Sing a poor man’s melody
Blind my eyes until your light is all I see
Until Love is all I need (Poor Man’s Melody)
The album is full of Bishop’s writing and co-writing, flavored with some writing by Chris Stapleton, Adam Hood, Brent Cobb, Jimmy Wallace and others, to be one package of solid, SOLID, soulful genius.
There’s even an old Negro Spiritual called Done Died that conjures the echoes of souls past and present searching for the Light, Bishop leading the way:
Her name is not the only thing in alignment with the legendary Raitt, Bonnie Bishop is also right in line to set records of her own in the soul and blues genres. Ain’t Who I Was is a ground breaking record and deserves as much recognition and attention we can give it. Get you some.
Visit BonnieBishop.com for Tour Dates and more info.
~ Brigitte London
Brigitte London, otherwise known as The Highwaywoman, is a Singer/Songwriter formerly out of Austin, Texas now living down on the Bayou in southern Louisiana. She’s a poet, dreamer, crusader. Her 8th studio album, Bayou, will be released on August 8, 2016. She is also the host of internationally syndicated radio show, The Highwaywoman Radio Show). Visit www.brigitte-london.com or Brigitte on Facebook.
***Ain’t Who I Was Press Release