Bonnie Bishop
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Bonnie Bishop

Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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The best kept secret in music


"CD Release from Houston"

Nov. 9, 2005, 7:12PM
Living on the edge of country
Bonnie Bishop gets down, dirty on Soft to the Touch
For The Chronicle
Bonnie Bishop morphs from an apple-cheeked, country-music cutie into a full-throttle
rock-and-blues force on her new disc, Soft to the Touch.
The young Texas singer purrs, growls and wails her way through a torrent of tracks that
defy categorization. She does it all with a charismatic dose of newfound confidence.
And it's thanks, in part, to Lone Star outlaw Ray Wylie Hubbard. The Redneck Mother
scribe collaborated with Bishop (and guitarist Rob Albertson) on the new disc's
simmering title track.
Bishop, who lives in Austin, scored a regional hit with Long Way Home, her debut disc,
and the single Sweet on the Down Low, which stayed on the Texas music chart for more
than six months. When Hubbard saw Bishop and her band perform in late 2004, he was
impressed. He wrote the song's sultry introduction — "I'm soft to the touch/And built
high off the ground/I'm what an angel should look like/The way a woman should sound"
— even before Bishop arrived for an impromptu writing session.
"I was doing the sweet, innocent, country-girl thing (with my music). We went over to
Ray's house and write this gritty, dirty blues song," says Bishop. "That really changed me
a lot and showed me a lot of power in my vocals that I didn't know that I had. It made my
songwriting and my singing take a drastic turn.
"I think (that song) dictated a lot of what the album was going to be about. I really felt
like the whole album is a statement of, 'This is who I am,' " Bishop adds.
Embracing that identity has been a long, winding process for Bishop, who was born in
Cincinnati and spent time in Mississippi. Her parents are both native Texans, and Bishop
graduated from Stratford High School.
Bishop was originally interested in opera and musical theater, but a six-month stint at
Marymount Manhattan College in New York on a theater scholarship, changed her mind,
because, she says, she "was too young and too insecure. It pretty much ate me alive."
Bishop graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001 with a degree in
sociology. Music remained in her heart, but she wasn't sure what form it would take.
"I started writing, just randomly," Bishop says. "I met Rob (Albertson), and we just
started playing our songs acoustically."
"It was pretty pathetic in the beginning. I didn't know jack-squat. I didn't know what I
was doing. I didn't go see shows. I was kind of shy."
Bishop is anything but bashful these days. She exudes confidence and sass onstage, and
she peppers her sets with wry humor and audience interaction. Her influences — which
range from Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding to Bob Seger and Creedence Clearwater
Revival — are apparent in her performances and throughout Soft to the Touch.
She nails Americana icon Gillian Welch's Stillhouse — the only cover amid Bishop's
originals — and imbues it with a playful urgency.
He Took Me to the River and standout track Give It Up to Me quiver with a bluesy,
blustery vibe. Equally affecting are the bittersweet sentiments of Love Never Knows,
Trains and The House That Jack Built.
First single Something the Doctor Didn't Order is the album's most radio-ready moment,
but it stills sparkles.
It's easy to imagine Bishop making waves well beyond Texas barrooms and performance
halls. She hopes the buzz generated from Soft to the Touch helps her land a deal with an
independent label.
Americana with an edge, country with a kick, restless roots rock — whatever it's called,
Bishop says she's happy just to be able to do it.
"If I can hold on to those three things — that I always can do this for a living, that I love
the people I'm around and it's music that's really fulfilling me — I think I can survive,"
Bishop says. "To me, 'making it' is I get to do this for a living. It just makes me feel
whole to do it." - Houston Chronicle


BONNIE BISHOP/Something The Doctor Didn’t Order
Writer: none listed; Producer: Walt Wilkins/Tim Loesch; Publisher: none listed; Smith Entertainment (
—I dig this. A lot. The production has fantastic snarl. The song has hooks galore. And she sings like an angel with dusty wings. This spectacular country-rock performance is drawn from Bonnie’s second CD, Soft to the Touch. Make this Texas tornado a star. Now.

Written by: Robert K. Oermann
- Music Row Magazine


"Soft to the Touch" - 2005
"Long Way Home" - 2004


Feeling a bit camera shy


What sets us apart from other bands the most is the powerful vocals and three part harmonies, in addition to great quality songs. Mostly original, the music ranges from rock to blues to country to songwriter - it is so rich in diversity and there is something for every type of listener. Bonnie writes all the music, and her influences again are vast, including Otis Redding, Bob Seger, Ryan Adams, James Taylor, Patty Griffin, and Sheryl Crow. She started singing classical music over 12 years ago, which built a strong foundation for her voice and explains the incredible range she carries onstage. She can belt out a rock tune with ground shaking force and then a song later caress a ballad with sultry finesse. The band's energy centers on Allison and Bonnie's sweet harmonies, an incredible and seamless blend between their vocals. Audiences always seemed shocked to see a girl-led band that has as much power and "cajones" as the other bands in the Texas scene. But the earthiness of the guitars lends to the fullness of the sound and creates a unique frame for each song.