MJ Bishop

MJ Bishop

 Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Open-Road Longing Folk Americana


Born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, MJ Bishop is an acoustic solo artist who, after residing in Seattle for 30 years, moved to Nashville in the Spring of 2010 to further hone her songwriting skills and begin work on her fourth album. Her music is described as open-road longing folk Americana. She has been compared to Patsy Cline, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch. Combining deep roots in acoustic music with a maturing country sensibility, MJ creates a genre that is, in many ways, her own. Her influences include Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, k.d. lang, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams.

MJ has performed steadily since 1998 and has taken her music to Seattle, Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.


Hobo Dreams

Written By: MJ Bishop

he left home without a dime in his pocket
spring in his step and no one to stop it
smile as wide as the truck he was leavin’
his friends were sad but he wasn’t grievin’

he was livin’ his hobo dreams
boxin’ up his past
to bring back only if he pleased

in the first ten miles on the way to the station
his feet got tired and the sun was a’blazin’
but freedom rang around every corner
instead of buildings there were farmers

those rails were callin’ his name
beneath his feet
was the rumble of that train

he was on the road
gatherin' tales to be told
open road
makin' love to the unknown
open road
open road

most nights he would sit by the fire
propped up by an old bunch of tires
silence cradled him like a baby
the midnight sky was warm and lazy

he counted stars instead of sheep
everything he owned
lay bundled at his feet

the next day he awoke and his wife was beside him
snoring lightly in her pajamas
his blanket twisted all around
outside his neighbor’s dogs were howling

he closed his eyes and dove deep
to get on back
to his lovely hobo dreams

Copyright 2008 MJ Bishop

Up North

Written By: MJ Bishop

sleepy and content, frozen in time
but she don’t mind, no she don’t mind
safely tucked away, along the great lakes
blue and grey, she’s here to stay
hibernating when the ice storms come
in june she wakes with open arms

up north beauty takes your breath
it floats away on the wind until your soul is fed
up north time is rearranged
everything is different, nothing has changed
nothing has changed, nothing has changed

two lanes paint the town, picture perfect view
for you, just for you
autumn colors scream, painters palette sky
leaves wave good-bye, good-bye
closed for the season the windows cry
ferry boats heave a summer sigh

somewhere else in time, lies just across the lake
for a day, one day
sky’s a blinding white, frozen fills your nose
blankets of snow, fresh snow
iron ore freighters breaks the ice
slinging smoke into the sky

Copyright MJ Bishop 2008

Leave The Light On

Written By: MJ Bishop

Leave The Light On

it’s five a.m., i’m on the porch swing again
when did i leave my bed, maybe i never slept
every time i close my eyes the scene plays over again
we’re standing at the station i’m grippin’ your hand

i find myself in the kitchen, so hungry i’m weak
i scrape at my burnt toast, and stare into my tea
i look across the table at that empty chair
if i try real hard i see you smiling there


i leave the light on
i keep the house warm
all the things we love fill these rooms
i leave the light on
i pull your letters near
your words fall down my face with my tears – they’re mixed with my tears
i leave the light on, i leave the light on

well i’m sorry for the long grass, i know you like a fresh cut
the neighbors don’t seem to mind, they don’t come ‘round much
i can’t do anything without thinking of you
from the scratch in the floor to your favorite old shoes

i pray to no one there, crying for some relief
i need confirmation, that it’s time to grieve
i wrap up this heart and place it in the ground
it’s got no life it makes no sound


i leave the light on, i leave the radio on
i leave my love light on, i leave my best face on

© 2003 mj bishop

Keep on Walkin

Written By: MJ Bishop

There’s a catch in her throat
A stick in her hand, and she’s walkin
Kickin’ at some ghosts
Kickin’ at the notion of heaven
So many turns - so many roads
Will she choose the right one
Who would know?
She keeps on walkin

There’s a road block up ahead
Trees lie broken all around her
A power line is down
Cracking like a whip around her ankles
She doesn’t turn back - she doesn’t run
Just steps carefully around
And moves on
And keeps on walkin

She walks into the dark
Into things unknown
Mostly scared as hell
But always listening to her bones
And keeps on walkin

The river’s fast and wide
The old rope bridge is torn and swayin’
Winter has just thawed
She rolls up her pants and starts wadin’
Her lips turn blue - her legs go numb
But just ahead is the warmth of that sun
So she keeps on walkin

She walks into the dark
Into things unknown
Mostly scared as hell
But listening to her bones
She finds the light
In the pouring rain
Dries herself off
And looks life right in the face
And she keeps on walkin

© MJ Bishop 2012

Gettin To You

Written By: MJ Bishop

My flight’s delayed
A three-hour wait
So i grab my bag and leave the gate
I steal a car
My face is in the news
But that won’t keep me from gettin to you

Snow-covered trees
Ice on the road
Tires whining – they don’t wanna go
No heat in this car
No money for fuel
But that won’t keep me from gettin to you

when i get to you
Here’s what i know
I’m gonna give in and give up a piece of my soul
No more running from love
It’s what i’m gonna do
Nothing can keep me from gettin to you

A dead-end road
I get out and walk
Across the moon-lit field
And into the dark
The creek is high
Water fills my boots
But that won’t keep me from gettin to you

MJ Bishop © 2012


Pull of the Moon (2008); Feel Good (2003); Hometown Address (2001)

Set List

In addition to performing mostly her own songs, MJ sprinkles a bit of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Buck Owens, Patty Griffin, Nancy Sinatra and Judy Garland tunes into her repertoire.