MJ Bishop


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Life Becomes Music 
The Short Of It 

There’s a reason MJ Bishop skipped (or slept through) math and history classes, and instead poured all her energy into playing trumpet in the jazz, symphonic, marching and touring band throughout high school.  Music.  It’s in her blood – her genetic makeup.  The daughter of a fisherman, MJ grew up nestled in the Great Lakes and surrounded by music – whether it was taking piano lessons from the nuns in grade school, singing with her brother in various rock bands in the 70s, or gatherings at the family home where there was always much a cappella singing that included four-part harmony. After living 30 years in Seattle where she took up guitar and songwriting, subsequently recording three CDs, MJ moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2010 to continue working on the craft of songwriting, touring with her music and, ultimately, recording her fourth album in Music City.  At long last, her new album Give It Away Again has been released.  It’s always been said that MJ has her own unique style – and Give It Away Again is no different.  This batch of road songs, infused with Americana, Country and Folk belies any one genre.  Add to that melodies and lyrics that are fresh and vivid and the listener is transported – swept away to fields, rivers, small towns and heartaches. Climb on board this runaway train and treat yourself to a few musical cocktails with a splash of hope and a bittersweet chaser.

The Long Of It 

She was born a fisherman’s daughter and spent her childhood cradled in the arms of the Great Lakes, where an endless infusion of musical influences found their way into a young girl’s bloodstream.  From the classics in rotation in Mom and Dad’s small-town Michigan living room (Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Louis Armstrong, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass)…to the FM radio staples blasting from siblings’ bedrooms (Boston, Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Linda Ronstadt)…to the a cappella harmonies filling the house during neighborhood gatherings under a harvest moon…genres swam together every Lake Michigan night, often less than an hour after dinner.  Because rules were made to be broken.

She got tough and musical, choosing trumpet lessons over cheerleading, peppermint Schnapps over pep rallies, wood shop over home economics.  She cut her hair short so there’d be less to pull when she got caught stealing her sister’s sweaters.  She honed a trademark husky croon singing along to her brother’s endless guitar-slinging lessons.  She got her knuckles rapped by a piano-teaching nun who didn’t appreciate her casual attitude.  And in time, she got bored up north.  Because she was born with a restless soul.

She ran to Seattle, took up guitar, and married a man with a floor-to-ceiling vinyl collection.  She loved the man.  She loved the mountains and the ocean.  She didn’t love the clouds, because they stole so much light from her life.  She escaped to the wall of vinyl and discovered World music, Patty Griffin, Lucy Kaplansky, Iris DeMent, Eliza Gilkyson, Slaid Cleaves, and a fresh wave of restlessness.  She wrote, played, sang, and toured.  She increasingly resented the Seattle rain for diluting the music in her blood.  So she broke her own heart voluntarily, clutched her guitar, and ran to Nashville.  Because she wanted more from life.

She fell into a chosen family of top-notch singers and songwriters who shared her blood type.  Unobstructed at last, music poured in from all sides and lifted a craving soul to the surface where it could breathe.  She toured.  She loved.  She lost.  She loved again.  She lived.  She adopted a pug named Lovey.  And she wrote, played, and sang until life became music and music became life and the two became one and the same.  Because, sometimes, what’s always meant to happen eventually does.

MJ Bishop Music