With nearly 14 years on the road as an acoustic enchantress,
MJ Bishop did not feel a pressing need to hook up with yet another songwriter and begin booking afresh as
a brand new duo. Neither did WT Davidson – comfortably ensconced in Nashville and
resting on his laurels (cuts by Ray Charles, Crystal Gayle, and Michael Johnson, et al.) – feel particularly inclined
to leave his cozy perch for a brand new batch of venues and an entirely new adventure in writing and playing.
Yet, after meeting in a smoky backroom song circle in Nashville, the two seemed almost incapable of continuing the
status quo, and found themselves drawn together. MJ’s evocative, yearning Americana, influenced by
everyone from Hank Williams to Patty Griffin, meets WT’s often quirky, jazz/blues-infused sensibility with an engaging
sparkle that produces an entirely new entity and musical starting point. When performing their pre-existing
repertoire, new tempos, new grooves, and energy emerge. When collaborating on new songs, both find themselves
writing, singing and playing in ways which they previously hadn’t conceived.
On stage, Bishop~Davidson produce what Hunter Allen describes as “a great
sound and a great vibe.” MJ and WT have experienced a serendipitous meeting which is yielding more
than a new act to take on the road – it’s a new way of approaching their craft, something hard to pin down, yet
sensed by an audience with real delight. They really like playing together, and every show is a new chance
at that spontaneous chemistry that makes music worth playing, and worth hearing.
MJ hails from
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and, after spending 30 years in Seattle, moved to Nashville in the spring of 2010 to further
hone her songwriting skills and begin work on her fourth album. She continues to write in the Americana vein, her music
being laced with the sweet, familiar melodies of folk. WT was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa, where he cut his teeth
playing at the Mill and the Sanctuary while still in high school. His influences include a great deal of traditional
jazz artists like Jack Teagarden and Fats Waller, bluesmen like Bill Broonzy, the older and more soulful country of the Merles
– Travis and Haggard, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and a raft of Motown and Stax records and of course a lasting Beatles
problem. After moving to Nashville in 1974, WT has had cuts by Ray Charles, Crystal Gayle, Michael Johnson, Gary Stewart
and Ray Stevens, to name a few.
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