By BROOKE WANSER
As Pilgrimage Festival rolls around for another year, the Home Page decided to check in with one of our local bands, Bishop Gunn, a group that has experienced a big growth spurt during the past year.
Formed in Natchez, Mississippi, the rock band relocated to Leiper’s Fork a few years ago.
Bishop Gunn released their first studio album “Natchez” in May, cutting half of it in the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, and the other half in the Purple House in the Fork.
That month, Rolling Stone also named them one of “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know,” though their sound is less country and more soulful, punchy rock.
In April, the group sold out a performance at the Franklin Theatre.
“It was awesome,” said drummer Burne Sharp. “We sold it out in under 72 hours. We could not believe it.”
Sharp spoke with the Home Page from the road about touring, the new album, and what they’ve got going on in the future.
FHP: What have you been up to since we last spoke? You released an album, and have been touring.
BS: We’ve been working on some cool video stuff that we’re releasing, and we’re working on album number two. It was a long process to get that record out. This year has been by far the most shows we’ve played. By December, we’ll have done 100 to 120. Last year we did about 60.
FHP: What have you learned from putting out that first album, and what was the reaction?
BS: We did an independent release, and it was a big learning curve. We learned that there’s a lot of logistics and small stuff. Our EP, we just put out, we didn’t try to push it or market it. We were absolutely blown away [by the reaction]. We were #4 on the Billboard blues charts within first week and #8 on the Heatseekers [South Central] Chart.
FHP: What’s your favorite song off the new album?
BS: You just had to go there! To perform, Silver Street. We usually open with it, and it’s just a hitter.
FHP: What time are you playing, and who are you excited to see perform at Pilgrimage? We’re playing the Americana Music Triangle tent on Saturday, and performing on stage Sunday at 10:30 a.m. We’re driving immediately after to Cincinnati [for another show]. I’m excited to see The Struts, we played with them on the Kid Rock cruise. I wish we were sticking around for Chris Stapleton, but we’ll be seeing Jack White.
FHP: What has been your favorite memory over the past year?
We’ve been on tour with Marcus [The Marcus King Band] for over a month. Some of my favorite moments have come in the last few weeks, because we’ve never been out west before. We’ve been in Cali and Colorado, we were in Denver yesterday. The highlight so far has got to be playing two nights at the Troubadour sold out. That’s just rock-and-roll legacy.
FHP: Still like living in Leiper’s Fork?
BS: Yes, we’re excited to be home!
FHP: Anything else that’s new?
BS: We’re about to release a video for the song “Alabama” in October. We have an amazing creative team. No idea is a bad idea, we just get in rooms and go out and do it.
You can read the Home Page’s interview with them from 2017 here.