It was only the first day of Country Music’s biggest festival in Nashville known as the CMAs but the best group in town this week just might be the upstart and insurgent rock band called Bishop Gunn from Natchez, Mississippi. They played a dynamic one-hour set from the top of the new downtown Westin facility on Thursday, June 7, 2018 on a stage built above the hotel’s outdoor pool.
We caught their debut album release party for their brilliant self-titled opening statement Natchez named so in honor of their roots and hometown. Having now seen the band twice we can say they are two for two in delivering the goods that are winning them fans up and down the Natchez Trace in spots like their home base, Leiper’s Fork, Tupelo and Music City proper.
Their set was pretty close to last month’s gig but still finely displayed the quartet’s roots and influences in a quick and concise, compelling showcase. You could call the young lads a hair band but that’s only because all four still have their mighty and Samsoneque locks. But, don’t look to them for 80’s style pop metal. They are more prone to mix the sound of British guitar based blues distilled through the Delta and their own southern rock heritage. So, in addition to their own captivating catalogue we got prominent covers from Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers and Wilson Pickett’s version of “Hey Jude” to bring the rooftop celebration to a close.
Bishop Gunn is Travis McCready (vocals, guitar), Burne Sharp (drums), Drew Smithers (guitar) and Ben Lewis (bass). They announced from the stage at the L27 on the 27th floor of one of Nashville’s newest hospitality properties that this was the highest they have ever played. But, they are also quickly moving up the ranks in rock and roll – so you don’t know where they’ll play next. Call your promoters and it might just be a town near you! As they target their follow-up record it will be interesting to watch the guys evolve. They might even find a home on the jam band scene if they can stretch out the middle a bit more to lengthen the dance party.