Bonnie Bishop

Ain't Who I Was (Plan BB)

Texas Platters

Bonnie Bishop, originally from Houston, had a go-round in Central Texas lasting 13 years and five albums of country, folk, and blues in the early part of the new century. Despite being a hard worker, she never reached more than a moderate-sized audience. While spending time in Nashville, Bishop had a physical and mental breakdown over a lack of career advancement, ending up back with her parents in Wimberley. She eventually connected with producer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell), who expressed interest in making a soul disc after hearing Bishop's demos. Ain't Who I Was finds the singer in soul/blues diva mode, reaching for Dusty Springfield ("Mercy") and, at times, the solemn side of Bonnie Raitt (the title track). Sadly, she never lends the material the tightly clasped emotions achieved by contemporaries such as Susan Tedeschi or Shelby Lynne. Bishop's voice is typically smooth and Cobb's production sizzles on occasion, but save for soul-pop ditty "Too Late," Ain't Who I Was never catches fire. (Bonnie Bishop plays 3ten ACL Live on Sat., July 9.)

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