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Bishop Gunn: Rocking Stages and Rolling Stone’s Pages

A nationally known rock band played Strange Brew Saturday night

  • Joel Rodgers

You gotta love a Louisiana Saturday night.

This past Saturday was no different, because a local rock show featuring a very talented band plugged in at Shreveport’s Strange Brew. The headlining act was Bishop Gunn, a southern rock band from Natchez, Mississippi and loaded with rock and roll, soul and blues.

The band has been on a dream tour and playing infront of thousands, and while on really big stages. But this past weekend they were on a smaller stage. A Shreveport, Louisiana stage.

The group Bishop Gunn consists of vocalist Travis McCready, Drew Smithers on guitar, Ben Lewis on bass and Burne Sharp on drums.

Recently (like last week recently) Rolling Stone magazine named Bishop Gunn to a list of top bands to keep your eye on.

“It was kind of crazy, we really don’t consider ourselves a country band, but we do consider ourselves spanning a lot of genres, so if they’re willing to call it country – we’re glad to be there,” says [drummer] Burne Sharp, about Bishop Gunn being named to Rolling Stone’s list of top 10 new country artists you need to know.

“In the last week we’ve been on iTunes rock charts, Billboard blues charts #4 right now, and Rolling Stone’s top 10 artists to look out for in 2018, adds lead singer Travis McCready.

The bassist for Bishop Gunn, Ben Lewis, says they’re also seeing their and being classified as something else, “there was also an article about us being alternative rock. They don’t know put us, and that’s fine.”

Lead singer Travis McCready says there’s enough of Bishop Gunn to go around, “We’d like to be on everybody’s radio.”

Here’s how Bishop Gunn first started. In 2014, Bishop Gunn was created by [lead singer] Travis McCready and [drummer] Burne Sharp.

Their name, Bishop Gunn, comes from the city cemetery in Natchez, Ms. The Bishop of Natchez was John Edward Gunn. “You know it had this tombstone with all caps, BISHOP GUNN G-U-N-N. It just looked cool. We needed a quick name for this festival we were signed up to play; that we just put a band together to do, but had no name, so we took it off the tombstone and just ran with it, says Frontman Travis McCready.

At the end of 2016, McCready and Sharp decided to dismantle Bishop Gunn and rebuild it.

They found bassist Ben Lewis, who had played in bands around the Natchez, Mississippi area; and they met Drew Smithers [guitar] in Nashville, Tennessee.

The four members of Bishop Gunn have only been playing together since the beginning of last year, and what a year it was.

In 2017, the band appeared on Kid Rock’s 8th Annual “Chillin’ the Most Cruise” and was voted the best band on the boat by the “chillers.” The group went on to do commercial film for Southern Comfort in Clarksdale, Mississippi and spent their summer touring. In September, Bishop Gunn took the stage at the Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, Tennessee alongside artists like Justin Timberlake, Eddie Vedder, Mavis Staples and Gary Clark Jr. The band then played Laid Back Festival dates with Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, Jimmie Vaughan, The Gregg Allman Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Pretty cool huh? And if you’re wondering how a band like Bishop Gunn ended up in Shreveport, a city that they’ve never played before, the answer – a phone call.

Saturday’s show at Strange Brew was put together by a phone call from Shay Bailiff, lead singer of Shayliff.

While songwriting in Nashville, Bailiff saw Bishop Gunn and later called to see if the Mississippi band wanted to party (come play) in Shreveport.

They answered yes.

“They sent something to our agent, and we said yes, not knowing what it was – but we’re super glad to be here. Shreveport is a badass city, says drummer Burne Sharp.

I agree, Burne. Shreveport is a badass city, and Bishop Gunn us a badass rock band. Thanks for the awesome show, guys!


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Joel Rodgers

Joel Rodgers joined RSHV News 1 in January 2018 as a reporter/journalist. Prior to joining our team, Joel spent the previous 5 years as a morning show reporter, entertainment reporter, and sports reporter for a local television station. At 6’5”, he's the tallest reporter in the history of Shreveport, but it’s more than just his height that makes this Shreveport native stand out. His editing skills combined with his love for storytelling makes for a creative and talented addition to the RSHV News 1 team. After attending and graduating from Evangel Christian Academy, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern State University. Joel is very active in the Shreveport community having won several competitions in recent years. In 2017, he danced his way to victory in the annual Susan G. Komen event, “Dancing for the Cure." He’s also won the “Mudbug Madness” Crawfish eating contest in back-to-back years and was named the top celebrity chef at the “Louisiana Food Prize” cooking competition. If you have a story idea, news tip, or just want to say "hey" - you can do so by emailing Joel Rodgers at jrodgers@realshreveport.com

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