Bishop Gunn nears top of blues charts with ‘Natchez’ album

Published 12:01 am Thursday, May 17, 2018


By Sabrina Simms

NATCHEZ — Natchez-born rock soul and blues band Bishop Gunn not only set the local crowd cheering on the bluff Saturday, the band also debuted this week in the No. 4 spot on the Billboard Blues Album chart with the band’s May 4 album titled “Natchez.”

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Saturday’s inaugural Bishop Gunn Crawfish Boil and Music Festival brought locals and visitors from throughout the nation together on the Natchez Bluff for a homecoming event band members say they hope will become an annual event.

Drummer Burne Sharp said the band is already planning next year’s crawfish boil and that tickets for last weekend’s event were sold to at least one person in each of the continental U.S. states.

Billboard’s Blues Album chart released earlier this week for the week of May 19 lists “Natchez” at No. 4.

The band’s bassist, Ben Lewis, said the initial excitement came when they hit No. 11 on iTunes for the most listened to album.

“We released the album (May 4) and the day we released it we did a show in Texas and reached No. 11 on iTunes,” Lewis said. “We were ahead of some pretty impressive names like the Foo Fighters.”

Lewis said the band only dreamed about hitting the top charts and were surprised to see that dream is a reality.

“Everybody was pretty shocked at first but obviously excited about it,” he said. “That’s something that you hope will happen but never think it will.”

Lewis said success did not happen overnight. He said each band member put in the maximum amount of effort, booking gigs, putting on shows and rocking the stage.

“This is something that we worked very hard on,” Lewis said. “There was a lot of planning that went into it. It’s nice to see that all of that paid off.”

Lewis said the band is grateful to all of its supporters and fans, particularly those at home.

“We’re always grateful for the hometown’s support,” he said. “Obviously we named the album ‘Natchez’ and it means a lot to us that the locals take part in it. … So thank you.”

The Natchez Democrat editor Scott Hawkins contributed to this report.