Arden, North Carolina (August 3, 2021) â€”Â Award-winning Gospel singer, songwriter, and producer Mark Bishop is not one to look back or become burdened by the path he has already trodden. â€œSongwriters by nature are always moving forward,â€ he says, â€œYouâ€™re looking to create something new.â€ That quest is what makes Some Distant Mountain, his newest project for Sonlite Records â€” and his first since 2019â€™s GRAMMY-nominated Beautiful Day â€” feel so special. Inspired by an exploration of American roots music and its origins in Celtic, European, and African traditional music, Some Distant Mountain â€” now available for pre-order, add or save ahead of its September 24 release day â€”Â traverses centuries and continents to celebrate the Gospel in all of its glory. Bishop freely explores these histories with curiosity and respect, but does not burden himself with expectations of strict adherence to academic accuracy. Rather, he allows his unique voice as an artist shine through, refracting off of the angled facets of dozens of interconnected histories.
To realize his musical vision, Bishop turned to producers GRAMMY-nominatedÂ Jeff Collins and bassist Mark Fain, who assembled a top shelf cast of multi-instrumentalist master musicians David Johnson, Andy Leftwich and Jeff Taylor â€” all schooled in the different strands of roots music styles that lay at the heart of Bishopâ€™s concept â€” alongside an equally stellar selection of harmony vocalists in Lauren Talley, the Isaacsâ€™ Sonya Isaacs Yeary, Endless Highwayâ€™s Ally Griggs, and the Sistersâ€™ Valerie Medkiff. Inspired both by the songsâ€™ powerful messages and Bishopâ€™s adventurous spirit, the ensemble delivered compelling performances that underline the collectionâ€™s distinctive power.
The result is a powerfully unique take on both the gospel message and the music by which itâ€™s delivered.Â Bishopâ€™s not afraid to turn to unusual sources, like the writers â€” Bob Dylan sidekick Bob Neuwirth and the legendary T-Bone Burnettâ€”of the albumâ€™s first single, â€œLike A Songbird That Has Fallen,â€ nor to range from a bare bones a capella performance (â€œWere You Thereâ€) to the wholly Celtic lilt of â€œAcross The River,â€ the second single, to the full orchestral majesty of â€œHardly The Load,â€ and back to the simple clawhammer banjo backing of the upcoming single, â€œShall We Gather At The River.â€Â From song to song, each arrangement is hand-crafted to match the mood and theme, and delivered with Bishopâ€™s signature blend of vocal finesse and heartfelt devotion.
Driven by an overarching theme of perseverance, the album itself resonates with the power of the moment we are in. Having emerged shaken and transformed by life in a pandemic, each track on Some Distant Mountain reads like a love letter from the past, steeped in wisdom and experience from those who came before. â€œYouâ€™re stopping and youâ€™re looking at the vista behind you,â€ says Bishop. â€œYouâ€™re looking at your roots.â€
Pre-order, add or save Some Distant Mountain HERE.