Donna Bishop and Beau Berry at The Wild Goose
Music is so ingrained into Donna Bishop's life, she can't remember a time when she wasn't involved in it.
"I was probably 3 or 4, and I got into music by singing in church," recalls Bishop. "I absolutely loved it."
Originally from Portland, Bishop currently resides in Ashland and has been active in the Rogue Valley music scene for a little more than 20 years. She took piano lessons growing up, and later taught herself how to play guitar. She has been a member of many different groups around the Rogue Valley over the years. Currently, her main focus is singing and playing guitar in a duo that she formed with guitarist Beau Berry, a Mississippi native and guitarist for Rogue Valley blues stalwarts the Beau Berry Band.
Bishop and Berry have been playing together regularly for the past three years. The duo got their start when Bishop's other musical partner, Gayle Wilson, was unable to make a gig. Having played with Berry in a previous band, Bishop decided to call him.
"We had fun, so I'd use him now and then for other shows," says Bishop. "We have a lot of similar music interests, so we started playing together regularly. He's really a kick-butt guitarist."
The pair will be performing their energetic acoustic rock at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Wild Goose Cafe & Bar, 2365 Ashland St., Ashland. Admission is free.
Bishop and Berry have a few original songs on a demo CD. But while playing live, they tend to stick to cover songs from artists of many genres. While they play mostly up-tempo, classic rock-type songs, they wouldn't pigeonhole themselves to one style of music.
"Generally, where we play, people want to hear familiar stuff," Bishop says. "We'll play everything from Santana to John Prine to country, Lynyrd Skynyrd and even Colbie Caillat. One of our strengths is that our song list is pretty versatile."
Bishop takes pride in the diversity of the pair's music. "We tackle a lot of songs that most duos wouldn't, songs that you might not expect a duo to cover. Beau grew up in the South, that's his background, and he has a repertoire of a 100 or more songs."
Audiences can expect a lively acoustic show tailor-made for that night, and it is unlikely they will see the same show twice. Bishop and Berry occasionally invite local musicians to sit in and jam with them.
"If we have a big jazz crowd, we'll play more jazz. If it's a blues crowd, we'll do more blues. We take a lot of requests," says Bishop. "We'll take a stab at anything."