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By Nancy Brannon

Nashville singer-songwriter Joni Bishop was in north Mississippi the weekend before Christmas for some holiday house concerts. Joni is a multi-media artist and house concerts provide an intimate setting with the artist. Joni sang a variety of holiday songs - from traditional that bear her own style and rhythm to songs she has written to songs performed by other singers, again, spiced with her own interpretation.

Joni plays a variety of instruments, too: guitar and mountain dulcimer, and she has recently added the tambura, an Indian instrument. In addition, she plays her own home-made cigar box instruments, from 3-stringed instruments with dulcimer fretting to 2-strings and down to a 1 string instrument made from a cane. It is from this instrument that she coaxed the beginning riff to Cream’s “Sunshine of your Love.” How’s that for creativity and variety? She has even created an ersatz banjo from an old Ford hubcap.

Wanda Chancellor met Joni in 2005 at a house concert in a small bookstore in Blytheville, Arkansas. “I have had 7 Joni concerts since, with other artists including a classical guitarist from Australia.”

I was pleased to have a front row seat at a concert, and Joni’s every song brought the message of hope, peace and joy. One of her musical creations that really hit the spot was “Endless Christmas.” In this song she expresses the desire to extend the seasonal atmosphere to the entire year.
“So if I could have just one gift this Christmas
I'd wish upon the brightest star above
To send me down an Endless Christmas
And fill each day with unending Love...and Joy...and Peace…
“I’m gonna do my very best to share it
And shower it on everyone I know…
“If I celebrate it everyday
With Love and Peace
Christmas goes on endlessly.”
Joni brought lots of her art work to sell, such as original paintings and a variety of mixed media collages with photographs she has taken, plus her homemade instruments. She paints with acrylics and likes to paint on found objects like wooden boards, drawers, corrugated tin, and other objects.

Find out more about her music and her art at:

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