2015 – 2016 Coffeehouses

Note: This is a previous season concert. The current season is 2019-2020.
February 26, 2016


Time & Place
Friday, February 26, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
2510 N. Armistead Ave.
Hampton, VA 23666
Admission is by donation ($5 suggested).
Refreshments available by donation.

Mountaintide is a pair of versatile musicians and songwriters with a contemporary acoustic folk blend all their own.

The seeds of Mountaintide were sown when multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriters Jim Newsom and Holly Bishop met in the spring of 2014 and began playing music together around southeastern Virginia. Their telepathic musical connection was obvious from the beginning. Within a year of that first meeting, the duo had recorded its first album, Dancing in the Sun, releasing it in June, 2015. Five months later, they released an album of children’s music, Away We Go.

The fourteen original songs on Dancing in the Sun reveal the duo’s diverse musical tastes and talents: From the fiddle-driven backporch bluegrass of "Hey Pretty Mama" to the soulful sunshine of "All Smiles;" the balladic folkiness of "460 West to Blacksburg," and the wistful beauty of "A Girl Can Dream;" the Hot Club conjuring of "If I Could Write a Song" and the sheer poetry of "Love the Expression;" from the angsty yearning of "Fifteen Minutes" to the affirmative potency of "What You Say You’ll Do."

Shortly after finishing Dancing in the Sun, the twosome began recording some of their original children’s songs. The resulting CD, Away We Go, came out under Holly’s name in November. The twelve original songs run the gamut from toddler playalong tunes like "Baby Signs," "A Clappa" and "Big Dog" to songs for all who are young at heart like "Outside on a Saturday" and the funky groove of "The Silly Dance." "Monster Stomp" turns ballet on its head when unexpected guests arrive. "Bear Country" is a mini-musical adventure that's fun to act out, or just listen to and enjoy. “Colors of the Rainbow” is a campfire singalong for the next generation.

Mountaintide draws its musical strength from the varied backgrounds of its two members:

Born in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Holly Bishop spent her teen years in Salt Lake City where she developed her multi-instrumental talents on violin, guitar and piano. She graduated from Belmont University in Nashville with a Music Business degree, and remained in Music City writing and performing until relocating to Norfolk in 2005. Well established as a teacher running a music and movement program called Little Rockstars for preschoolers, she reignited her passion for songwriting when she teamed up with Jim to form Mountaintide. She was a finalist in the 2015 Sea Level Singer-Songwriter Festival Emerging Artist Contest.

Jim Newsom is well known throughout southeastern Virginia. He spent most of his young life in the area, graduating from Suffolk High School and Virginia Tech. He's been a popular musician regionally since the mid-1970s; he is a highly regarded music writer and critic whose work has been published in the All Music Guide, PortFolio Weekly and VEER Magazine among many print and online publications. He has hosted programs on the local PBS and NPR affiliates for more than thirty years.

He first played music as a youngster after picking up the basics from his sister's piano lesson books. He subsequently drove his parents crazy banging out rock and roll on the family's living room piano. In high school, he bought a flute for $25.00 from a girlfriend in the marching band, and taught himself to play by listening to the recordings of Herbie Mann and Jethro Tull. He learned guitar from a Bob Dylan songbook. He's led rock, jazz and acoustic bands and is an award winning songwriter.

Touching on influences from the folk era and singer-songwriter genre to the classic soul music of Motown and Memphis with touches of rock, jazz and bluegrass thrown in for seasoning, Mountaintide’s harmonic stew is tasty and invigorating.

Jim Newsom — guitar, flute, vocals
Holly Bishop — guitar, violin, vocals