Why release an ancient bootleg? Arlene Bishop’s motives for the humbling release are rooted in her next project scheduled to be showcased in the fall of 2019, but let’s keep a lid on that project for now, eh?
A compelling performer with between-song-banter that has taken on a much larger role than the typical “this next song is about…”, Arlene Bishop’s funny and dark monologues are the result of letting loose an obsessively busy and creative mind. The songs themselves are personal, poetic, and passionate expressions of the emotions she balances off-stage. Arlene’s concerts are populated by songwriters, artists and interesting characters and she typically chooses small venues to embrace the intimacy and shorten the distance between the stage and the audience.
In 2017 Bishop released a groundbreaking live album titled Together Tonight. Recorded live in concert with a 30-person vocal ensemble and a band she jointly calls The Spirit of Adventure, the album documents a roller coaster of a set, with instantly memorable songs and funny between-song banter. Listening to the album is like sitting amoung the vorchestra ‘being there’ in the concert venue. It was during this concert recording that Arlene learned of a bootleg recording captured from the soundboard in 1992.
Thank You Jimmy Scopes, The Cabana Room Bootleg 1992 is a blast from the past snapped and a shout-out to the person Arlene credits with beginning her performance career. Starting out at Toronto’s legendary Cabana Room Arlene’s weekly show featured emerging artists like Ron Sexsmith and the Barenaked Ladies and resulted in the EP Pinky in 1995 (recorded three years after the bootleg).
After a series of short small venue concerts (Louden Wainwright III, Beach Boys, 54:40, Burton Cummings among the headliners), she and Blair Packham (The Jitters) produced a second CD, with the press-review inspired title Snarky Girlpop (from which 98 Points found its way to the film New Waterford Girl).
Following more concerts with icons Brad Roberts (Crash Test Dummies), Colin James, Ani Difanco and Dar Williams, the album Cut a Man’s Heart Out was produced in 2004.
In 2014 Arlene Bishop produced a compelling album called Twenty Four (Is Twelve Songs Twice) wherin recordings of twelve solo acoustic performances are remixed and reinterpreted by twelve producers.
Arlene Bishop is the grateful recipient of a number of awards including garageband.com; Toronto Independent Music Awards, Independent Acoustic Music Awards, and a Galaxy Award.