Blues vocalist Duffy Bishop has a list of honors and awards as long as her microphone stand, including Best Female Vocalist from the Muddy Awards for five consecutive years, beginning in 1995. She took home the award again in 2001. She snagged a spot in the Cascade Blues Association's Hall of Fame in 1997. The Northwest Area Music Association dubbed her Best Female Vocalist in both 1989 and 1990, and followed up a year later by naming her Entertainer of the Year. In 1992, she again earned the title of Best Female Vocalist, this time from the Washington Blues Society. The organization repeated the recognition in 1999. The same society proclaimed her Entertainer of the Year in 1993 and repeated the honor in 1995. The Duffy Bishop Band earned a Muddy Award for Best Regional Blues Act in 1994, and another award two years later for Best Contemporary Blues Act. Not a bad career for a woman who started out at the age of four singing from the make-believe stage of her family's picture window, making up tunes on the spot with a child's charm and enthusiasm. Once in school, she traded her pretend stage for a real one when she became involved in class productions, which she continued to do until her high school graduation. She started appearing with local groups when she was 16. She spent three years with her first band, Roadside Attraction, before working her way through other outfits with names like Toulouse, Lautrec, Coda, and Skeezix. The names she appeared with as her career blossomed were considerably more recognizable. She has been the opening act for such artists as Roy Orbison, John Lee Hooker, Lou Rawls, Chicago, and Etta James, among others. In 1983, Bishop became a member of Cool Ray & the Shades. She moved on to the Rhythm Dogs and worked on the albums Dogs Run Cheap and On a Journey. At one point she developed polyps and a cyst, but after recovering she went on to sing and tour Japan with Big Brother & the Holding Company. In addition to picking up awards for her vocal talent and stage presence, the singer is actively involved with costume design. At one time, she contributed designs to the Brass Ring Theater, Skid Row Theater, and Pasadena's American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She continued to design for the academy for about four years. Bishop has also performed in theater productions in San Francisco and Seattle. Her band consists of keyboardist Dover Weinberg, bassist Phil Haxton, drummer Michael Partlow, and guitarist Chris Carlson.
Share this page