The Bishop Boys Release New Music Video
Story by Michael Seguin
Photography by Simon Giroux
Louis Armstrong once said that if you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know. The Bishop Boys concur.
The Bishop Boys consists of Windsor’s Austin Di Pietro and Andrew Adoranti. The young musical duo is studiously redefining the singer-songwriter genre through their distinguished unison vocals, poetic lyricism and nuanced musicianship.
Austin and Andrew’s musical journey began years ago.
“My Dad always had a huge record collection,” Austin explains. “He had over 4,000 records. He got his hooks into me early, with classic rock and blues and whatnot. I started with guitar lessons. And then in grade school, when we had to pick an instrument, I picked the trumpet. I really got passionate about it in high school.”
“I got involved with music in the first grade,” Andrew states. “My Mom signed me up for piano lessons. Ever since then music has been a part of my life.”
The two met in high school, developing a lasting friendship through their shared love of music.
“We met in high school,” Austin recalls. “We were in the jazz band together. We started writing tunes together. That’s kind of how the Bishop Boys came about.”
“I had played piano completely by myself up until high school,” Andrew states. “Then I joined the jazz band and met Austin. It was an amazing experience, being able to play music with other people. And Austin and I immediately gelled with each other.”
The two further cemented their partnership by joining the Coffee House Combo (CHC), a local jazz band. Aside from Andrew and Austin, CHC consists of four other jazz musicians: Sebastian Bachmeier, Alex Adiera-Leite, Vanessa Harnish and Natalie Culmone. The ensemble has spent the last several years playing across Windsor, even running a weekly jam session at the Phog Lounge on Sunday nights.
“We got addicted to the band pretty fast,” Austin states. “Our friends would come out to our weekly jams and say they loved it. It was really an amazing experience.”
While playing for CHC, Austin and Andrew continued to write original music together.
“We had been writing our own music since high school,” Austin states. “We started spending hours and hours and hours in my basement, hacking out songs. Not with any real goal in mind. One of us would have a lick on guitar or on bass and the other one would add something to it. We realized pretty quickly that we had something special between us. We were always finishing each other’s songs.”
“When we first started working together, it was a pleasant surprise,” Andrew explains. “Before the Bishop Boys—or what would become the Bishop Boys—we’d both been writing songs on our own. It was kind of impressive to see how our ideals and values about songs aligned so perfectly. We had shared musical tastes.”
The duo performed their original music throughout high school. After graduating, the two attended the University of Windsor. Austin earned his Bachelor of Music before embarking on a Master’s of Jazz Performance at Wayne State University. Andrew, meanwhile, studied Electrical Engineering.
All the while, the two continued to play together.
“One night we went out to Milk Coffee Bar for an open-mic night,” Austin states. “Our friend Derek Impens heard us and offered to record three of our songs.”
From there, the Bishop Boys formed to record their first single, “Might Be Alright.”
“It was a great experience,” Austin recalls. “We kind of fell in love with the studio recording aspect after that. How you can experiment with all these different things in the studio that you might not be able to live.”
“For ‘Might Be Alright,’ we were able to add an organ sound into the background in the studio,” Andrew explains. “It almost completely changes the vibe of the song. When we performed it in high school, it was just us on two guitars. It was kind of lame! We didn’t have too much instrumentation. Our studio edits added a whole new vibe to the song. It was a perfect fit. That’s the magic of working in a studio.”
After receiving glowing feedback on their first few songs, Austin and Andrew decided to start performing their new singles at different venues across Windsor-Essex.
“Our first gig was the Island Unplugged Festival on Pelee Island,” Austin states. “That’s kind of how we formed the Bishop Boys. We realized that we’d need to put a band together to play at these events. So, we grabbed all our friends from Coffee House Combo and brought them onboard. We also added our friend John Kosty to play guitar and a horn section.”
“The Island Unplugged gig was such a huge success,” Andrew recalls. “It was one of those standout moments for us. We decided that we wanted to start playing more shows together.”
For the last two years, the Bishop Boys has played live across Windsor, immediately selling out venues and showcasing at festivals across the Windsor-Essex region. Now, the band is building a catalogue of Canadian folk-rock that effortlessly evokes the good feelings of carefree summer nights and the complex euphoria of young love.
And the two have recently released their music video for their latest single, “Gin & Tonic.”
The song takes a look back at the glory of endless summer, with nostalgic guitar riffs and anthemic hooks.
“We were able to get a grant from the Coty of Windsor’s Arts, Culture & heritage Fund,” Austin explains. “That allowed us to really do something special for this. So, we started brainstorming ideas. We decided to throw a party in Andrew’s backyard, buy a bunch of lights and film us playing. And we held a bonfire one night on our guitarist John Kosty’s farm.”
Most spectacularly, the two were able to film themselves in a WWI-era biplane soaring above the Detroit River—a nod to the band’s namesake, the Canadian WWI pilot Billy Bishop.
“We were able to work with the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association on this,” Austin states. “We thought it was a great way to show off the origin of our band. It all came together so well. It was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The music video can be viewed on the band’s YouTube channel.
“We’ve gotten great feedback so far,” Austin admits. “People were blown away by the footage of the plane. And with everything going on with the pandemic and people not being able to have these parties and gatherings, this throwback to last summer really means a lot. As bittersweet as it may be, it really takes you back to that time. It’s a feel-good video.”
However, the band remains focused on the future rather than the past. Austin and Andrew currently have 10 completed songs that they are planning on releasing as their first album next year.
“Our values have not changed,” Andrew states. “We’re continuing to write and record new songs. We always have new singles coming out.”
“The pandemic has almost spurred us to write more songs,” Austin admits. “We’ve been taking advantage of this time to push our musical boundaries. We’re not slowing down anytime soon, and I doubt we ever will.”