Style: Singer/Songwriter, Blues, Folk, Country, Pop

Origin: Nashville, New Zealand

Resident: USA / Nashville TN
Travel Party: 4 musicians

Line Up

Jackie Bristow (Vocal, Guitar)
Mark Punch (Guitar, Vocal)
(tba) Bass
(tba) Drums

Jackie Bristow

The press overflows with enthusiasm. Sentimentally composed songs and thrilling live shows

For Jackie Bristow, the lure of the road has informed her music in ways that don’t limit her to any specific location on the globe. Like the classic singer-songwriters who have inspired her, Jackie has made her travels–both literal and metaphorical–a major part of her free-roaming subject matter.

Like Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin and Bonnie Raitt, Jackie has created a body of work that will endure, recording with her long-time musical partner, Australian-born guitarist and producer Mark Punch, and writing finely shaded songs that are at once personal and universal. After refining her art in Sydney, and in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, Jackie moved in 2017 to one of the centers of American music, Nashville, Tennessee. Already four superb albums into a career that is marked by her intelligence, passion and love for the song–these include her ravishingly beautiful singer-songwriter masterpiece, 2015’s Shot of Gold–Jackie is learning from Nashville, where singer-songwriters, country stars and Americana avatars mingle. In Music City, she’s working on a forthcoming album with Mark Punch, and she continues to tour the world, where this singular guitarist, singer and songwriter feels right at home.

In January 2020, Jackie takes off for a two-month tour of New Zealand that will give her the opportunity to play the wonderful new songs she’s been writing in Nashville. New Zealand is, in fact, Jackie’s home. She was born on New Zealand’s South Island, in Gore, where she got her start singing in a duo with her sister. The Bristow Sisters played country festivals all over the South Island, singing folk and country songs by the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Linda Ronstadt, Willie Nelson and the Judds. No doubt Jackie was on a steep learning curve, taking in the beauty of the Judds’ “Why Not Me.”

You can tell she got the picture from learning the classics, and she put the lessons to good use. She dived into songwriting as a teenager, got a thorough grounding in the basics at a music school in New Zealand, and learned the business, making useful connections from the circuit. This prepared Jackie for the big move she made in 1998, when she went to Sydney and, eventually, met Mark Punch, who had been playing in bands and writing songs around Sydney. Mark immediately saw Jackie’s flair for songwriting, encouraged her to keep writing, and they began working together, developing their unique sound through necessity. (As he says: “We started doing little gigs around Syndey, just as a duo, because we couldn’t afford to pay a band or anything.”)

Jackie’s 2002 debut album, Thirsty, was cut partly in Los Angeles with bassist and producer Larry Klein, who had produced major records by Joni Mitchell, along with Shawn Colvin’s 1992 Fat City and a series of albums by neo-jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux. Jackie learned valuable lessons by working with Klein, who taught her some of Joni’s famed open tunings, which she still uses today in songwriting and performance. (Some of Thirsty was recorded in Sydney and Nashville.) Even more to the point, she figured out who she was.

“You know, I was into the singer-songwriter stuff–Shawn Colvin and Joni Mitchell–and Larry had done the Fat City album,” Jackie says. “My label really wanted to push me a bit more pop, and I wanted to go the singer-songwriter route. It was a great experience working with him.” Jackie honed her art in Los Angeles before moving to the storied alt-country-blues mecca of Austin in 2008. She soaked up the Texas-to-Tennessee musical culture of Austin, spent more time in Los Angeles, and made the move to Nashville, to which Mark Punch had recently relocated, in early 2017.

Jackie and Mark are a formidable duo, as Nashville audiences have discovered. Jackie is a classic, compelling, post-Laurel Canyon folk-country guitarist and a singer with more than a touch of soul. Mark’s brilliant guitar supports her, and his blues-based lines color the emotional landscape of Jackie’s songs.Their uncanny cohesion and love for the song put them into the stratosphere of singer-songwriters, the ones whose music you live with.

Jackie released the 2008 album Crazy Love, followed by 2010’s Freedom, which she and Mark recorded in Austin and Sydney. Freedom shows off Jackie’s soul chops–”Running” (with blues star Gary Clark Jr. singing harmony) sports an impeccable 6/8 gospel feel, while “Hightail It Outta Here” and “Rebel in My Soul” are easy-rolling soul and rock ‘n’ roll.

Returning to her roots as a singer-songwriter influenced by great ‘70s innovators like Joni Mitchell, Jackie recorded 2015’s Shot of Gold with Mark providing the lion’s share of the backing. Shot of Gold evokes Joni’s Hejira–it’s simultaneously rich and restrained, with a formal beauty that plays off Mark’s shimmering layers of acoustic and electric guitars.

2017 – Opening for
* Bonnie Raitt
* Foreigner

2016 – Opening for.
* Tommy Emmanuel
* The Steve Miller Band

In previous years opening for
Art Garfunkel, Phoebe Snow, Bonnie Raitt, Tommy Emmanuel, Marc Cohn, John Oates, John Waite, Bettye Lavette, B.J. Thomas, Joe Ely, Marcia Ball, Charlie Robison, Rick Springfield, Bob Schneider, Jimmy Lafave, Euge Groove, Ruthie Foster, Howard Jones, Herbert Gronemeyer, Phoebe Snow, Art Garfunkel, Daniel Lanois, Madeline Peryoux, Jimmy Webb, Paul Williams, and Shawn Mullins, among others.

New Zealand Herald **** Graham Reid
“And in the moving ‘Fallen Youth’ she gives Emmylou Harris a real run for her money.”

Dominion Post **** (NZ) Colin Morris
“Chances are that should you play this to somebody that listens to the crop of new/new-ish female country stars and they would scratch their heads and say in turn, ‘Gillian Welch…err no, Lucinda Williams…err no, Alison Krauss…o.k. I give up.’ Are they in for a pleasant surprise.”

​VENTS Magazine (US) Patrick O’Heffernan,
“This album gets into your head, your heart and your muscles…. SHOT OF GOLD is simply stunning”

​Southland Times ***** (NZ) Chris Chilton
“This is the Jackie Bristow that Jackie Bristow was always destined to be. She lets the river flow through her veins and allows herself to be carried along in its gentle but powerful current. There is respect for its awesome force, but no fear.”

​ (NZ) Ria Loveder
“This album is full of emotion and demands that you listen to it in all its rawness and vulnerability. Bristow has created a collection of songs that are a tribute to the human feelings, be it about struggle, healing, love, loss, or joy.”