The Sound Cafe
Jo Harman and Redtenbachers Funkstra Release Second Single 'Don't Let Me Down' From 'Signature Soul'
After a 3 year Gap, Jo Harman announces the release of "SIGNATURE SOUL" DVD and audio set, recorded 'Old School', LIVE and 'For Real' a la Dusty and Aretha.
In a world where vocals are tuned to within an inch of their life and producers 'comp' vocals from numerous takes, it's refreshing to see a modern day vocalist doing it for real; sitting in the same room as the musicians, much in the way the likes of Dusty and Aretha did 'back in the day'. After a three year absence, Jo Harman recently returned to the recording studio, where she cut , together with the feted 'Redtenbacher's Funkestra' as 'the house band', an entirely unedited live set - the results of which will be officially released in vinyl format (with bonus tracks) later this month. I say 3 year absence (it's actually 4 years since she recorded, in Nashville, her highly successful 'People We Become' album, following her noted 2012 debut 'Dirt On My Tongue), but it still didn't prevent Robert Elms at BBC Radio London, nor Chris Wells, editor of black music bible 'Echoes' or even BBC R2 and Sunday Times journalist/presenter Paul Sexton including Jo in their 'best of 2019' artists. Indeed some commentators included her in their 'best of the decade' lists, but I digress...back to this recent live in the studio offering.
Aptly entitled 'Signature Soul' reflecting the inimitable nature of Jo's work and about whom french Daily Newspaper 'Le Voix Du Nord' described as "..the most beautiful soulful voice of England. A bewitching voice, an impressive stage show, Jo Harman mixes intimate ballads, energetic rock, soul, blues, acoustic and gospel, brought together by the magic of a music that is at once classic, innovative and timeless", the package features the following songs in various formats (CD, DVD - for it was all filmed - and vinyl) Don't Let Me Down (Lennon - McCartney) Keep You Guessing (Harman - McEwan) The Angel Leaves Her Watermark (Wood) Say That You Want Me (Harman - Davies) Loving Arms (Jans) Additional "Masterlink' tracks for vinyl 'Cloudy' (Stuart - Gorrie) featuring special guest Tony Remy (Guitar) 'Cyprus Avenue' (Morrison) featuring special guest Orphy Robinson (Vibes)
Basically, what everyone played and sung in the moment is what you hear on this record. 'Fixing' and 'editing' is impossible anyway, simply because there is no or little separation between the players involved, singer included. The way that Jo and the guys approached the recording was pretty much that Take One was the run through - to nail the changes and for the players to come up with some parts. Take Two was to test it out and, more. often than not, Take Three was the record. Widely regarded as one of Europe's finest ever soul/blues fuelled voices, JO HARMAN is an international touring and recording artist who remains a genre-defying, independently minded artist of rare credibility. An artist who makes sincere and heartfelt music, The Mirror proclaimed her
Jo released her second studio album 'People We Album' to much critical acclaim (see accolades at foot of the page) and no little commercial success. Indeed the 'lead single', 'When We Were Young' (featuring Michael McDonald) achieved BBC Radio 2 play-listing, as well as play listing on other mainstream national stations across Ireland (RTE1) and Europe. The album has also made various 'best of' lists, internationally.
Last summer Jo duetted on 'Reach Out (I'll Be There)' with Motown song-writing legend Lamont Dozier, the lead single from his 'Re-imagination' album which also features Gregory Porter, Graham Nash, Todd Rundgren, Rumer and other notable international names. A multi award winning/nominated performer, Jo has achieved considerable success at home and abroad, headlining prestigious venues and festivals throughout Europe and beyond, including playing as one of eleven artists to 300k people at Parkpop, in the Hague. Amongst many other highlights, Jo was asked to perform for, and alongside, Joan Baez at Amnesty International's prestigious 'Ambassador of Conscience' awards.
Last Autumn Jo was asked by Festival Director Leo Green to open London's BluesFest performing a set at the 20k capacity O2 Arena.
Mark Ede BiGiAM ARTIST SERVICES