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Both Sides Now – Live Dates Announced!

Following their initial collaboration on the ‘A Case Of You’ single, Stefan Redtenbacher invited Jo Harman to record another Joni Mitchell tune; Jo chose ‘Blue’ by the way – for the Redtenbacher Funkestra album featuring a number of singers who have a deep love for Joni’s music. Appearing on the album alongside Jo are some great singers, many of whom are good friends, including the likes of Mike Mayfield, Mim Grey, Rumer, Hamish Stuart, Sarah Jane Morris and more.

Moreover Stef has asked Jo Harman, Mim and Mike to go on the road early next year to perform as guest singers (all 3 together) at the following venues, which we are delighted to do. As you might have already gathered, Jo likes variety and artistic challenge.Jo is one of those artists who struggles with the concept of playing the same show, night after night, note for note the same, so she jumped at the chance to be part of this set up as a sideline to her own touring. It should be great fun!

8th February The Apex, Suffolk

9th February Norden Farm Centre For The Arts, Maidenhead

10th March Wolf Ferrari Theatre, Munich

25th March St James, Guernsey

THE DOUBLE HEADER TOUR WITH MIKE FARRIS WAS A BLAST!

Well, that was fun! Tiring but fun! The tour with Mike Farris, covered 2,500 miles between 9 venues over 11 days, which is something I’ve never done even in my pre-motherhood, pre-pandemic days, never mind after my recent lengthy sabbatical. Ha, that’ll teach me! 

Mike and I both suffered some throat and voice issues during the tour but we got through and we both want to thank everybody who came out and supported us across all the dates, which ended up as one big party in Uckfield. Mike’s a fantastic singer and an inspirational character on and off stage. It was a total treat to have him with us as well as having ‘the classic’ band line up back on stage again after several years – Nat Martin (guitar), Stevie Watts (keys), Andy Tolman (bass) and Magic Johnson (drums). Those four have such a musical chemistry and, as ever, they all went above and beyond the call of duty on the tour, again, not just on the stage but behind the scenes too – thank you guys, what a team!! 

We’re putting the band back together

The nationwide tour with Mike Farris is nearly here!!

Now we’re in mid October it’s now only a couple of weeks before Jo joins US grammy Winner Mike Farris on the her first major tour for several years, visiting Exeter, Devon on 3rd November Haslemere, Surrey (4th Nov), London, Jazz Cafe (5th), a hop to TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands (7th), back to Liverpool (8th Nov), and then Apex, Bury St Edmunds (9th). A day off on the 10th (for Jo anyway), then the tour continues to 11th at The Platform in Morecambe, The Place, Telford (12th) before finishing off at The Civic Centre at Uckfield on Sunday 13th November. 
Mike and Jo will be sharing an all star band consisting of Stevie Watts on keys, Nat Martin guitar, the return (from Switzerland!) of Andy Tolman on bass and the powerhouse Magic Johnson on drums. Both artists will be performing full sets before joining together for the finale. 

We got the band back together! Full tour dates here.

News about new music and reimagining the songs we know

After a period of relatively extreme, if understandable, artistic inactivity, Jo Harman is starting to become productive again. So much so that she has a number of different projects in the works, which might be summarised as follows:-

1) THE JO WE KNOW

After a period of enforced inactivity (resulting from both lockdown and new motherhood) Jo has started to accept, albeit selectively, invitations to perform live once again. These have (and will continue to) involve a number of prestigious European shows, a recent first time trip to Africa where she performed her own show to 3k people at Dima Jazz, as well as carefully curated bespoke UK Festival and venue appearances, before a significant ‘double header’ UK (and one Netherlands show) tour with Grammy Winner Mike Farris this coming November. Full details of all upcoming shows can be found at www.joharman.com/tourdates

2) REIMAGINING THE SONGS WE KNOW

Proud of her back catalogue but not wanting to stand still artistically, Jo has also commissioned a series of string arrangements in order to record and perform, at some stage, some dates with a Cello quartet, with a piano/stripped back band. Jo herself performed in classical orchestras as a bassoon player in her youth and her musical tastes and wants have always extended way beyond the rock. soul, blues and roots community in which she is most commonly characterised. She has no particular problem with that label per se (she loves rocking out, and has a deep love of soul and gospel music, of course) but she is actually, at heart, a genre-less singer and songwriter very much, to my ear at least, in the classic traditions of the golden age (late 60’s to early 70’s) of music. Hearing her most well known songs performed with little more than a piano and a string quartet demonstrates the depth, musicality and (sometimes broken) beauty of her songwriting. This gives a new and unique listening experience and resonance to these familiar songs. Some of these new recordings are being mixed as we speak, some of the commissions are still in the works so I can’t tell you when these recordings and performances will see the light of day, but I can confirm they are coming. Jo has been committed to this project for some time now and her passion shows no sign of lessening, so watch this space.

3) A THIRD ALBUM (OF BRAND NEW SONGS) ALSO NOW SEEMS A REALISTIC POSSIBILITY

With the odd exception, it’s been the best part of six years since Jo has written any new music; hence the protracted wait for any sign of a third album to follow up the ‘People We Become’ release. Going silent after dropping such a commercially and critically successful record seemed strange but, ever the artist, it seems Jo will only write when she has something to say…some emotion to express. Teaming up again in part with her musical songwriting partner Mike Davies (aka Mayfield), there are now at least 6 important, album worthy, songs in the works. Keen to avoid repeating herself and certainly eskewing generic sounding fare – however commercially appealing that can be – her musical landscape has progressed and developed yet further; I expect the next record to be more of an opus, an epic if unpretentious affair, with a lineage perhaps to the like of ‘Amnesty’ but developed even further, musically? I was scepitical of new material being able to live up to past standards but, having heard the sketches and rough demos, I’m genuinely excited by what I’ve heard. As ever, it will take as long as it will take, but the good news is that, after a significant void, new material – and great new material at that – is very definitely in the works. 

4) A BOX SET PACKAGE CELEBRATES JO’S DEBUT ALBUM ON IT’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY

As previously announced, we are producing a ‘box set’ of Jo’s debut ‘Dirt On My Tongue’ release on its 10 year anniversary (due next year). The project has been overseen by noted rock artist/designer Mark Wilkinson who has worked with everyone – from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest to Kylie, Led Zep, Beatles and Leonard Cohen projects, to name but a few – so we knew the project would be in safe hands, not least it would be beautifully designed and artworked. The package contains a 52 page book about the making of the album, a special T shirt, some memorabilia and apart from the original recording, some additional CDs of demos, live versions and more, which really go well beneath the skin of how the record came to be made and how the songs evolved. The whole package is not cheap – ranging from around £70 to over £100 depending on edition/postage etc – but the ‘vinyl’ edition has already sold out. Some non vinyl editions are still available from Jo’s website. Although not officially out until 2023 we hope to have the pre-ordered sets to be available in time for Jo’s aforementioned November 2022 tour. 

5) JO PAYS TRIBUTE TO JONI AS PART OF A NEW MULTI ARTIST PROJECT BY REDTENBACHER’S FUNKESTRA

Some of you may remember, or even own!, a wonderful collaboration between (Stefan) Redtenbacher’s Funkestra and Jo of the Joni Mitchell classic ‘A Case Of You’. It inspired us (not least Stefan) to explore some further collaborations of Joni material with a number of other elite singers (watch this space!). An album – or even albums – may well emerge but either way a very special live event is planned at Masterlink Studios on Friday 28th October Performing with the Funkestra band that night will be 3 featured singers –  Jo, Mike Mayfield and Mim Grey (Mim has worked with Paul McCartney to Tom Jones, to name but two). The event will be professionally audio and video recorded for live stream but there is also an opportunity for a limited live audience to attend. Tickets for this exclusive event have yet to go on sale but if you are attracted enough to register an interest on a ‘first refusal basis. please contact me on [email protected] and we can send you further information nearer the time. I envisage tickets to be around £25 for this exclusive event at the Masterlink Studios in the beautiful Surrey countryside of Send, near the Woking/Guildford area. Apart from the full length concert itself – and witnessing the soundcheck and general ‘behind the scenes’ elements to these things – they’ll be a chance to meet, greet, hang and share a drink or two with the musicians and singers involved, no doubt! Anyway, as I say, if you are interested in being part of the night, hit me up at [email protected]. It should be a very unique and memorable evening. 

Talking of collaborations with Funkestra, we’ve just released a radio edit of ‘Lovin’ Arms’ – do check it out on Spotify or your other digital platforms and give it a like and a share, it all helps! Thank you!  

Jo Harman releases ‘ A Case of You’

‘A Case of You’ is Jo’s most recent recording (her first for a number of years) and has elicited a remarkable response including this in from noted broadcaster/journalist Clive Richardson A Case of You” is a new upcoming single from Jo Harman. It is IMMENSE, Jo has a voice to go to the end of the world for”. The song was a Joni Mitchell original, so came as a pleasant and lyrical surprise to me, and the vocal is off the scale in the most positive way, the arrangement, an exercise in subtlety. While this song has a different root, the performance is soulful with a capital S! Is there any category for this quality of singing (and music) in the various awards? if so, Jo would walk it! 

Jo Harman + Redtenbacher’s Funkestra 4 track single

Jo Harman A Case of You singles

JO HARMAN RELEASES 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF ‘JO HARMAN AND COMPANY: LIVE AT HIDEAWAY’

Some Q&A’s on the queries regarding the 10th Anniversary Edition of ‘Live At Hideaway’, which is shipping on CD today.

Q – Does this release employ the original artwork?
A – Yes, we’ve used the original artwork (people seemed wedded to it) but have included a second CD and a explanatory insert in the open pocket of the digipack (more on this below) and on the front of the digipack we have a sticker identifying it as ’10th Anniversary 2-CD edition’.

Q – How much is the CD edition?
A – Standard cost for the 2-CD edition is £15 plus postage at cost (which varies from territory to territory of course). Track listings for the CD are as follows:-
CD1
Through The Night
Summer Breeze
Heartstring
Bless Ma Soul
Sideways
Move Over
Sweet Man Moses
Better Woman

CD2
Them Changes
Seasick Lover
Song
I Can’t Stand The Rain
A Little Help From My Friends
Underneath The River
Feelin’ Alright

Q – If we already own the original CD, is it possible to buy the second CD as a ‘stand alone’?
A – Not officially (ie not from Jo’s website store) but yes, unofficially, we are happy to sell the second disc for £6 inclusive of UK p&p (contact [email protected] for overseas prices). To do this simply send the money via paypal to [email protected] and we’ll do the rest (or contact [email protected] by email for other payment options). This item comes as an ‘onbody’ printed CD, in a clear plastic sleeve, with accompanying insert.

Q – Are there any original CDs from 2011 left to buy?
A – No, sorry, these were all sold out years ago. One’s appearing on the second hand market tend to retail at £30-£50 or more.

Q – Can we buy this re-issue without the 2nd CD and the sticker (ie mirroring the original release).
A – Yes, we can sell that at £10 plus postage at cost.

Q – Can I buy this as a vinyl LP?
A – Yes, for the first time, we are offering the original release (without the songs on the bonus CD) in vinyl format. All the original tracks are included, but the running order has been adjusted as follows to better suit the timings of each side of the record:-
Side A
Through The Night – Summer Breeze – Bless Ma Soul – Sideways
Side B
Move Over – Heartstring – Sweet Man Moses – Better Woman

Q – Where can I purchase this release in a format of my choice?
A – From Jo’s website shop https://joharman.com/product/live-at-hideaway/ is as good a place as any (look out for special deals on buying vinyl and cd together) but for non-standard versions, or for queries, please contact [email protected] by email and we’ll be happy to help.

Q – When can I expect delivery?
A – CDs should be ready for despatch before the end of May, vinyls will be issued later in the Summer due to production times.any other issues, hit me up here or by email to [email protected]

Jo Harman Live at Hideaway CD + extra CD

The backstory to “Live At Hideaway” is largely one of happy accident. Unlike most artists who have to work the ‘toilet tours’ and pubs before establishing themselves on the circuit, Jo had the good fortune to play the first-ever gig under her own name at London’s prestigious 606 Club. The owner of that venue happened to recommend Jo to the owner of newly opened Hideaway Jazz Club in Streatham. Consequently, Jo found herself fast-tracked onto the London scene and being offered regular shows at one of London’s more prestigious venues. Despite the fact that Jo Harman and Company had, by that time, only played a handful of shows in total, with an interchangeable line-up and without any attempt at the concept of rehearsal, a record was released (albeit in a low-key way) if only, as Jo remembers it, “as a showcase to get us more gigs and to have something to sell at the merch stand.” 

Because of the ad hoc nature of the performance, and (50%) cover material, Jo all but subsequently disowned “Live At Hideaway” being, as it was, something of a bridge between her role as lead singer with Soul Reality Collective and her forging a career as an original artist. As she explains: “I always had a very firm vision of who I wanted to be as an original artist, but I didn’t have too many songs of my own at that time – I was literally just starting out – and so I covered a lot of ‘classic material’, not least because we were required to do two hour sets at the various club dates that booked me. People have been very kind about it but the reality is that Hideaway is actually nothing but a jam and you can hear me, inexperienced as I was, calling off the cues throughout the songs.” 

Despite Jo’s personal reservations, it’s considered by many good judges to be one of the most exciting live blues-rock albums ever made in the UK. So much so that, on two separate occasions, two noted labels offered licensing deals for “Live At Hideaway” and twice, Jo turned them down (albeit she did licence ‘Better Woman’ to Warners, France but that’s another story).

Jo further explains ‘when I started to write for my debut album, which became ‘Dirt On My Tongue’, I decided not to manufacture ‘Live At Hideaway’ once the original few thousand copies had been sold, simply because I wanted to launch myself with a self written studio album. As a result ‘HIdeaway’ has, over the years, become something of a collectors item, sometimes attracting extraordinary prices on the internet. However, 10 years on, it seems only right to make it available again, this time with a bonus CD of other live performances from around that time, as well as offering the original version on vinyl for the very first time’.

LIMITED EDITION BOOK OF EARLY PORTRAITS OF JO BY PHOTOGRAPHER ALEXIS MARYON NOW AVAILABLE

A limited edition book of over 40 photographs has been produced in conjunction with noted photographer Alexis Maryon, to celebrate Jo’s 10 year anniversary as an originals touring and recording artist. All the portraits of Jo are taken from formal photoshoots with Alexis at the start of her career. This beautiful collection, of both colour and b/w portraits, chosen by Alexis, is contained in an limited edition hardback A4 book, numbered and signed by both photographer and sitter, and is available now from Jo’s shop.

Musician Jo Harman limited edition book by photographer Alexis Maryon

JO HARMAN RELEASES HER OWN (UPDATED) VERSION OF CAROLE KING’S ‘WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW

Originally recorded some 60 years (!) ago by the Shirelles, it’s a song famously covered by numerous artists, including the noted version by co-writer Carole King on her 1971 landmark album, ‘Tapestry’. 
So, some big shoes to fill, but Harman, who only ever records a cover if she can connect to the lyric, takes it to ‘Harmansville’ – a trademark emotive ballad involving a ‘less is more’ arrangement featuring Mark Edwards on Yamaha Grand Piano and Terry Lewis on Telecaster Guitar. The recording features a suitably beautiful sonic capture by multi Grammy nominated/Brit Award winner James McMillan at Quietmoney studios. 
As Solar Radio stalwart Clive Richardson kindly remarked ‘If you are going to cover a well known tune, make it your own and Jo Harman certainly does that very thing here – a gem’. Meanwhile, Chris Wells, Editor of Black music bible ‘Echoes’ declared this release as ‘recommended, we mean, really, seriously, recommended’.

Jo Harman adds extra tracks to Vinyl release

The vinyl edition of ‘Signature Soul’ now contains two bonus tracks not available on the EP, thanks to the kind courtesy of Stefan Redtenbacher and all the fantastic musicians – musical royalty one and all – who have allowed us to add the ‘Masterlnk’ versions of ‘Cloudy’ and ‘Cyprus Avenue’ when Jo was originally invited in to guest with ‘Redtenbachers Funkestra’, which in turn led to Jo recording the ‘Signature Soul’ sessions. 

Musically, it’s one of the greatest projects we’ve been involved in. The quality of the playing – and singing,  of course – is simply something else. And 100% live too. It’s always a special moment when it all comes together. Particularly when, as in this case, there was no real expectation other than to have some fun and the band chemistry, however great the players, can’t always be assured. But the magic definitely came into the room for these sessions and it’s so wonderful that it was all captured so well for posterity. This is an album of rare quality and beauty. Jo will be the first to say this is a real team effort and even the artwork, a modern take with a retro nod, only adds to the timeless feel of this important record.

To try and be fair and appreciative to all Jo’s amazing supporters we’re going to include the CD/DVD version to everyone who now orders the vinyl.

Anyone who has already bought the CD and DVD can purchase the Vinyl for a discounted price of £12