Jo Harman (born 21 September 1987) is a British singer and songwriter.
Born in Luton, England, Harman grew up in the Devon village of Lustleigh, before moving to London to study for a BA Performing Arts. After travelling to India, following the death of her father, she attended Brighton Institute of Modern Music in Brighton. In 2011, she self-released Live at Hideaway, whilst she developed her songcraft toward making a debut studio album.
This got the attention of Live Nation in the region and Harman’s first gig in Europe was to 7,000 people opening for The Cranberries both in Europe and in the UK. While opening for them, she played a number of multi-genre festivals, including the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and the Isle of Wight Festival. Her second album, Dirt on My Tongue, was released in 2013. Harman’s song to her father, “Sweet Man Moses”, was nominated as best composition at the 2012 British Blues Awards and this was followed by “Worthy of Love” being nominated in the same category the following year, together with a “Best Female Singer” nomination.
In 2014, she and her bandmates in “Jo Harman and Company” were nominated for seven British Blues Awards. She appeared at BluesFest where her performance was recorded by the BBC and released as a live Album. Harman has worked with members of Average White Band.
In February 2017, she released her second studio album, People We Become. The first single from the album, “When We Were Young”, featuring backup vocals from Michael McDonald, achieved BBC Radio 2 playlist Status. (by Wikipedia)
Jo Harman is the female shining light of the British Blues scene. That is beyond doubt, the critical feedback on her debut album has been universally positive. The album Jo Harman and Company Live at The Royal Albert Hall was recorded at Bluesfest by the BBC in 2013 and it is fitting that it gets it’s UK release two days before Jo returns to perform with her amazing band this year. -(by amazon.co.uk)
In 2012, this reviewer and e-zine discovered a blues chanteuse ‘across the pond’ in the UK named Jo Harman. Back then, she and her ensemble performed Live At Hideaway; now they’re Live at the Royal Albert Hall. This year Jo was selected from six finalists to be “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the British Blues Awards. According to her promotional materials, she revealed, “I’m not entirely sure music should be a competition in quite this way, which is why I never particularly mentioned the nomination or campaigned for votes.” This attitude is refreshing in an era of ‘winner-take-all’, no matter what the endeavor or the cost. Jo is never afraid to be herself above all, giving everything to her sultry take on blues rock and ballads. On this album, it’s typically low-key, despite a few fast and gritty numbers. Six out of eight are compositions either written or co-written by Harman herself. The three mentioned below showcase her voice best.
Says Harman of their finished product, in the liner notes: “This is a caught-in-the-moment, as-it-happened, honest recording made by the BBC. There are no edits, no fixes, no processing, no colouring…What you hear is what we played, raw and untampered.”
Track 02: “Cold Heart” – Slightly reminiscent of Sheryl Crow’s “I Shall Believe”, this original song is almost eerie. It’s a slow burner, but as hot as a certain infernal place. Harman tells her partner what absolutely no one wants to hear: “You’ve got one thing: a cold heart.” It’s an ultimatum as much as a description, the final word in a broken relationship. Steve Watts is understated yet brilliant on piano keyboards, which complement Jo’s lilting voice perfectly.
Track 03: “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” – This cover of an R&B hit by Michael Price and Dan Walsh, popularized by Bobby “Blue” Bland, is absolutely super. “Ain’t no love in the heart of the city; ain’t no love in the heart of town. Ain’t no love, and it’s sure ‘nuff a pity. Ain’t no love, ‘cause you ain’t around.” A timeless sentiment such as this is best backed up by Dave Ital’s rollicking electric guitar solo.
Track 05: “Underneath the River” – With an irresistible rock ‘hook’ and thumping backbeat by Martin “Magic” Johnson, track five just might drive blues rock fans insane with excitement. It’s a surefire party anthem with just the right touch of sweetness amid the spice. “Girls,” Jo explains beforehand, “I think you’ll understand there are times when we feel a little bit crazy, and you know what? The men, too.”
Jo Harman and Co. will delight fans in Britain and worldwide with Live at the Royal Albert Hall! (by Rainey Wetnight)
Jo Harman (vocals)
Dave Ital (guitar, vocals)
Martin “Magic” Johnson (drums)
Andy Tolman (bass)
Steve Watts (keyboards, vocals)
01. Through The Night (Harman/Mayfield) 5.43
02. Cold Heart (Harman) 6.31
03. Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City (Price/Walsh)
04. (This Is My) Amnesty (Davies/Harman) 6.40
05. Underneath The River (Davies/Harman) 5.21
06. Sweet Man Moses (Harman) 6.08
07. Sideways (Greenwood) 8.59
08. Better Woman (Haman/McKenzie) 6.00