Jo Harman and Company – Beaufort Theatre – 12th April 2014

Jo Harman - Beaufort - April 2014 - DSC_0055l

Opening with I Will Not Be Moved a quiet number where Jo’s voice is dominant held the crowd from the first to the last note. When upping the tempo this is a young artist and company full of confidence and style; Jo engaged with the audience from the first note without an introduction and she had everyone enthralled. Introducing Amnesty, she reinforced the rapport with her easy charm and friendly words. This is a beautiful track from her début album Dirt On My Tongue with some wonderful piano playing delivered by Stevie Watts. The set contained a mix of tracks from the album and other re-invented covers and songs from her repertoire. Her tribute to Bobby Bland is a thoughtful rendition of Ain’t No Love In the Heart Of The City, fast becoming a Jo classic an integral part of the show. Coldheart is another track from her début album which enthralled the appreciative audience both of Jo’s voice and The Company whose instrumentation and timing on every track is faultless whether live or in the studio, yes Jo and her bell clear vocals take centre stage but without her band she would not have the depth and tonal interest that they bring to this pitch perfect party. Stevie Watts keys are as ever the focal point for Jo and there is no wonder why him and drummer Martin Johnson are already as we listen tonight nominated for British Blues Awards 2014.

The second set was just as stylish and delighted the audience with every note played and word sung, everyone was entranced, yes there were lots of tracks of her album showcasing why you want to add it to your collection. Intertwined were different renditions of classics and tonight Jo threw in a curve ball as she introduced Lewis Taylor as a “muso’s Muso” but check him out he has a cult following – Song definitely one to enjoy. The set was full of changes, and tempos with a taste of jazz, freeform music and dollops of soul this may not be classical blues but Jo Harman and Company are a talented outfit delivering high quality live music that delights the ears and leaves you wanting more. Looking forward to her soon to be released Live at The Albert Hall as Jo Harman is a singer who with her talented band are raising the quality at every performance this is a class act. Maybe not for blues traditionalist but for everyone else who loves live music this is an act to catch as she tours UK and Europe. The encore was far too short but certainly showcased a funky side of Jo and the band leaving us energised and wanting more.

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