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2013 18:00

Showcase Jo Harman

Jo Harman’s rise has been described in many quarters as ‘meteoric’, although, as is so often the case, in reality, she has been quietly biding her time, developing her craft, refining her songwriting, paying her dues and, most importantly winning important admirers on the live circuit and beyond with her exceptional voice, compelling stage craft and excellent band. By so doing, Jo has quickly built an enviable reputation as potentially one of the finest blues, soul and roots-fuelled artists this country has ever produced; so much so that, in recent months, doors have been swinging open, and opening fast. Spotted singing at an open mic by BiGiAM management, who took her on very much as an ‘artist in development’, Jo’s compelling live shows quickly attracted the attention of influential European agency Bepop. Thanks to Live Nation sharing Bepop’s belief in Jo’s talent and potential, Jo’s first ever European performances were much sought after support slots for the likes of Cranberries, Don McLean, Mick Hucknall, Johnny Winter and more, as well as performing her own shows at prestigious festivals shows in Holland, France and more. Back in the UK, despite no released product, promotional spend or even having any kind of official agent, Jo found herself in increasing demand as a live act. With 40 odd festivals in the book for 2013 alone, many as headliners, her calendar included prestigious slots at the likes of Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival and Blues Fest at the Royal Albert Hall. Back in Holland, Jo was very recently invited to appear, alongside the likes of Bob Geldoff, Sinead O’Connor and other household names, as one of only 12 artists appearing at Parkpop, Europe’s biggest free festival, in front of around 300,000 people (and a much bigger TV audience besides). Very recently, Jo’s (largely self penned) debut album ‘Dirt On My Tongue’ was released as a low key, no PR budget, independent release. It attracted universal praise and some incredible, and unlikely, reviews, including the high street nationals Mail On Sunday, Blues and Soul, The Blues Magazine, Classic Rock – all apparently by word of mouth – as well as the more specialist and underground press. “Album of the Year” was not an isolated remark and, somewhat bucking the industry trends, physical copies album began to sell organically in it’s thousands direct from Jo’s website. Later this year, the noted V2 label (home of Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons and many other huge acts) releases the album in Benelux on 23rd September. This October plans are afford to release the record ‘properly’ in the UK and beyond as is deserving of such a remarkable record from such a remarkable artist.

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