Jo Harman’s ‘Live In The Studio’ – Signature Soul Drops 4th March…
Signature Soul – Jo Harman’s ‘Live In The Studio’ Sojourn With Redtenbacher’s Funkestra Drops 4th March In CD/DVD Format, Vinyl To Follow
When a ‘crack’ band of heavyweight sessioneers – with resumés including the likes of Elton John, Bowie, Annie Lennox, Mark Ronson, Gorillaz and more – team up with an elite vocalist, a great result isn’t always guaranteed, but the renowned UK-based studio band Redtenbacher’s Funkestra seem to hit more than their fair share of home runs, and no more so than in this Signature Soul collaboration with noted vocalist, Jo Harman.
Recorded across two days, entirely live (no cheats, no edits), with the singer sitting in the same room as the band, the five participants returned to the time honoured way of recording – a la Aretha, Dusty and the rest – all expertly captured for posterity by film maker Leo Mansell in a DVD version, accompanying the CD release, which hits the streets on 4th March 2020
The ‘lead’ track Loving Arms has already attracted no little commercial success and much critical acclaim – with plentiful pre-orders, much radio play and 50k streams already – where Harman cements her reputation as a world-class vocalist merging peerless technique with emotional truth to spine tingling effect. The band, ring-mastered by Austrian bandleader/bassist Stefan Redtenbacher, follow her every nuance, culminating in the rise and fall of dynamics in the climactic coda. All of this was neither rehearsed or planned, just great natural, organic musicianship and artistry from all concerned.
As Jo moves into first-time motherhood, and takes the career break that this demands, Signature Soul is an apt legacy to her growth into one of the UK’s very finest singers. A singer Huey Morgan described on his BBC Radio 2 programme as “leaving him speechless” and soul legend Michael McDonald declaring that “hearing Jo sing is a spiritual experience”. The Mirror added she’s “UK’s finest female Blues-Soul voice” and Black Music Bible Echoes editor Chris Wells advising “right now…she’s maybe Britain’s finest”.
And the studio ‘house’ band, Redtenbacher’s Funkestra are rightly carving out a reputation for themselves as being on a par, and beyond, anything coming out of Nashville, Muscle Shoals, Memphis and the like. And it all happens in a compact, if particularly well appointed, studio space in leafy Surrey.
The results are there for all to hear on Signature Soul – made all the remarkable by the entirely live and unrehearsed recorded nature of all five tracks. I think the little smile between bassist Stefan and drummer Mike toward the end of Loving Arms indicates how much they enjoyed it. We hope you do too.
Jo has these remaining full band shows prior to her extended break with her impeding first time Motherhood.
Thursday 5th March Spring Arts Centre, Havant, Nr Portsmouth, Hants.
Saturday 7th March Theatre on the Steps, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, West Midlands
Tuesday 17th March Televised Concert for Latest TV, Brighton, hosted by Kid Jensen (Venue show itself is Sold Out)