Jo Harrop – The Path Of A Tear

British singer and songwriter Jo Harrop is back with her fourth album for London-based Lateralize Records. And this is clearly her best one so far because it mostly features her original compositions, because her voice has become even more refined and because the album was produced by Larry Klein who also produced Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, and Madeleine Peyroux in the past. The album opens with the elegant “Beautiful Fools” which she co-wrote with Ian Barter and where she gently sways through the track. Jo turns into a real blues siren on “Whiskey Or The Truth” which also features Anthony Wilson on guitar. Apart from Wilson, the band consists of pianist and organist Jim Cox, bassists David Piltch and Larry Klein, and drummer Victor Indrizzo.

Jo Harrop "The Path Of A Tear"

Jo keeps on with the blues on the brooding ballad “A Love Like This”, a dramatic piece about a relationship gone wrong. Leonard Cohen’s “Traveling Light” is one of three covers. Its airiness and coolness comes across in an attractive, nonchalant way. As does Jo’s voice throughout the whole set. The title track, co-written with French guitarist Greg Soussan, is a beautiful tale and shows Jo’s unerring style of telling a story both convincingly and poignantly. “Tears Of Joy When Your Life Begins…The Path Of A Tear Leads Me Back To Life”. Wonderful lyric. The late-night mood on “You’ll Never Be Lonely In Soho” matches the cogent ode to this bubbling part of London. She opens the song with the line “If I Lived Out In The Countryside, I Would Surely Lose My Mind”.

Leon Russell wrote the stunning pop song “If It Wasn’t For You”, suiting Jo’s voice perfectly. I really like “Too Close To The Sun”, which she co-wrote with pianist Paul Edis. Another song about love gone in the wrong direction. And when she finally finds love, it hurts. She tells that story on the deeply melancholic “Hurt” in a pretty intimate and sophisticated way. And she regrets all the loves she lost in Steve Earle’s “Goodbye”, a countryfied tune turned into a lament. But she stays optimistic on the album closer “Stay Here Tonight”: “Let’s Not Complicate This Because I Like You And I Know You Like Me…It Is What It Is”. Sometimes it’s that easy! No word yet about a vinyl version of the album, but maybe you can ask her yourself if she plans to put out “The Path Of A Tear” on LP at one of her tour stops:

6/30 Harrogate – Harrogate International Festival
7/04 London – Ronnie Scott’s
9/27 Gateshead – The Glasshouse
10/10 Wavendon – The Stables
10/12 Nottingham – Peggy’s Skylight
10/24 Walmer – The Lighthouse Deal


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