Jo Harman is not a familiar name on the blues scene at the moment but without doubt she will soon be a household name on the circuit. She is packing out shows in prestigious venues in London and recently did support onThe Average White Band tour by their request for her. Testament to her talent is the seasoned musicians that are willing to play in her band. All great kudos; for any newcomer to the blues scene, many artists take years to get to this stage. But as they say cream always floats to the top. Jo is now excited to be pursuing her own artistic direction.
Who were or are the artists you admire and do they influence your singing or performance?
It’s quite wide and varied – I enjoyed a lot of my parents music like The Beatles and Cat Stevens – and like a lot of singers my age, Lauren Hill and Jill Scott were big influences in teens, followed, inevitably, by Amy Winehouse. But overall the musicality of legends like; Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald and, in particular, Etta James have really informed my style. These days I’m increasingly drawn to Gospel singers plus I’m really enjoying discovering old school soul/blues artists like Millie Jackson and other classic male and female Memphis voices.
Jo Harman was this weekend announced as ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’ at the British Blues Awards. She was nominated as one of 6 nominated finalists by a wide ranging committee of industry experts which was then decided by public vote.