Jo Bywater’s latest EP, Chasing Tales has been described as ‘delicious, laid back folk-tinged Americana’ and ‘unorthodox, uncompromising, simply brilliant’. Over the last few years she has been establishing her place in Blues, Americana, Folk and Roots music and has been compared to Janis Joplin, Alanis Morrissette and Ani Difranco.
In January 2014 Chasing Tales was voted winner of FATEA Awards ‘Best EP/Mini Album/Single of 2013′.
Jo has spent 2014/15 writing new material, collaborating with various artists and touring the UK. She is currently recording her second album due for release 2016/17. Updates to follow.
Yorkshire-born, Liverpool-based singer-songwriter Jo independently released her debut album ‘Cycle Grace Pulse Break’ in December 2010. It captures both the whispering gentleness and dynamic power of Jo’s expression. Bluesy and captivating. As a result of positive feedback from magazines such as Americana, R2, Blues Matters, Folk Radio UK and FATEA she has performed various sessions, a small selection of highlights being Songs from the Shed, Radio Merseyside, BBC Introducing (Dave Monks), BBC 6 Music – Tom Robinson Mixtape, Bob’s Folk Show and Roots & Fusion.
Jo has played extensively across the UK and is a familiar face on the Liverpool music scene. Past festivals include The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Beverley Folk Festival, Purbeck Folk Festival, Folkstock, London Folk and Roots Festival, Liverpool Music Week, Threshold Festival, International Pop Overthrow, Brighton, London, Liverpool and Manchester Prides, Hope Street Feast, Liverpool International Music Festival and London Vegan Festival.
Chasing Tales EP released Sept. 2013 is acoustic Blues slide guitar meets finger-picking brain food. Raw and finely-crafted beauty with a dark twist, soothed with harmonies, melodies and textured. A worth follow-up to its predecessor in creative growth. Guest performers are Andy Jones (Just by Chance) and Blythe Cooper. Mastered by Russell Cottier (Parr St. Studio). Released in collaboration with Searching For Dandelions Label/Collective.
Jo cut her teeth as a lead guitarist performing in a variety of bands/duos/solo projects: Covers and Originals. From acoustic blues to 80′s and most things inbetween. She has played electric and acoustic, lead and rhythm guitar with a number of original artists as well as performing for their studio recordings and International tours. Her influences, though widely spun, have defined and quenched roots in alternative rock, blues and folk-rock. She has also been involved as a co-organiser in various events over the last few years, including Big Her Night, a charity evening to celebrate International Womens Day and Rock the Lane.
Jo is also a painter and graphic designer. Click to see more artwork.
Album Review Quotes
‘Respect to Jo for bringing that something new and different to the Listening Post and for her original quirky song format bringing a twist on the genre. Well done’. – Fresh on The Net.
‘Jo Bywater’s four track disc serves as a noble entry to highlight her potential as an upcoming folk-blues mistress’. – Blues Matters
‘Strident, dark and powerful throughout it whets the appetite for more’ – R2
‘delicious, laid-back piece of blues inspired, folk-tinged Americana that slides effortlessly from soft expectation to hard-edged understanding. There’s a great deal to Jo and her music. This EP, although really only a taster, serves to showcase an exceptional talent. This lady can craft a tune, no doubt about it. ‘ – Folkwords
‘Unorthodox, uncompromising, simply brilliant..purely on the evidence of this latest EP, Jo is an absolutely extraordinary talent – as singer, a darned accomplished stylist with an unusual voice, and as a guitarist pretty phenomenal too’ – FATEA
‘..an excellent musician and most engaging performer..’
‘..showcases Jo’s emergence as a fine finger-picker and slide player who is capable of building a great deal of drama and soulful expression into her arrangements. It is a fine recording which most certainly leaves you wanting more’ – Liverpool Acoustic
‘an ear for the rhythmic and an ability to place words in such a way that the guitar is more than an instrument to her, it is more like a confidant, a co-conspirator in her music and Chasing Tales once exemplifies this confident and genuinely very cool woman’s ability.’ – Liverpool Sound & Vision
‘Jo Bywater seems to flit very comfortably between Nick Drake-esque pastoral, Polly Harvey’s gritty blues and the odd shade of Nirvana Unplugged – Americana UK
‘Bywater plays a funky, acoustic, alternative blues like no music you’ve heard before. Her style is one of organic, creative exploration as she looks inside and outside herself equally deeply for inspiration’ – R2
‘Lyrical witticism and emotional range of voice, combined with some slick strum ‘n’ bass guitar bashing – bristling blues and folk riffs that suddenly withdraw, weaving raw honesty with a flirtatious, dark twang’ – Seven Streets
’we develop, quite effortlessly it has to be said, a kinship with the music… it provides many pleasurable listening hours once you locate the repeat button’ – Northern Sky
‘Honest, gritty, tell-it-all sound that evokes the spirit of any number of blues guitarists such as Kelly Joe Phelps or P.J. Harvey’s now occasional musical roar and singer songwriters such as the innovative touches reminiscent of early Ani DiFranco..’ – Nerve
‘Jo’s musicianship and song-writing ability is outstanding!! – Tiltshift Music
‘Lovely and unsettling at the same time’ – Americana UK
‘A notable musical phenomenon that has newly appeared on the scene’ Folk Radio UK
‘A hard edged, fiesty collection of guitar driven songs. She seems to be an artist of boundless enthusiam and no mean talent. Raw and dirty around the edges, troubadour blues… that at times look like they are seeking to simply go out there and kick your head in, juxtaposition with a more compassionate, more reflective attitude’ FATEA
‘The songs expose her empathy with bluesy folk-tunes and portray the singer as a mature artist who knows her flaws and virtues yet knows how to play to the gallery’ Folk Radio UK
‘An album of incredible maturity that deserves to be visited and enjoyed no matter how late or by what means you come to this very talented woman’ – Liverpool Student Media