Friday, November 3rd, 2017
The wind is cold and the white stuff has found me. I despise winters in Alberta, truly, madly, deeply despise them. I have lived here for most of my life, but one does not simply get "used" to freezing to death for six month out of the year, EVERY YEAR... How and ever, I am feeling pretty good about this coming winter. We have a focus, I can see some light. We are changing. We are taking a new shape. I feel like shaving my head, shedding my skin, burning everything down and growing from a seed once again...Jo-Jo O' & The WOODS are RE CALIBRATING.
This has been a busy and emotionally exhausting year for us. We have had the privilege of meeting such wonderful artists from all over the world, we played in some fabulous venues for some tremendous audiences, and we have had such a great time doing it. That being said, we have also lost some friends, had horrible experiences with other artists, in dreadful venues and seen the ugly under belly of this fickle industry. Life has certainly taught us a thing or two, and we are trying to learn the lessons.
This winter we wrap up our long awaited sophomore releases, NEW music is headed your way in the NEW Year and we couldn't be more excited about it!! In these coming months you will be hearing A LOT more from us, and seeing A LOT less of us. We are really excited about the future and what this winter will mean for us. We have really worked our asses off, since the inception of Jo-Jo O' & The WOODS we have played over 200 shows in 5 different countries, written what feels like a million songs and left our hearts and souls out on the stage every single night.
I sing my tits off EVERY time that microphone is in my hand and it's due time for a change of pace.
Saturday, October 28th we were honoured to have been invited to perform at The Lacombe & District Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala, and it was the last time that Jo-Jo O' & The WOODS will be performing until further notice!
We want to thank EVERYONE who has supported us up to this point. Special Thank Yous to our LIVE band here in Canada, Mr. Nich Davies & Kurtis Cockerill for joining us in the studio and out there on stage this past year, it has been so fun seeing our songs come to life through you both. Thank you to our friends at Venues at home and abroad for your continued support; Cafe BlackBird (Edmonton), Bo's Bar & Grill (Red Deer), Darkey Kelly's (Ireland), The Drift Inn (Ireland), The Homeplace (Lacombe), Rod and Larissa Ince (House Concert, Lacombe), Bull Skit Comedy (Red Deer), BlindMand Brewing (Lacombe) & The Great City of Lacombe!
Thank you to our VERY special friends Mick Brady (Dublin), Tony Floyd Kenna (Dublin), Ronnie Purvis (Belfast) Maria Castalla & Josep Homs (Barcelona) for hosting us, help booking us, and taking us under your big, friendly wings. We are forever grateful.
Thank you to ALL the fine folks who've come out to our shows, bought our music, t-shirts and merch, sang along with me and inspire us to continue doing what we love!!
We will be back on stage VERY SOON, bigger, better, badder and BALLSIER than ever. (Side Note: Ballsier is actually a real word - I looked it up.)
On a Sad Note...This year we lost some very dear furry loved ones and we wanted to take a moment to share a bit of their little lives with you.
The Majestic Shiraz stood about 16.5 hands tall and she must have weighed more than my car. She stole our hearts from the beginning with her dreamy, silver, speckled coat. Though Shiraz was terrified of my jewelry, hats, bell sleeves and general "Jo-Jo-Ness", she was always a good sport, starring in our 'Old Friends' Music Video and several of our band promo photography. Shiraz was an ethereal beauty; The Last Unicorn. She was well loved and we are honoured to have her immortalized in some of our work. LONG LIVE THE GREY. Rest in Peace old girl.
Our beloved Fur-Nephew Guinness, The Golden Irish Wheaten Terrier, passed away while we were finishing up the last leg of our tour in Catalonia. Guinness was unlike any other, a real life Prince Charming and fierce protector. The first time I met that little fur ball he peed all over my feet and tried to ride on my head... He proceeded to do this EVERY TIME I would see him for the rest of his little life. As inconvenient as getting peed on was, there was something so very special about how he saved up all that extra lovin' just for me. Guinness will be sorely missed by all who knew & loved him, my feet will remain cold & dry, and there will be a Guinness shaped hole in our hearts. Thank you for all the memories kid.
We'll be Thinking of You Often. Loving You Forever, Remembering You For Always.
Be Kind & Take Care of Each other.
We'll be seeing you.
Love, Jo-Jo O' X
April 4, 2017
As I sit here propped up in my bed, sick as a dog with one of my most guiltiest pleasures nattering in the background (Pretty Little Liars... I just can't get enough, it's a sickness, NETFLIX has taken over my existence.) I am feeling a little strange... We had to cancel our show at The Homeplace this past Saturday due to band illness, aka, Jo-Jo illness, aka... If I didn't know any better I would think I was dying illness. I brought back a husky little cough from our BLEED GREEN 2017 Tour of Ireland & Northern Ireland, and in the first 3 days home it unraveled rapidly into Bronchitis & Laryngitis, I couldn't speak, definitely no singing, I was unable to stand longer than a few minutes and I got winded just trying to make it up the stairs to pee.
It has been two years that we have made our way in this world by writing and performing our music, this was the first time we have ever had to cancel a gig. I am feeling a little defeated without my voice, it's my super power, the one thing I can always rely on. It really makes me realize how I have to take better care of myself, this is all I've got, there is no back up plan, if I can't sing, I can't work, If I can't work, I'm in trouble- Not to mention I am liable to go fucking crazy. So- I hereby declare, I am going to take better care of Jo-Jo, she's a real high maintenance bitch, but if anyone can take her on, it's certainly me.
CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK!!
April 21st is the day! Our showcase is at 11:00pm at The Paddock Tavern, 178 Bathurst Street, Toronto's oldest speakeasy, an ideal venue for our duo show, as we are going to CMW stag. Calling all our Toronto buds! Come out to say hello & have a pint or FOUR with us like old times!!! How we've missed you ALL!!!
Tickets available at the DOOR! OR @ : https://cmw.net/music/shows/cmw-showcase-29/
We didn't get as much writing done in Ireland as we had hoped, but that's generally how our life goes! You gotta hand it to me though- I'm a serious optimist despite my dark, gloomy & thorned exterior. Full length album coming along slowly but surely... We really appreciated trying out all the new material on the wonderful Irish audiences!
BLEED GREEN 2017 SPRING TOUR- RECAP!!
We had such an incredible time on tour last month, we are so humbled and blessed to have the opportunities we have had, both professionally and personally. To all of our friends & family in Ireland, we THANK YOU from the very bottom of our black hearts, you've made our lives a little fuller and our hearts a little bigger. We are forever grateful to you and for all that you continue to do for us. ALL THE LOVE from one of your little green exports. Bleed. Green.
QUANTUM TANGLE WINS JUNO FOR INDIGENOUS ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!
We want to SCREAM IT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS!!!! CONGRATULATIONS to our dear friend Tiffany Ayalik & her partner in crime Grey Gritt of Quantum Tangle on your first JUNO WIN!! We are so proud of you both & we're sending you all of our LOVE!! So well deserved... THE HUSTLE IS REAL and no one knows it better than you!! And to think just 9 short years ago we we're in theatre class together at Red Deer College, interpretive dancing I'm sure, trying to sort out just what kind of artists we were going to be... I am elated for you Tiffy-Toes!!
Do yourselves a favour and take a listen to Quantum Tangle's
Juno Award Winning Album, Tiny Hands! Support your artists!!
We really mean business this year, so we will be everywhere.
Keep your eyes peeled & ears perked ...
We'll be seein' you & you'll be hearing from us.
Jo-Jo O' X
So, by now you've all probably realized how bad we are at keeping up on this whole "blog thing"...
THE NEW ALBUM
We've had a pretty wild winter, time seems to slip through my little fingers... We were really hoping to have our Album completed by now, but apparently this is NOT the case. Which breaks my heart a little... there was reasons for this delay, some that are beyond my little human brain comprehension but ALL in due time... I have always had the bad habit of rushing... rushing through everything, I like results, I like to check things off of my list... The Universe might be trying to teach me a lesson here (and I'm not an easy one to teach) - I am not in control of everything, there are some things you can't rush... everything is unfolding as it should...I am exactly where I am meant to be...
Let's go with that so I don't unravel into a fiery mess and start stabbing people!
February 8, 2017
BLEED GREEN Spring 2017!!
Our sails are set back east to revisit our favourite little Island, we have released some dates for our BLEED GREEN Spring 2017 Tour and we are elated to return to our little home away from home- though...it's going to be very weird to be back in Ireland and not get to go back to our frighteningly small Ranelagh apartment... I liked it there (after I got over my daily claustrophobic panic attacks)... even the mold growing on the ceiling grew on me.
CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK 2017!!
We are really excited to announce that we have been selected to perform as part of Canadian Music Week in Toronto in April! Which makes for a very exciting and nostalgic Spring for us...We also had an unimaginably small apartment in Toronto, with a fire escape I fashioned into a bit of a deck, I spent many nights awake looking at the city lights from Gladstone & Dundas, thinking big thoughts and dreaming big dreams. It's crazy how everywhere you live you leave a little piece of yourself behind, how you'll never really be "home" again because your home is everywhere you've been. I'm really looking forward to some city nights in our old stomping grounds with some old friends.
As we are preparing for our upcoming tours, I am finding myself on a bit of a shopping spree, so being an independent artist basically translates to NO SHOPPING SPREES EVER... so I'm trying to work that one out but DAMN IT - I'm pretty sure I NEEDED those new sunglasses and those Jeffree Star Liquid Lipsticks.... Can't keep the fabulous down.
All The Love & Lipstick,
August 8, 2016
A quick moment before our set at WOODSTOCK 2016, Trestle Creek Resort, Entwistle AB.
The Spring has blown past, the Summer waning... you can feel the autumn in the early morning air... Life is a whirlwind. I suppose that is because I want it to be. I like to be busy. I like to create. I like to be swallowed whole by whatever it is that I am doing... for all my failings and issues in life; Commitment certainly is NOT among them.
We arrived home from Ireland in April. I must say, as happy as I am to be surrounded by my family, to see my nieces and nephews growing like little weeds and reconnecting with everyone I love...At night I am dreaming of green and missing Ireland and all that it gives to my soul. We are certainly missing our Tuesday nights at Darkey Kelly's with all the usual suspects, the Darkey's boys, the wonderful international crowds, the beer and the MUSIC!! We found a little magic in that wee pub on Fishamble... looking forward to playing music and having a pint or four with our dear friends someday soon.
We have been fortunate enough to be the recipients of a $10,000 dollar TELUS STORYHIVE small town music video grant!!! We spent May preparing and most of June bringing to life the music video for our song 'Old Friends'. An ALL consuming experience for sure; from the auditioning process, to the technical difficulties, a horse training crew of three fabulous women, (one who nearly lost her thumb to the big black gelding...) Hungry children getting eaten by hungry red ants, (that one’s on me guys... I should have brought bug spray) Dealing with daily thunderstorms - weather that was determined to ruin our video. And silicone nipple covers that don't match your skin tone...(this one I did not see coming...) I love making videos, I can't write a song without accidentally planning the video, and full length feature film, plus the prequel and sequel... it’s an on-going issue. I've always been trapped between the crossovers of so many artistic worlds, never able to choose just one, because I am not just one. So, getting the opportunity to kind of go-to-town on this video and wear so many different hats - so to speak; was a bit of a dream come true. We cast 28 children from Lacombe and area to appear in our video, in the auditioning process we asked them a series of questions, and their answers became their characters. The whole concept of 'Old Friends' was to bring to life the idea of BEING your dreams and not just dreaming them. Conquering your fears of failure. As children we have this un-penetrable belief in ourselves... and in our personal experience this fades as you get older... and what a shame that is! When we really need that oblivious self love - it is gone, the world beat it out of us. As artists, we are forever in search of this inner child, starving to rediscover that little person who couldn't see the rules, who believed anything was possible. It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by such wonderful kids, and we are honoured to have all 28 of these little people as a part of our story. Thank you, to each and everyone one of you little gems!!
On Saturday, July 30th we had the opportunity to perform as Janis Joplin & The Kozmic Blues Band at 'WOODSTOCK- One night of Peace & Love' at The Trestle Creek Resort near Entwistle, AB. I feel the elusive Little Girl Blue has been slinking around my music career since the very first time I opened my mouth to sing; A junior high talent show, I was 14 years old. An old man (or so he seemed to me at the time) came up to me after, shook my hand and said "I haven't heard a voice like that since Woodstock, 1969"... I never figured out who this man was, somebody's dad? Somebody's granddad? And I never understood what he meant at the time, but I did know that name, 'Miss Janis Joplin'...Every time I would sing afterwards - this would be a reoccurring interaction with the people of her generation, for whatever reason her people find her in me, and I'm pretty sure I have nothing to do with it. Here we are 13 years later, I am 27, the same age Janis was when we lost her... some sort of carrying on of the torch, I'd like to think I did her justice, sent Janis my best. My childhood cohort, Darian Flinn, who secretly signed me up for that talent show in grade 9, made me my Janis blouse and vest. I ordered my tie die bellbottoms from Made for Pearl, Janis Joplin's nieces clothing line.... Talk about a full circle moment. Honoured to be compared to this larger than life woman. Humbled to have had the opportunity to play her for one groovy evening.
We are spending the rest of our summer finishing up the writing of our full length album, we are getting there... She is starting to take shape, we are VERY excited to share this beast with the world. Ears to the ground...
Peace & Love
March 1, 2016
Recording Demos at Linsfort Music, Dublin.
We are so relieved to have FINALLY filmed and released our video for 'Oh! Brother'!!!… Of course it was my genius idea to film outside... in the winter… in Ireland… So, obviously, we had been rained out for 14 straight weeks! However, we are not only so very pleased with our new music video, but so thankful for the wonderful work of Mr. Paul Heary of Irish Video Design. His neurotic attention to detail can only rival my own, and for that I am grateful :-) If you are on this island and require a video of any kind, Paul is your man. We were lucky enough to film in the breathtaking scapes of Glendalough Valley, Co. Wicklow (…not too far now from where my brother from another mother, Hozier is from…Yes, I am still convinced I will cross paths with my tall, musical and majestic Irish soul mate and we WILL sing sweet songs into each other’s ears...) If you haven't watched our video yet, YOU MUST, if only for the beautiful scenery.
Plans for our next video? Obviously already in motion… no rest for the wicked.
'Oh! Brother' Music Video Link:
Paul Heary Contact:
086 389 2884
We are well into the writing of our next Full Length Album, due to be recorded in the fall… released sometime after that. (Spring 2017 we reckon) Demo recording has also begun, we have been so fortunate to have been allowed to invade the studio (and wine cello, Sláinte Mick!) at Linsfort Music Studios, here in Dublin. Writing means I no longer sleep. It is an endless cycle of too many ideas - CAN'T sleep, won't sleep, NEED to sleep, wish I could sleep! Might as well start cleaning...Might as well try on all my clothes and paint my face!… Might as well glue all of my fake eyelashes on at once! (For the record, fucking fabulous. There's no such thing as too many lashes.) Then - I look over and see sweet little Rylan, always sleeping like a baby. This is when the fantasizing begins; The fantasy of smothering Rylan with a pillow while he sleeps out of some sort of a "sleep-deprived-sleep-jealous" rage!!! But I don't. And that’s true love kids.
What else is new…? Rylan's sister Lhea and her husband Colin welcomed into the world a beautiful and healthy bouncing baby girl!! Her name is Tabitha Faith and Rylan is still beaming with pride. So - between the two of us that makes 8 nieces and 8 nephews!! …don't tell our siblings but… this is getting completely out of hand!
We are proud to announce that Jo-Jo O' & The WOODS have been invited to perform on the Dublin stage for the 12th annual, Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival in Belfast, on March 3rd. We are looking forward to sharing the stage with our friends, Tony Floyd Kenna, Rhiannah Warm, Mick Brady and Chris Burke!! (See Gigs for the full schedule.) We are starting to feel right at home up in the north!! Then - Look out Donegal…we are headed your way!!! You can catch us two nights, and two nights only at The Drift Inn in Buncrana, Co. Donegal… we're mostly going for the scenery, but we figured we'll play a few tunes while we were in town. After our stints in Northern Ireland and Donegal, we can be found celebrating St. Paddy's Day in The Fair City herself. Life is good. But much work to be done… I'm starting to feel the tingling of the warm western breeze blowing us back to The Great White North…More News to come!!
November 12, 2015
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
Samhain has arrived here in Ireland in all of its copper and golden, glory! This is my favourite time of year, and its not due to the arrival of all things pumpkin spice… though, I will not lie… similar to most basic white girls, I love me a pumpkin spiced latte! ;) I feel very alive in autumn, inspired, renewed. This is a time for change, for reinvention, time to cut yourself free from what no longer serve you. We are midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice, also known as the 'Reign of Scorpio'… so as an overly aggressive and proud November baby on a mission…(who is fast approaching the end of her twenties…) get out of my way BITCHES, I've got shit to do!
These last couple of weeks we have dove into writing some new material, and what a hardship being creative can be. Some days you think "man I'm good at this shit!" and the next your own creation turns on you!! And you think maybe you should just do yourself and the rest of the world a favour and just NOT. Thats the beauty of creativity though isn't it? It forces us to grow or to give up. Music is a real bitch too because it doesn't really exist… you can't touch it, you can't see it, you can't possess it, you only hear it and feel it. (...Its like the "CLOUD" WTF is the CLOUD?? …I'll spare you my cloud rant…)
Our adventure across the Atlantic to this beautiful rainy rock has been both trying and incredible rewarding. Since our last post we have driven from one side of this country to the other, and then back again - And then, we did it all again! We have yet to see the north, but we have some 'plans' in motion… Northern Ireland, we're coming for you. ;) I am so moved by this country, this culture, these people, this history. I have come to be a part of it, and to soak in every little piece of Ireland that I can…its beauty, its music, it's language. I struggle to find the words to describe the infinite, and savage beauty that is Ireland. But I am in awe of its greatness, and I am proud to be the daughter of one of Her exports.
We have many great opportunities coming up in and outside of Ireland, And we are VERY excited about this coming year...most of them are in their infancy and cannot be discussed at this point… BUT, I will tell you this, I am exhausted just thinking about it all!!
What we can say for sure is that Jo-Jo O' & The WOODS is going to be featured in the November/December issue of EQUAL Fashion Magazine!! We are beyond thrilled to be a part of this, EQUAL is a hybrid read of Fashion, Art, Photography, Music, Culture and The Alternative lifestyle. EQUAL has many hardworking and beautiful people behind it, so do yourselves a favour, check it out, and get inspired.
We are also pretty pumped to announce that at the end of the month we are filming a new music video with a wonderful film maker we have found, Mr. Paul Heary… looking forward to sharing it with yous, hopefully before Christmas. Keep an eye out for this one… pictures to follow, I'm sure.
I will sign off for now, we have much work to do and I'm dying to beat this song out of my head… its been haunting me… we will get it right this time, I swear.
Love, from Jo-Jo
August 30, 2015
O'Donoghue's, Merrion Row
With the release of our EP 'Old Friends & Lost Souls' we have seen it being purchased and streamed in over 40 countries around the world! Its crazy… you know, when you're siting down on your bed and scribbling some lines, and humming a little tune... you never imagine that your music might actually be heard!… Not to mention by just anyone, who just happens to stumble across it "online"... The Internet is witchcraft I tell you! What a crazy time to be an artist.
We have settled in quite nicely here in Dublin, Ireland, our little home away from home. I finally got to play at O'Donoghues of Suffolk Street, and I even sang a few tunes at O'Donoghue's on Merrion Row as well… needless to say, this has been a childhood dream of mine coming true! Though I am saddened to report, that there is in fact, NO "O'Donoghue Discount"...at either pubs, though I feel there really should be…
We have had the absolute pleasure of meeting and sharing the stage with some incredible and passionate Irish acts; Luke S, Tony Floyd Kenna, Shane Faughnan, Bryan Walsh and Christian Collins, to only name a few. I'm feeling very smart and rather pleased with myself for following my little heart all the way across the ocean.
…Until next time, Slán!
12:33 am...April 15, 2015
This EP was a work of heart. Blood. Sweat. Tears. And a very long time coming at that. Bursting at the seams with the desire to record our newest and most organic material, there were these old songs that we just didn't feel right about leaving behind. This is 'Old Friends & Lost Souls'. These six songs are the epitome of our journey over the last six years to our musical identity, and fragments of our struggle as artists trying to find our way, without forgetting our beginnings. This EP is an ode to the children we were. It is only with a child-like faith, that anything grand is accomplished, and that is what we are fighting to hold on to. These songs survived our relentless self hatred, artistic inadequacies and musical growing pains. And although there is still much work ahead of us, and though I always hate everything I create, I think for the first time it is safe to say we are proud of this small victory. We dedicate these songs to those who started the fight, to the kids who believed there was more, those who are still fighting, those still wandering, and those whose hearts belong to the night.
To Old Friends and Lost Souls.