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Vocalist/Songwriter JO HARROP's "PATH OF A TEAR"

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    Posted: 23 May 2024 at 7:15am






JO HARROP - Path of a Tear cover

THE PATH OF A TEAR, the newest album by English singer and songwriter JO HARROP, is a bluesy, soulful outing featuring mostly original songs co-written by Harrop. THE PATH OF A TEAR is Harrop’s fourth album on London-based jazz label Lateralize Records and follows The Heart Wants (2022), which The Jazz Page called “an outstanding showcase of Harrop’s completely spectacular artistry.” The album hit #13 on the JazzWeek chart.

Harrop has firmly established herself as one of the most distinctive singer/songwriters in British jazz. Having signed to Lateralize Records, she recently made her US debut with shows at some of the most prestigious venues in the country, including Dizzy’s Club in New York (Jazz at Lincoln Center) and SFJAZZ in San Francisco.


Harrop crossed the pond to record the album in Los Angeles, teaming up with American music producer LARRY KLEIN (best-known for his groundbreaking work with a host of legendary artists, including Joni Mitchell, Madeleine Peyroux, and Herbie Hancock). THE PATH OF A TEAR features some of the finest jazz musicians in the world, including guitarist ANTHONY WILSON (Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux), drummer VICTOR INDRIZZO (Willie Nelson, Alanis Morissette), pianist and Hammond B3 player JIM COX (Leonard Cohen, B.B King), and DAVID PILTCH (Chet Baker, Art Pepper) and LARRY KLEIN on bass.


Klein became interested in Harrop when her music was passed to him by an American jazz publicist. “Working with Larry Klein was something that had only been a dream for me for a long time,” Harrop says. “With such a history of iconic albums under his belt, I was extremely excited but also slightly nervous to be collaborating with him. The first time we met, he immediately made everything seem easy and natural, and he was so complimentary about my voice and my songwriting.” Klein was taken with her singing the first time he heard it. He explains, “Jo is a natural talent. Her singing and songwriting come straight from her heart. This kind of honesty is what compels me most in art.”


THE PATH OF A TEAR comprises eight songs that Harrop co-wrote with different composers, as well as three covers chosen by Klein. Each song tells a story. Harrop writes about finding and losing love, about desire and longing, and about facing the truth, no matter how painful. She conveys worlds of emotion with her smoky, intimate voice.

She opens the album with her romantic original, “Beautiful Fools,” a gentle salute to all the people who wear their hearts on their sleeves and give themselves away. Harrop sings the blues on “Whiskey or the Truth,” a song about drinking a bottle of whiskey to temporarily numb the pain after discovering someone you love and trust has lied to you. Of course, in the end, the truth will always set us free, so what do you choose? Whisky or the truth? 

“A Love Like This” is a deep, dark, bluesy ballad sung by a woman who has been wronged but cannot let go. Harrop wrote the title song, “The Path of a Tear,” with her old friend, Greg Soussan, a French guitar player who named the song Le Chemin D’Une Larme (i.e., “The Path of a Tear”). It is a story about becoming lost and then found again, about grief and hope. Harrop says, “It’s very honest and came from a reflective place deep inside both of us when we sat down and wrote it together.”

Harrop wrote “You’ll Never be Lonely in Soho” about the neighborhood in London. She says, “Soho is one of my favorite places to write. It’s a home to artists, actors, musicians. It feels like a place where all the lonely and lost people come together to find, lose themselves, and then find themselves. It is a place where magic happens behind the doors of all the little clubs and the curious alleyways. The lyrics capture the atmosphere of this legendary part of London and some of the interesting characters I’ve encountered.” “Too Close to the Sun” refers to the myth of Icarus whose wax wings melted when he could not resist the temptation to fly too close to the sun. The song is about two lovers who could not resist the promise of pure love, so they took a risk and were punished for it, because sometimes love alone, no matter how strong, just isn’t enough.

“Hurt” is a melancholy song about a woman who keeps having bad luck with the men she falls for. Although it never works out, she can never resist love when it comes to call. “Stay Here Tonight” is a bonus track with an upbeat message about taking a chance on love with someone who promises to never hurt you.

Harrop also sings covers of songs by Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, and Steve Earle. Harrop loves the coolness of Cohen’s “Travelling Light,” which is about lightening your load by leaving a lover. “If It Wasn’t for Bad” was written by Russell and made famous by Elton John. The song is about being blind to everything that is wrong with a relationship. “Goodbye,” by Earle, has a country feel, and it is about regret over lost love.

Jo Harrop tells stories about the deepest places of the heart. Her smoky, sultry voice draws you in with its intimacy. Her voice conveys the bittersweetness and hope that is always there, right below the surface. Producer Larry Klein and the band of A-list players create the beautiful canvas for Harrop’s seductive, intimate voice.


About Jo Harrop

Jo Harrop was born and raised in a small town in Northeast England. Her parents felt that music was not a proper career, so she had to learn music by ear, listening to the likes of Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Aretha Franklin. The turning point in her life came when her father took her to see Tony Bennett when she was just a teenager. Harrop relates, “I was so moved and so inspired, I realized that I needed to sing. I wanted to be able to touch people with my music in the same way.”

Harrop chased her dream and moved to London where she started going to jam sessions and meeting musicians. It did not take long to establish herself as one of the most unmistakable voices on the British jazz scene. After releasing her debut LP, Weathering The Storm, Harrop burst into the spotlight with a pair of critically-acclaimed, award-winning albums, The Heart Wants and When Winter Turns To Spring, attracting widespread airplay and an eclectic array of highly respected admirers including Iggy Pop, Christian McBride and Chris Seefried.


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THE PATH OF A TEAR is set for release on CD in the USA on June 7, 2024 on Lateralize Records, and will be available everywhere.



Joharrop.comjoharrop.bandcamp.com, @ joharropmusic

www.youtube.com/c/JoHarrop and The Recording of The Path Of A Tear Video: https://youtu.be/k19Xui2Zv5A  


Edited by snobb - 23 May 2024 at 7:18am
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