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Jo Philby


“A singer whose passion for song lies in the Irish and English traditions. Jo has a skilful way of holding an audience spellbound as she weaves tales with her pure vocal style.”
Mike Fairbairn - musician

Jo grew up in the south of England and ever since she can remember she heard folk music around her. She was encouraged to play music at school and learnt to play classical flute. For many years her family holiday was spent at 'Sidmouth Folk Festival', so she was exposed to varied folk music at a young age. It wasn't until her late twenties that she developed a love for traditional Irish music after meeting Roger and friends, Sara and Les Daniels. Through this meeting Jo was encouraged to sing. They went to many Irish sessions together and she sang regularly at the 'Anchor Folk Club' in Byfleet, where her confidence grew. Jo & Roger moved to Orkney in 2002 and Jo has grown as a performer since then, regularly appearing at the Orkney Folk Festival as well as numerous community events and concerts around the islands. People respond to Jo's pure vocal style and enjoy the tales she tells through her evocative songs. Having begun as unaccompanied singer she is accompanied now by a fine selection of local musicians. Jo has recorded two songs since moving to Orkney, 'The Constant Lovers' on 'Orkney Sessions' & 'Teddy O'Neil' - 'Orkney Folk' CD for the 25th Orkney Folk Festival.

“Her fine song selection shows how an unaccompanied set can have new life and vibrancy.”

Jo recorded & produced her debut CD 'Saltwater & Stone', which is a collection of songs she has been singing over the last 13 years. It ranges from the very first traditional song learnt ‘Do You Love an Apple?’ & includes songs from some of her favourite singer/songwriters including Emily Smith, Kate Rusby, Karine Polwart… Although mainly an unaccompanied singer an eclectic mix of some of Orkney's finest musicians are accompanying Jo for this recording. 'Saltwater & Stone' was launched at the 2009 Orkney Folk Festival.

You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.




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