My name is Jo and I am the lead singer with Mary Jane. I joined the band in 1993 and I have witnessed the ever changing lineup and all the highlights of our now quite long career. When the band began, I just played guitar and sang, but over the last few years it has been my pleasure to learn many instruments which I now use in varying proportions in our music. I play the penny whistles, which are traditionally used in Irish music, concert flute, and clarinet. I am lucky enough to have some wooden recorders which I use on stage and in recording, many people are often quite shocked that recorder can sound so nice with its primary school connertations, but I think it adds a lovely medieval sound to the tracks that it is on. I also play violin to a very basic standard, but what the hell, I enjoy it and apparently it no longer sounds like an unhappy cat!
I started off my infatuation with all things musical at an early age. My mum is a folk singer and performed all around Southampton as a student in the 1960's. As a child she taught me loads of trasditional songs, some of which have become Mary Jane numbers and some I still sing with her alone as a duo. Paul and I are going to be taking her into a recording studio soon, to capture some of her lovely songs and arrangements as a present to her and a favour returned; she was the first person to take an interest in the band and paid for out first demo recording, the rest as they say is history.
My music loves are extremely varied. They started with my mums songs and then branched out in all directions, coming to rest on all things psychedelic. I began with the Rolling Stones, moved on to Led Zeppelin and accross the waves for Jefferson Airplane with many wonderful things in between. I have an almost religious love of Roy Harper, named in song on Led Zeppelin 3. I really enjoy listening to his topical debates and his enquiring if sometimes rambling mind. If I feel down my therapy is a song called "Me and my woman", it's lyrics and melody move me in a way that I cannot describe, better than any pill in my book.
Lastly, here I am performing with the band...my favourite place of all!
Lentils and Galactic phenomenon