Jo Bywater: A Wave of Primal Hunger

by | Feb 10, 2014

The Review
Jo BywaterThere is music that comforts us in the cuddle of the known and the established… and there is music that keeps us at the edge of our seats, ready to take off at each release. Jo Bywater’s music belongs to the latter. Release after release, live or studio-recorded, this musician allows the listener to wallow in the incredible world that her unique blend of acoustic “Folk/Blues/Americana” offers. The requirements of a thirsty and creative mind transcends subsistence and Jo Bywater’s music contributes to quenching this “wave of primal hunger”. It takes integrity and openness to new musical adventures, within “creative reason”, to be such a singer-songwriter… and it is these assets that constantly kindle the eagerness to hear another one of this musician’s records. With a mind mixing creativity and philosophy in a match made in music heaven, Bywater plucks and strums and drums on her guitar and, introducing her distinctive vocals and subtly sharp lyricism, takes us along on an exceptional and varied troubadour’s journey across being human.

Jo Bywater in ten songs
Jo Bywater - Photo by Andrew Ab1. Wave The live performance of this song introduced me and hooked me to the wonder of Jo Bywater 2. Woollen Hearts The clever alternations of rhythms and intimate minimalist guitar-picked moments are so cleverly put together that one lets oneself go naturally from one to the other. There is such a subtle African-like delayed rhythmic (voluntary or not) that adds to the charm of this track and complements the beautiful lyrical imagery 3. Disclaimer Clever track that leaves a smile on the face once properly savoured 4. Chopping Wood the first single of her Fatea Award-winning 2013 EP is firmly rooted in Acoustic Blues infused track that sees the finger-picking guitarist become one in rhythmic and melody with her guitar – ah yes, a clever video too 5. Fast Ant There is so much spirit in the delivery of this song, very evocative of the cream of Blues musicians. Definitely ‘born a lion’ this one 😉 6. Sun shines under water has some hair lifting harmonies that makes us understand right there why she ‘likes to curl up’…  The whole ambiance created by the track gives a feeling of being confided to, especially where the singer mentions the title… 7. RICHES TO RAGS was Judges Award winner for Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge Nov 2014. The challenge was to select a piece of artwork on display at View Two Gallery Liverpool and write a song to accompany / express the artwork. This song did not just rise to the occasion, it is our very favourite song from Jo Bywater 8. This Garden This song takes us into the garden of her proverbial cocoon, another feeling here that Jo confides even more openly to her listener in her third EP sharing a touch of gratefulness for having a place to collect herself and remember who she is… 9. Smokescreen Confident (almost confessional) introspection laid on minimalist acoustic music background 10. Let go Great rhythmic, great guitar work, great variations in vocals, all made in Cycle Grace Pulse Break, Jo Bywater’s 2010 EP. A favourite.