Music review by 22/10/2013
Liverpool based singer-songwriter returns with four track
The follow-up to her December 2010 debut release, Cycle Grace Pulse Break,
Jo Bywater returns to the fray with a four-track EP Chasing Tails. A mainstay
of the city’s gig circuit, the Yorkshire-born, Liverpool based singer-songwriter,
is a veteran of scores of gigs on the city’s acoustic/folk music
Picking up where the album left off, the EP is a collection of close-miked
vignettes that puts Jo’s voice and acoustic guitar front and centre.
Released through SFD (Searching For Dandelions) Records after the self-released
DIY mini album, the EP is a more reflective affair than the Janis Joplin
blues vocal howl heard on the first album.
Curtain raiser ‘Chopping Wood’ sets the tone for what follows,
the unfussy, live sounding renditions making the most of the simple intimacy
of voice and guitar.
Armed only with an acoustic guitar, along with guest appearances on percussion,
flute and additional guitar, the only rhythm section present is the thump
of African drum, the cajon, on ‘Sun Shines Under Water’ and
‘This Garden’ third marks the highpoint of the set, a series
of bright acoustic arpeggios overlaid with a high-circling flute accompaniment.
Reviving memories of 1970s proggists Jethro Tull, currently undergoing
a revival thanks to much heralded UK band Wolf People, the track exits
at the interchange of folk, prog and blues rock that was hugely popular
at the onset of the seventies.
The crepuscular ‘Woollen Hearts’ closes the collection, showcasing
Jo’s dextrous guitar playing to full effect, a succession of gently
plucked chords interspersed with Delta Blues slide mo eminently suited
to the long-day’s close theme of the lyrics.