“Beautiful”, “Ethereal”, “Uplifting”, “Earthy”. Just a few of the responses to “Weaving the World”, Rick’s latest album made in collaboration with the multi talented Jo Jukes. This is Jo’s first musical recording: Rick’s part in it started out with help and advice but grew to a share in arrangements, mixing, instrumental performance and even vocals. There are still just a few copies of the CD available at £10, but the album is also available to stream and download from Bandcamp for £7 here.
The songs from the album had their first public performance in the welcoming and relaxed setting of “In Good Hands” in Frankwell, Shrewsbury on May 26th. The cafe was packed with old friends and regulars, many of whom had heard some of the songs in development while others were hearing them for the first time.
Rick and Jo seemed completely at home in performance together: Jo introducing the songs with snippets of the stories behind them and sharing the significance of the places that gave her inspiration.
The audience sat spellbound and there really was a magical quality to the atmosphere, with some songs drawing listeners into their stories and others setting heads nodding and feet tapping. Someone commented afterwards that it seemed incredible that there was such variety of sound and style from just two musicians and a limited range of acoustic instruments. Jo has been learning drumming from Rick and the two played together both on hand drums and, in a grand finale, on a home made set of tuned slates. Mostly though, Jo led with voice and guitar with Rick providing accompaniment on varied percussion instruments and zither.
Not only did the audience get to hear all the tracks from the new album but there were new songs too: clearly this is just the beginning! There are plans for more performances too, including Hermon Chapel in Oswestry on 20 October – watch this space, or follow suitablyrick.wilson or jukes.jo on Instagram, or either Rick or Jo on Facebook, for details.
Many thanks to Jason Smalley who contributed most of the photographs for this post.