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Radio legend Billy Pinnell will never forget it. He dropped
in to South Yarra's Hatter's Castle (now known as the Arcadia
Hotel) to see Peter Cupples. On stage was a young woman
singing Ain't No Sunshine. Billy was blown away. He found
out her name was Jo Jo Smith and she was singing every Saturday
night at the Town Hall Hotel in South Melbourne. Billy became
a regular at the residency. "He always requested that I
sing Easy by the Commodores," Jo Jo recalls. She also fondly
remembers the band, including Geoff Cox on drums. "Every
time he'd break a stick - and he broke a few - he'd toss
the broken one out the window. That always cracked me up."
Jo Jo grew up in Dunedin in New Zealand, but moved to Brisbane
in 1975. "I do consider myself an Aussie," she says, "but
I still barrack for the All Blacks." The first Aussie act
Jo Jo saw was the mighty Renée Geyer. She ended up touring
with Renée, who says: "Jo Jo has been an inspiration to
myself and many other musicians in Australia for many years.
She truly sings from the heart." Billy believes Jo Jo is
one of the finest soul singers he's ever heard (she's also
a pretty nifty drummer). Jo Jo has many fans - in fact,
fans funded her new album, Standing In The Lovelight, via
a Pozible campaign. "That was an amazing feeling knowing
I had such great support out there. I felt blessed and very
grateful." Jo Jo is launching the album at the Thornbury
Theatre on Friday (11 April). The title-track pays tribute
to the musicians Jo Jo has played with over the years. "It's
a feeling that you can't explain when you're standing in
the lovelight," she sings. Jo Jo has done many things in
her career - playing at Port Fairy Folk Festival, singing
the theme to the Aussie movie Blue Fire Lady and meeting
Stevie Wonder - but Standing In The Lovelight is just her
fourth solo album. "I suppose I do wish I'd made more albums,"
she admits, "but it doesn't eat away at me. Hopefully this
isn't the last."
Powderfinger announced their split four years ago today
(9 April). How soon before the reunion rumours start?
We knew nothing about 'em, except they featured drummer
Brett Wolfenden. And any band with the Wolfman will be good.
Rolloways were a perfect support for The Stems at the Northcote
Social Club. Three fine singers, including two gorgeous
girls and a guy who looks like Leo Sayer and Andrew Stockdale.
And, remarkably, the Rolloways sound is like a cosmic mix
of Leo and Wolfmother. This is potent psychedelic pop. Throw
in a cool guitarist and a bass player who looks like he's
stepped out of California in the '70s and you've got a band
to watch. Very tasty, indeed.
"The wind had stole our breath away, as sharp as a razored
knife" - Russell Morris, Van Diemen's Land.
5 Seconds Of Summer spend just one week on top.
She Looks So Perfect 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (number four)
High PEKING DUK (seven)
Chandelier SIA (10)
Loco JOEL FLETCHER FEATURING SEANY B (13, debut)
When You Were Mine TAYLOR HENDERSON (16)
Geronimo SHEPPARD (18)
Never Be The Same JESSICA MAUBOY (19)
Swing JOEL FLETCHER FEATURING SAVAGE (24)
Fancy IGGY AZALEA (28)
Get To Know You JAI WAETFORD (32, debut)
Whatever We Want HAVANA BROWN (35, debut)
INXS have their longest-running number one album, with their
best-of spending its sixth week on top.
The Very Best INXS (number one)
Flesh & Blood JOHN BUTLER (10)
Kiss Me Once KYLIE MINOGUE (11)
Photographs THE ASTON SHUFFLE (12, debut)
The Great Country Songbook TROY CASSAR-DALEY & ADAM HARVEY
NOW + EVA ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI (25, debut)
Hungry Ghost VIOLENT SOHO (26)
Taylor Henderson TAYLOR HENDERSON (30)
O Vertigo! KATE MILLER-HEIDKE (33)
Circus In The Sky BLISS N ESO (37)
Hot Potatoes! The Best of The Wiggles THE WIGGLES (39)
Standing In The Lovelight JO JO SMITH
West Coast SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR
Van Diemen's Land RUSSELL MORRIS
Let It Be Now THE ALTERNATIVE
Green Arrow FOUR HOURS SLEEP
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