Rhythms Magazine Review:
"JoJo Smith is a true soul singer. She sings soul music. She sings with and through her soul. Continuing to make music under her own steam (and terms), Smith turned to crowdfunding for the first time in order to complete her latest album, Standing In The Lovelight. Her Pozible campaign enabled her to pay Jim Kelly to engineer the record, and to secure a crack band including Kelly, Greg Lyon, Dave Sanders and Steve Russell.
For those who have witnessed the guts and passion of Smith’s performances, Standing In The Lovelight is a far more considered and produced affair in comparison; a true studio album. Indeed, as the articulate and restrained funk of ’20 Hail Marys’ slinks through the speakers, you can’t help but be reminded of those studio gurus Steely Dan.
Though Smith has an almighty weapon in her voice, she reserves its power, striking only when necessary. She clearly enjoys being able to explore its gentler ranges in the studio. Her version of Donny Hathaway’s ‘Someday We’ll All Be Free’ here for evidence of that range.
The four cover songs chosen for this record – Sting’s ‘Fragile’, Daniel Lanois’ ‘The Maker’ and The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’ on top of the Hathaway song – demonstrate the diversity of Smith’s tastes. And also her uncanny ability to make a song her own – the darker blues drive on ‘Blackbird’ is particularly striking.
Smith’s own material ruminates on love and mortality, her uplifting ‘This Is All There Is’ particularly revealing of her own positive attitude to life."
Martin Jones, Rythms Magazine
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© Jo Jo Smith 2018