Jo Potter picked up the musical bug at the age of three and has since become a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, award-winning flautist as well as a hack guitar and piano player. She has performed at many major events around the world, including the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Korea’s Elite Concert series in Korea, opening act for the GoGo’s in Miami Beach, and showcased at acclaimed venues around the US, such as The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, the Bluebird Café in Nashville, and the Bowery in New York City. Potter is currently promoting her self-produced, 12 track album, entitled “SAVED”. The songs here feel expertly honed, boiled down to their essence both lyrically and melodically. Potter is perfectly capable of assembling a song from nothing but honesty and wordplay.
Jo Potter overflows with coy cleverness, deploying her wit and emotion with precision on this album. These songs are almost like character studies, sometimes perceptive, mostly contemplative, and at others, spiked with just the right amount of love, joy and indulgence.
The album’s arrangements are mostly acoustically dominated, and their effect is one of surprising warmth and romance: “Saved” rides a slinky groove that ebbs and flows with guitar-strummed swells, “Give It To Me” radiates open-hearted asseveration, and harmony vocals cut their way through “Gravity” at just the right moments.
Most of the songs on “SAVED”, sound like pocket symphonies; they’re pop songs at heart, but infused with many diverse flavors, propulsive and hooky, and adorned with just the right bells and whistles, so as not to disturb Potter’s sultry-to-soaring vocals.
She’s sensually alluring on “In Time”, with an evocative Tori Amos twist in her voice. Something she repeats with elegance on the intimately graceful “So Beautiful”. She’s devastatingly captivating on the bluesy “Something”, one of the album’s absolute standout tracks.
Inspired by personal experiences and her penchant for compelling, open-hearted narratives, Jo Potter is an acute interpreter of the affairs of the heart. A skill she duly showcases on tracks such “Gravity” and “Still”, among others. Hence why her music is the perfect aural accompaniment for our own parallel tales of deep-seated love or fragile disillusionment. More the former than the latter, fortunately.
With her eloquence and grace, Jo Potter proves herself to be one of the more adept songwriters when it comes to externalizing the psychological and emotional circumstances – both in and out of love – that so many of us hold deep inside, for fear of exposing our vulnerabilities or pleasures. As in all good stories, every element in Potter’s songs work to support a single theme.
And just as re-reading those good stories reveals new layers of meaning, in “SAVED”, the interplay between melody, lyrics and production, rewards repeated listens with ever more intricate emotional textures. Observant, pertinent and profound, Jo Potter takes on relationship matters and feelings, and comes out smelling like a bright red rose on a dew-filled Sunday morning.
I’m quite surprised she hasn’t received the global notoriety she so thoroughly deserves, just yet. Jo Potter’s performances simply arouses every primal instinct known to man.