BY KALISHA MENDONSA
Lacombe-grown duo Jo-Jo O’ & the Woods are celebrating their latest EP with a vinyl release party this weekend at Bo’s Bar and Grill in Red Deer.
The duo, made up of Jo-Jo O’Donoghue and Rylan Woods, have been working hard and are incredibly happy to be releasing their EP Old Friends and Lost Souls. The Dec. 18th event begins at 8 p.m. and features special guests The Velvet Cupcakes & the Stud Muffins. As well, a burlesque troupe will be hitting the stage during the variety event and even a comedy show will be on hand to kick the night off.
O’Donaghue said this show is a welcome change for the duo, as it will be the first time they will perform with a full, live band.
“This album is a lot more rock and roll. Our last EP was written with the intention of being played acoustically. We knew it would only by Rylan and myself touring and we knew it’s almost impossible to produce a big rock and roll sound with two people,” she said.
“We wrote songs that would translate well acoustically, but this next album and the EP has been written for a full band. The full album will be a much bigger sound, and I’m really excited about it. This is more ‘us’.”
There will be a selection of new tunes played at the show, with some from the EP and a few interesting covers, according to O’Donoghue.
O’Donoghue’s powerhouse voice will be accompanied by Woods’ talented guitar playing skills, and the two will be joined by Kurtis Cockerill, an Edmonton-based musician on bass and Lacombe local Nich Davies on drums, with help on various additional instruments.
This is the same line-up of musicians who came together on the EP and who will continue to build the sound of the new full-length album.
She said this opportunity to play with a full band is very exciting for herself and Woods, and they are looking forward to sharing this bigger sound.
She added that with the addition of the burlesque dancers, the comedic duo and opening bands, guests will be very entertained with a show they may not have been expecting.
Over the past few months, O’Donoghue and Woods have been working to finalize their upcoming full-length debut album. O’Donoghue says the album is going to be able to show off a “more authentic” version of their music and their musical vision.
“We had tons of songs written before we left, and the EP is a selection of older songs but the full-length album will be all new music, a lot of which was written in Ireland,” O’Donaghue explained.
“All of this music was really written over the last year and has been worked on for the past few months.”
While in Ireland, the duo was mostly based out of Dublin, where they scored a residency at a pub called Darkey Kelly’s. According to O’Donoghue, it is the number one pub advertised on sites such as TripAdvisor, nestled in the heart of medieval Dublin.
“We usually kind of keep to ourselves so it was a great experience to be part of the musical community in Ireland. It’s so musical and empowering and wonderful over there,” O’Donoghue said, reflecting on their days spent across the ocean.
“It was amazing to be part of the local singer/songwriter scene there.”
The duo were brought into the Dublin Musician and Songwriter’s Collective, an experience to not be forgotten any time soon.
Currently, O’Donoghue and Woods are back in their Lacombe home, working diligently on the recording and production of their new album.
Tickets to the show can be purchased from Bo’s Bar and Grill, online at ticketfly.com, the band members themselves (contact Jo-Jo O’ and the Woods on facebook) or at the Consignment Wearhouse in Lacombe.