Joe Solo is a musician, writer, poet, activist, broadcaster and washing machine engineer from Scarborough. His musical odyssey began in 1987 fronting a bash-em-out band at school, and has seen him play seven countries either as lynchpin of pop-punk upstarts Lithium Joe or hammering out his unique brand of Folk, Punk and Blues in his own right.
On top of releasing fourteen albums since 2004, Solo has written books and had them written about him; runs a research project on the Hull Pals Battalions in the First World War; has worked with underprivileged children to help them write their lives in song; and still found time to open for the likes of Chris Wood, Attila the Stockbroker, Otis Gibbs, Robb Johnson, Edgar Broughton, TV Smith, Paul Simmonds, Justin Sullivan, Emily Portman, Pete Wylie, and The Blockheads; whilst his songs have been played by John Peel on Radio One, Mike Harding on Radio Two and Tom Robinson on BBC6Music.
In late 2014 he began fronting The Joe Solo Show, a weekly broadcast on Radio Scarborough from 10pm on a Monday night. The shows quickly gained some notoriety for not only their genre-hopping journeys through a century of recorded music, but for Solo’s commentary on current affairs which held nothing back.
In May 2015 Joe helped create WE SHALL OVERCOME, a movement pushing for a positive response to the poverty and hardship inflicted on ordinary people by the government’s austerity program. The first event took place over the weekend of October 2/3/4 2015 and comprised 250 gigs in 123 towns across 8 countries on 3 continents raising an estimated £125,000 in cash, food, clothing and bedding for those hardest hit. WSO scooped the People’s Choice gong at the annual Yorkshire Grassroots Music Awards on 16th October 2015, and on the back of his efforts The Morning Star named Solo ‘Human Being of the Year’.
This year saw Joe and The Hurriers front-man Tony Wright start work on the inaugural May Day Festival of Solidarity. The event, which brought together voices from music, poetry and politics to celebrate International Worker’s Day, took place in Barnsley on May 1st and a packed house saw stunning performances from artists as varied as Grace Petrie, Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers, Attila the Stockbroker, Lizzie Nunnery & Vidar Norheim and The Wakes. 2017’s event is in planning.
Live, Solo has a growing reputation as both a performer and raconteur, being both thought-provoking, comical and punch-the-air political often in the same breath. He is not an artist you forget in a hurry.
“….constantly sets a new bar for passion in performance.” – The Morning Star.
“The perfect protest singer.” – R2 Magazine.
” I was struck by the passion of his delivery combined with his sense of fun – a true entertainer in the very best sense of the word.”- FATEA.
“I heard this noise coming off the stage, I went WOW, whoever that is I’ve got to go and check him out and there was just this one man on the stage blowing up a storm with an acoustic guitar!” –Tom Robinson, BBC 6Music.