‘These Are My People’ now has a fantastic animated lyric video created by Lodge Productions.
Originally written as a unity anthem for 2022’s ‘Never Let Them Win’ album, the song has really come to life with live performances, and I felt it deserved a second shout at reaching out to hearts and minds in our bitterly divided country.
You can watch it here:
It is brought to life by the combination of Carol Hodge on piano, Rebekah Findlay on violin/viola, and a chorus featuring Jess Silk, Matt Hill, Daniel Lucas, Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds, Johnny Campbell and Mark Whyatt and Kirsty Rowan from Commoners Choir.
April was dominated by the now familiar blend of perseverance and panic that comes with organising May Day Festival Of Solidarity, so the last few weeks have passed in a blur; but here’s the best of what I can remember…..
On April 7th, ‘Answer Machine’, the first new Lithium Joe song in 22 years, hit the streaming sites. Recorded at Fairview Studios last November by John Spence, the song is about the brick wall you meet when preprogrammed responses are the only conversations in town, and you’re battling what Antonio Gramsci called the ‘Cultural Hegemony’ of the Establishment and its media. All that with the Beatles backing vocals and our trademark sound intact.
I did an interview with BBC Introducing Humberside, which was broadcast ahead of our first radio airing on Saturday 22nd. I’m so proud that the Lithium Joe story has a new chapter after all those empty pages, and you can catch the video here:
The weekend before, I’d hit Leeds for We Shall Overcome and Harrogate to play the NEU National Conference…..to keep me out of trouble.
There was the second ‘Solidarity Social’ at the Railway Club in Scarborough, this time raising funds for Surfers Against Sewage….
…..and the trip up to Newcastle to play the Cluny 2 as part of Folkish Explosion….
I spent three consecutive days on the picket line with Junior Doctors….
But for the most part, it was all about our sixth May Day Festival Of Solidarity. I probably said it best on Facebook:
“Every year, Tony Peter Wright and meself walk into an empty Old School House in Barnsley around 12.30pm, and every year we see a bare room with cold white walls and dark wood arches and think- how the hell do we turn this into a festival?
And every year we get taught the same lesson.
You pack with place out and fill it with camaraderie, hugs and handshakes, and by the end of the night we finish with a lesson in the possibilities of shared human endeavour, of unity of purpose, of yes, solidarity.
You lot are the festival.
And yesterday you smashed it.
So many folks to thank, but the venue staff and Ruth and the sound team must get a special mention for a very long shift in a very packed schedule; and a shout-out to poor Simon Ibbotson, our ever-present house DJ who fell ill on the day and couldn’t be with us. He was there in spirit as we found a Trojan playlist and piped in Ska and Reggae between acts in his name.
Big shout-out too for Chip Hamer whose stellar shift as our compere held the whole day together, and who kept us in time throughout.
The speeches were TOP quality with Joyce Marshall telling it like it is for Hull Unity Shop, John Dunn pulling no punches for Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, Heather Wood of Women’s Banner Group causing more than a few dusty eyes with poetry from the Miner’s Strike ahead of next year’s NATIONAL WOMEN AGAINST PIT CLOSURES 40TH ANNIVERSARY, Sarah Woolley doing our union the BFAWU proud and John Stewart updating us on the RMT dispute. Huge thank you to all for giving us their time and often very poignant words on behalf of workers everywhere.
And the music and poetry. Wow.
From the emotional return of Matt Hill following life-changing surgery, delivering a wonderful set to open us up; Chip and Nadia Drews of Poetry on the Picket Line bringing the Rebel stanzas; through Bard Company delivering us another reminder of the power of their ‘Northern Powerhouse’ album; Dakka Skanks smashing it and making a whole new army of fans; Carol Hodge being just sublime; Jess Silk doing what only Jess Silk can; and Commoners Choir to sing us home with their mischievous beauty and gentle malice; we had it all.
It was so moving to end the night onstage with Commoners and the crowd pulled to the very front so we were all one big f***-off Socialist choir daring the world to interrupt. A fantastic end to a truly belting day.
Every year we walk into that empty room wondering if this one will be the last, and every year we walk out thinking the same thing- why would you stop doing THAT?
Thanks everyone. You were BRILLIANT ✊️❤️👊
PS Thanks to all whose pics I have liberated for the cause ✊️
Now we head into May, and the mischief and mayhem continues with trips to Wakefield for ‘With Banners Held High’, London and Ulverston for We Shall Overcome, and Bearded Theory for the hell of it.
The first new music by Lithium Joe in 22 years is released this week.
‘Answer Machine’ was recorded last November at Fairview Studios by John Spence and will be released as a download on my Bandcamp this Friday, with all streaming services following on the Monday.
The video, compiled from footage shot at The New Adelphi Club in Hull of our sold-out homecoming gig in late 2019, was filmed by Michael Toas and edited by Andy Wilson. It’s on my Facebook or on YouTube here:
Lithium Joe will be live at the following places in 2023:
4th AUGUST- GIAF Festival 24th NOVEMBER- The Station, Ashton-Under-Lyne 25th NOVEMBER- Adelphi, Hull
The last month has fizzed past in a whirl of picket lines and performances; rallies and announcements, and has kept me on my toes every second…….just the way it should be.
The Road took in Bradford, Hull, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, and Sheffield; and it started in a blizzard and ended in dazzling spring sunshine.
En route we raised £140 each for the Solidarity Mission causes- Pauline Town, Mesopotamia Cafe, Hull Unity Shop, and Refugee Support Europe; hopefully helping them over the last hurdle of a winter which has been a nightmare for fundraising.
The principal reason was the new Teeshirtme designed ‘One Life At A Time’ t-shirt, which proved popular on #BandcampFriday and rightly so- it’s a banger!
By far the most significant event of the month was the Trade Union Rally in Hull, organised to counter a Far Right gathering on March 18th.
By occupying the centre of the square and repelling them when they tried to take it, Hull‘s organised Working Class successfully drove the fascists out to the fringes where they were forced into speaking from a park bench drowned out by jeers. I was proud to have helped provide a soundtrack, and perhaps my FB posts describe this best.
Yesterday, the fascists came to Hull and Nazi-saluted their way through speech after speech of hate that doesn’t belong in our city, or anywhere else in the world.
They made those speeches to a small number of mostly imported supporters from the far side of the square, because we wouldn’t let them have the stage.
At times we were forced to repel them and it wasn’t pretty, but ours is not a city of hate, it is the city of Jack Atkinson, and they did not pass.
A massive thank you to Hull’s trade union movement and organised Working Class who turned out in force and stood heroically in the face of fascist intimidation. It filled me with pride to see young and old standing firm and holding their ground.
In the end it took an 8-year old girl, singing unaccompanied, her voice cutting through that cauldron of hate. For a few brief seconds even the Nazis fell silent.
It was a beautiful thing.
It was the sound of hope.
THE POWER OF SONGS
This is me singing ‘No Pasaran’ last Saturday, as Hull’s organised Working Class fought off the fascists and denied them access to spew their hate in the centre of Queen Victoria Square.
Songs are about connections.
The more egotistical performers think it’s the connection between them and their audience, but it isn’t; it’s the much more powerful connection between the listener and the character and narrative of the lyric.
That’s where the emotion is.
That’s where the tears are.
The singer is a conduit for that connection and not the connection itself.
So as I sang, and 50 people hollered along, fists raised to the sky, you could feel our courage rise, and the sight and sound of it took away the confidence of our enemy.
It wasn’t because singing ‘No Pasaran’ put 50 Joe Solo’s on that platform.
It’s because it put 50 Jack Atkinson’s there.
I didn’t do that.
And THAT is the power of songs.
Elsewhere, I stood on pickets with the Junior Doctors and RMT as the strikes continued, and offered as much solidarity as I could in their fight for acceptable pay and conditions in a country guilty of increasingly devaluing its workforce at the altar of profit.
And some VERY exciting gig announcements came through, not least my trips to Barrowlands in Glasgow for #LoveGlasgowHateRacism in aid of Scottish Refugee Council. I join a bill featuring two incredible bands- The Wakes and She Drew The Gun– plus Musicians In Exile, a group formed by refugee artists hoping to make Scotland their home……
……and the incredible news that I’ll be flying to Barcelona to play ‘Solidarity Park 2023’, an anti-fascist festival remembering lives lost to the politics of the Far Right in the 1930s, and a timely reminder of why it is so important to deny their hate and blame vendettas today.
The first act of the new month is to launch the video and download for ‘Answer Machine’, the first new Lithium Joe song in 22 years.
The video goes live on Sunday 2nd, the download via Bandcamp on Friday 7th, and on all streaming services from Monday 10th. I can’t wait for you to hear it.
I’ll be playing Leeds, Harrogate, Scarborough, Newcastle and Barnsley in April, and if you haven’t already bagged em, PLEASE grab tickets for May Day Festival Of Solidarity on the 30th……just so Tony and I don’t have our usual panic over numbers in the week running up to the day.
Right, that’s about it. A massive thank you to Jason Shipley, Neil Terry, Dave Titterton, and everyone else whose photographs and posters have defined the month; and to you lot who turned out to make the gigs happen. There’s a LOT of darkness out there, but your light will eventually drive it out into the corners where it belongs.
First up, to spend the bulk of the gigging year upright. After 19 years of the chair, the maraca, and the tambourine, I figured a change was in order. Some gigs suit that- it’s more intimate- but others need me on my toes and in-your-face.
Now you can have both.
Second, is the next album will be delayed until March 2024.
That’s a strategic decision as I want to include ‘The Last Miner’. This is the song scheduled as the next Joe Solo & The Hatfield Brigade single. It’s about the political and historical importance of Durham Miner’s Gala and NEEDS a brass band, but delays writing the arrangement for brass mean it will now be released to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Miner’s Strike instead.
This is something I’m happy to embrace under the circumstances. It gives me an extra few months of writing new songs too. I want it all killer, no filler, so that fits the agenda; but apologies to those anticipating the annual album around now. There’s still plenty to listen to on all streaming sites……links to which can be found here:
February saw me gig Sheffield, Newcastle, Stourbridge and Hartlepool for Punk 4 The Homeless, Durham Miner’s Association and We Shall Overcome; the highlight of which was Jess Silk‘s birthday party at Katie Fitzgeralds aka Rebel HQ, which finished with a three-way ‘No Pasaran’ sung by Jess, Matt Johnson and myself. A highlight of the year when I look back, no doubt.
The Durham Miner’s Association fundraiser in Newcastle led to my following RMTs Mick Lynch to the mic, not an easy job these days, Mick having almost single-handedly galvanised the trade union movement for its current struggles and steeled the resolve of activists everywhere. Another great night.
I stood on as many pickets as time would allow, and I will continue to support strike action throughout March, either here or at rallies. The stakes could not be higher. Defeat now would cripple the trade union movement and leave the Working Class at the mercy of a callous and vindictive government; victory would re-energise the Left at a time we are needed more than ever.
Next month should witness the arrival of two new Lithium Joe songs, ‘Answer Machine’ and ‘See You When I Get There’, recorded last November at Fairview Studios and just waiting on videos before we schedule them for release. Almost 22 years since our last recordings, this is like a dream come true and I can’t wait for you to hear them.
I’ll also be playing Bradford, Bolton and Sheffield if you’re in the area….
Lastly, February brought the sad news of the passing of Country Joe & The Fish legend Bruce Barthol, a man I had the good fortune to sing alongside on a couple of occasions. Bruce had a pedigree in the protest movement most can only dream of, from the Berkeley Riots through Vietnam to the present day, and it was through Bruce my songs reached Barry Melton whose childhood home in New York had played host to both the International Brigaders and many a late night session with Woody Guthrie. For Bruce to have put my songs in that proud lineage meant the world to me, and I was very sorry to hear we’d lost him.
Traditionally a slow month as the post-Christmas financial realities bite, the fairy lights come down, and the short days and cruel temperatures mean we tend to bunker up and pray for Spring.
But 2023 is different.
The Struggle is visible everywhere, from newspaper headlines to smart meters. I promised at the start of the year that I’d stand on every picket line I could and support striking workers in whatever way possible, so I did.
I stood with RMT rail staff, RCN nurses, and GMB Ambulance staff this month, and the first week of February will add NEU teachers to that list.
It’s important for the rest of us to support their battles, either by spending a little time there talking and listening or giving them a beep as you drive past. We ALL deserve better from our government and our employers, and these are the folks with the guts to do something about it. Much respect.
Music-wise, January began with two live streams, one to mark the 10th anniversary of ‘A Revolution In An Empty Room’– where I played the whole album front to back for WSO- and the other to support south coast food banks running low on supplies.
On January 14th ‘Three Shall Overcome’ was launched. A short film of Steve White, Kev Titterton and meself walking from Scarborough to Robin Hood’s Bay along the Cleveland Way, putting the world to right en route, with some stunning aerial footage courtesy of the FBU drone. The film is hoping to encourage support for both We Shall Overcome, and its twin venture We Shall Overrun. You can watch that here:
Back with the music, the month ended with two wildly different, but equally chaotic, gigs in Scarborough and Ashton-under-Lyne.
The ‘Solidarity Social’ event at the Railway Club in Scarborough was a strike fund benefit gig and 200 people crammed into the main room raised almost £700 for the cause. It was great to hear the speeches from workers on the front line, and fantastic to hear the collected voices raised in song.
And, Em Carroll‘s We Shall Overcome birthday was a fantastic night of mischief and mayhem in a packed Station Hotel in Ashton-under-Lyne.
All capped off with a ‘No Pasaran’ featuring Pauline Town, Dan Lucas, Matt Hill, Jess Silk and meself. For those who don’t know, Matt had serious surgery on his ears last year to save his hearing, so to have him singing at my side again was pretty emotional; a fantastic end to a wonderful night which raised hundreds to keep the Station open and the daily food parcels flowing.
That same night We Shall Overcome raised £1000 up in Hartlepool thanks to Brian Barnes and the team up there. That money will help keep food on the shelves at St Aiden’s Kitchen.
In the background, the new Lithium Joe single won’t be long, the new Hatfield Brigade song is at a critical stage, there will be more children’s books this year via Unison, and I’ve started work on a lyric book covering songs and poems from the last 20 years, illustrated by my comrade-in-crayons Kevin Pearson.
So there’s plenty to look forward to.
The next round of madness starts at the Radical Book Fair in Sheffield on February 4th.
As we close out 2022, it’s time for my annual pilgrimage of reflection over a twelve months which marked my 35th anniversary as a performer, and pound-for-pound, my most challenging year to date.
It started slowly as the live scene tried to find its way back after two stop-start years of lockdowns and restrictions had stripped venues and promoters of their confidence and much of their income. I was very conscious that audiences too were still trying to find their feet- and their voices- in the aftermath of such a spirit-crushing period of human history. Gigs were fewer, crowds smaller, and atmosphere a little flat for the first few months of the year, but when The Men They Couldn’t Hang asked me to join them onstage in Middlesbrough for ‘Brooklyn Bridge’ and ‘Ghosts Of Cable Street‘, I looked out across a full room of people who wanted to live again, and knew we’d be OK.
Live streams dominated my late-winter gig calendar, and once again, they helped prop up We Shall Overcome as we faced unprecedented need against a backdrop of frozen wages and escalating living costs. Fundraising is exceptionally difficult when the rising numbers of people needing support is exacerbated by the falling numbers of folks able to answer the call because they are struggling for the necessary disposable income to help; and attempting to square this circle went on to define my year.
In March I sang at a protest against P&O Ferries sacking of 800 workers, in what was the most blatant attack on trade unions and the validity of a contract of employment in modern times. We blocked the terminal in Hull, and led by RMT and Hull & District Trades Council comrades, we gathered the assembled banners and marched in solidarity, halting traffic on the main road and attracting the national media, especially to our impromptu version of ‘You’re Not Sailing’ to the tune of the Rod Stewart classic.
It was just the start.
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with workers in struggle is an essential part of what I try to do from a political standpoint, but if pay and conditions can be secured, it helps ease demand on the community support services WSO battles so hard to sustain too. 2022 has been a running series of early mornings, hitting picket lines before work in order to show a little solidarity when people need it most; and as we face down the worst of the winter, I would ask everyone reading this to remember, if you see a picket line- DON’T CROSS IT, JOIN IT!
My most vivid memory of this was 1st October when the ‘Enough Is Enough’ rally in Hull ended with a march led by pipers, through the city to the CWU picket, where hundreds of flags and banners arrived to support the striking posties. It was a wonderful thing to see the look on their faces when a peaceful picket became a virtual carnival of unity; a beautiful moment lighting the darkest of times.
Of course, as the live scene recovered, there were gigs too. Like Glastonwick…..
And the incredibly emotional day in May, when The Station finally re-opened as a pub after supporting hundreds of people a day through Covid, as a community hub. Capturing the image of Pauline Town pulling her first pint in more than two years was something very special…..
There was another fantastic May Day Festival Of Solidarity as we returned to a full house following the forced hiatus of Covid. Gathering together in front of the Hatfield Brigade banner to film a full-audience version of ‘No Pasaran’ to be screened as part of the Solidarity Park festival in Barcelona, was an unforgettable moment…..
And speaking of the Hatfield Brigade, there were marches throughout the year where I had the honour of being on pole duties. From the gathering to unveil the Thorne & Moorends Memorial, the Orgreave rally in Sheffield, through Durham Miner’s Gala to the ceremony in Edlington to remember Frank Arrowsmith. Nothing fills me full of pride more than marching with these absolute heroes. Love em.
And probably my favourite photo of the year…
There was singing at the ‘No Pasaran’ Memorial to welcome in the Clarion Club cyclists after their epic cross-country journey to help fund the Morning Star. A really special evening when I got chance for a chat with the wonderful Maxine Peake…..
And the Peterloo Rally in Manchester was a truly special day as the massed ranks of banners formed a column winding its way from Piccadilly Gardens. It was fantastic to hear the speeches and be around so much positive energy after all those months of singing to a phone on a tripod in a shed. Spoke to so many amazing people, comparing notes and recharging their batteries.
There was new music too, of course. The year began with the release of ‘Never Let Them Win’, an album of songs I’m immensely proud of if you get chance for a listen; then, later in the year, I commemorated the 10th anniversary of my ‘Fight The Good Fight Club’ CD by re-recording two of its key songs with Commoners Choir. ‘Hang On In There, Brother’ and ‘Better Times Will Come’ make a cracking double A-Side single if you look them up.
And I launched two new children’s books alongside my comrade-in-crayons Kevin Pearson, published by Unison and finding their ways into schools, libraries and Adult Education services…
As ever, the money raised from my music, merch, and gigs has been donated to help support folks through hard times. This year, it has been a four-way split between Pauline at The Station, Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham, Refugee Support Europe, and Hull Unity Shop. The latter is a cause especially close to my heart, and its ability to provide food parcels to struggling families and striking workers alike, while making that support political, is a model vital to fighting both hunger and the cause of that hunger as we move forward. We live streamed a discussion from there in the autumn, and we’ll continue to highlight the problems faced in 2023.
And, as the new year approaches, there multiple projects about to come to fruition after months of work behind the scenes.
Back in May, Steve White, Kev Titterton and myself hiked from Scarborough to Robin Hood’s Bay along the Cleveland Way for We Shall Overrun. We filmed ourselves en route, and the resulting 40 minute film entitled ‘Three Shall Overcome’ will be launched in mid-January to raise funds for WSO.
In November, Lithium Joe finished work on our first new material in 21 years, and the resulting single ‘Answer Machine’/’See You When I Get There’, will be released in the Spring.
And the new Joe Solo & The Hatfield Brigade single, ‘The Last Miner’ is just waiting on Skelmanthorpe Brass Band, and we’ll be diving into finishing that, hopefully before Durham in July.
So, as a difficult year comes to a close, there’s much to look forward to; two new singles, two new children’s books, a new album for later in the year and work on the long-promised lyrics book are all in the pipeline; but also, much to dig deep and battle through- the strikes, the colossal demands on WSO and the real need for an organised political movement to defend the Working Class. It’s a challenge for sure, but I saw enough on my final few gigs this year, to know the mood has changed, from fear to defiance. A better world is not just possible, it is inevitable.
So a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who supported me this year. It is never emphasised enough how much that means. Whether it was a CD you bought, or a gig you booked; or a quick message on social media, a tap on the shoulder at a gig, or a chorus sung with all your heart. This is the stuff that keeps me going. This is the stuff that helps me face down the next challenge and carry on.
I started the year singing onstage with The Men They Couldn’t Hang in Middlesbrough, and ended it singing onstage with Sid Griffin of The Long Ryders in London, in-between I sang with Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds, Boss Caine, and I’m pretty sure I sang ‘No Pasaran’ with the amazing Jess Silk more than I sang it on my own! And although we only managed two gigs together, there will be plenty of shows alongside Rebekah Findlay coming very soon. I loved every second of collaborating with friends and comrades along the way and I can’t wait to hit the ground running in 2023.
The last news of 2022 is perhaps the most poignant of all. In December myself and Rebekah Findlay were honoured with a plaque on the Hatfield Main Memorial alongside Paul Heaton and a long list of the real heroes, those who clambered into the cage year on year and descended underground to hew the coal which built this land of ours.
If I needed any excuse to dig deeper and fight harder, then justifying my name being on that wall will do it.
We fight til they lose.
See you on the other side.
Photos by Jason Shipley, Neil Terry, Eric Barnes, Paul Rutland and countless others who capture these moments in time and deserve more than just a footnote because their images go on to define a generation for all who come after.
We Shall Overcome’s beating heart, The Station in Ashton-under-Lyne, is a pub again after supporting thousands of people through Covid. A full 26 months of being a community hub kept alive by volunteers, donations and love finally resulted in a return for live music and a night I will never forget.
It was RAMMED. The pub itself was fuller than I’ve ever seen it, but there were as many again in the beer garden and out front. So great to see the levels of support for Pauline Town from the local community, and the MASSIVE travelling contingent who arrived from miles around.
Fantastic music and poetry from Monologue John Bartley Matt Johnson Lytisha Tunbridge Daniel Lucas and Jess Silk and I had an absolute blast closing the night with a ‘No Pasaran’ sung by Matt and Jess, and an acoustic ‘We Shall Overcome’ sung by the whole pub.
So good to see so many happy faces sharing hugs and handshakes, and even better to see the smile on Pauline’s face to have all that life back in her pub.
The Station is going to continue as a PubHub, distributing meals and food parcels Monday to Wednesday then continuing with that but opening as a pub and live music venue Thursday to Sunday. You will still see me banging the drum for help with buying in the food and housing the homeless, but the important bit is this, we made it to the other side.
So to everyone who supported Isolation Festival, We Shall Overrun, Lockdown Solidarity, the ‘Coronaverses’ book compiled by Janine Booth, the collaboration songs by Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds and Johnny Campbell, the live streams from John Baine, the WSO merch from Billy Blagg, the jewellery from Kevin Pearson, the Poetry On The Picket Line bundle from Chip Hamer, or who stopped by the pub with food or cash for Big Sis, this was your achievement, OUR achievement, the finest example of collective action I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of, and We Shall Overcome’s greatest victory.
We did it.
Just mint x
Pics by Kate Clark Neil Terry Matt Hill Pete Yen and apologies if I missed a credit x
Fantastic afternoon in Wakefield at With Banners Held High. So great to see Working Class politics back on the streets and to hear those voices of defiance ringing out once again.
Locked away at home with only the telescreen spewing forth the daily bilge it is easy to feel isolated and deflated, but staring back along a line of banners raised proudly to the sky you are instantly reminded that we have strength, we have power, and we can absolutely do this.
Fantastic speeches from everyone, but especially moved by Daz Proctor, Vicky Blake and Sarah Woolley who smashed it.
Earlier I joined Heather Wood, Samantha Townsend, Lynn Gibson and Laura Lee Daly of the Women’s Banner Group on the march, immediately behind Sean Hoyle and Alan Mardghum and you cannot be in better company than that.
The Hatfield Brigade couldn’t make it, but I sang ‘Farewell Hatfield Main’ so they were there in spirit.
Gave em ‘Why Are You So Angry?’ early on, then we had a good old singalong to close the afternoon.
Brilliant event, and massive shout out to the organisers for helping put the wind back in a LOT of sails.
And so good to get a pic with two absolute legends of the movement, Anne Scargill and Betty Cook. Examples to all of us as to how you fight, and keep on fighting.
“…. his songwriting just gets better and better: he writes northern soul on an acoustic guitar, and his perceptive, heartfelt and above all supremely intelligent words shine in every song. Joe is a true working class intellectual.” – Attila The Stockbroker in The Morning Star
“If you want to know what Punk really is, then this is the place to start and finish, never put yourself before anyone else, always fight for the right to be human and definitely keep the fascists on the back foot. Joe is a real life man of the people.” – thepunksite.com *****
“There’s a line that can be drawn from Woody Guthrie to The Clash, and it is between these two reference points that Joe Solo sits. A protest singer with a punk heart. A big punk heart…..This is what music can be. – Reservoir Droogs