Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls throw Old Time Roots music, Ska and Punk into a backwoods still to make musical moonshine!
Fronted by Jo Carley and backed by her song writing partner and husband Tim Carley, they are joined by an assortment of double bass players and other weirdos they meet on the road. Sometimes nicknamed the 'Carley Twins' because of their long dread locks and shared obsessions with creepy music and dark imagery, this pair have created a sound of their own!
The driving force is Tim’s One-man-band set-up with Kick-drum, hi-hat and guitar while Jo’s vocal delivery sounds like the leader of Satan's own gospel choir. This is made even more bewitching as she switches from fiddle to mandolin to washboard. Possessing an energy that elevates the audience, this duo sound more like a stompin 5 piece band.
Released in May 2017, the debut album ‘Them Old Bones’ was recorded at SPACE EKO EAST Studio in East London and produced by Alex McGowan (Urban Voodoo Machine, Wilko Johnson, Son of Dave, Jim Jones). “Working with Alex on the new songs has really helped open up our sound even more” Says Tim “It sounds exactly how we imagined it when writing the songs, really retro and vintage, like an old record from our treasured collection but with some amazing twists and turns. We really like the subtle dub elements he helped us incorporate into 'Nails and Needles' and 'Contemplate your moves', it’s like he could read our minds and deliver what we wanted. It has taken our bizarre country music to even more extremes".
The recording process led to contributions from other musicians, giving JCODS scope to expand the band for live shows. It’s a very exciting time as we see the line-up transforming and exploring new territory.
So why title the album 'Them Old Bones’? It’s because the songs sound old, maybe they have always been there, just waiting to be dug up and played by the right kind of weird musicians. It is the bones of the bands musical ancestors but with a modern vibe and a punk twist. It’s about Revenge, Witchcraft, Road Trips, Bad Omens, The Occult, Ancient Spells, Hardship, Protest, Dancing and having a good time along the way.
Visually the band are extremely unique too. Mixing up traditional old time country roots instruments with a punk attitude and artwork created by the guys themselves. Dreadlocks and archtop acoustic guitars, Motorhead shirts and Mandolins, skeletons with washboards. You need to watch this space for two new videos for ‘Contemplate Your Moves’ and ‘Dance ‘til You’re Dead’ filmed and directed by the amazing Mark Richards (Wonk Unit, Maid Of Ace, Slaves) coming very soon!
A band that lives to perform, Jo Carley & The Old Dry Skulls have been touring extensively up and down the UK at some of the best festivals and clubs on the circuit. They play live either as a duo or as a three piece with Hawkeye Houlihan or James Le Huray joining on double bass. They are looking forward to taking their new album across the UK, Europe and beyond, so come and shake your bones in appreciation!
So how did all this start? They first met many moons ago when Tim's band borrowed Jo's drum kit at a gig in London. It was back in the 90’s and they were both playing in separate bands and involved in the subcultures of the underground metal and punk scenes. Years later Jo discovered the music of Bill Monroe and Alison Krauss, and began playing the mandolin and fiddle. She recruited Tim as her song writing partner with the intention of starting a Bluegrass/Country/Roots band but the devil had other ideas and different influences crept in. British Punk, Ska, Reggae, 1930’s blues, Crazy Gypsy Music and Traditional Folk have all gone into the mix and so in 2014 ‘Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls’ was born.
The final word goes to Jo Carley herself, "We write the music that we ourselves want to hear". There's no pandering and no love songs. It's in your face, sometimes fast but always dark and interesting.
See you on the Road.....