Jo Gabriel © FK

Jo Gabriel

I’m a singer/songwriter and pianist originally from New York. I now reside in the quaint coastal town of Bath, Maine, but I’ll always consider myself a New York-based artist. I’m building a studio here at Lilac House where I’ll be working on upcoming album Advice from a Caterpillar. My work has been categorized as gothic/ethereal, melodramatic pop and heavenly voices, although I particularly love that the wonderful writer/reviewer Craig Gidney referred to my music as esoteric pop.

Although it is often assumed that I am a classically trained pianist, I am completely self taught, discovering that I could write little progressions on the piano at age 8. Listeners often say that my intuitive control of the piano is striking, that I possess a dynamically ethereal vocal range, and that there is a unique depth to my songwriting. I am honored that my music is frequently compared to Kate Bush, Harold Budd and Laura Nyro. My most vivid musical inspirations come from growing up in a very artistic, theatrical home listening to everything from show tunes to opera to the iconic singer/songwriter Cat Stevens whose stirring, fluid chord changes and magnificent orchestrations moved me. Part of the essence of my instinctive emotionally visceral theatrical style may be attributed to my Gypsy lineage, which is perhaps why I started to play the concertina recently. I don’t consider myself a musical story teller, but rather more of a revelatory and referential songwriter.

The international label Kalinkaland Records released my album Island worldwide in July 2005. Island is now being distributed as well worldwide through Rage In Eden! The album is also available in the U.S. by Sam Rosenthal’s Projekt Records. Island features the incredible work of avant-garde cellist Matt Turner, and my long time friend and drummer/percussionist Linda Mackley.

Since Island’s release I’ve contributed music to numerous independent projects. I have two songs featured in the Steve Balderson’s provocative indie film Watch Out, adapted from Joseph Suglia’s best selling novel, was released in November 2008; “I am lovely” which I wrote specifically for the movie and “If Not.” Watch Out has garnered much critical acclaim in select previews worldwide and promises to be one of the most memorable cult films of our time. In addition, I contributed a stark piano score to CUT: Teens and Self Injury, a documentary by filmmaker/musician Wendy Schneider. The documentary features Shirley Manson of Garbage and Tiffany Arbuckle Lee of Plumb. I also contributed a track “Siren Lotus” to the 17 Pygmies album 13 Blackbirds/13 Lotus released in 2006. My contribution earned praise from Brainwashed’s John Whitney; “Jo’s sparse piano version of Lotus is probably the most striking!” I also contributed to Lightwerx, a tribute DVD to George Melie, recently released by the Trakwerx Collective. The DVD is a spectacular collaboration of various artists interpreting the great film work of Melie, and opens with my piece “Summoning” scoring the film “The Conjuror”. [L'Impressionniste Fin De Siecle.] I was also included in renowned music critic Mick Mercer’s 2008 book Music to Die For on notable international gothic artists.

Fools and Orphans, my second 2009 release on Kalinkaland Records is being distributed again through Projekt Records in the US. While Kalinkaland’s release is a gothic European version in the wonderful style of 4AD, I released my own limited artist’s version of the album in 2008. My personal version (available through ephemera and itunes) has a very warm and richly intimate stage orchestral vibe reminiscent of the 1970s singer/songwriter sensibility. Fools and Orphans also features a guest vocal appearance by Hannah Fury on “The Habits of Shadows,” as well as the extraordinary work of musicians Linda Mackley on timpani and percussion, Stephanie Rearick on trumpet, Mark Urness on bowed upright bass, and once again the incredible Matt Turner on cello. I consider Fools and Orphans my best work to date and it features some of my most substantively poetic lyrics, and my concertina Ruby (I name everything) appears on the track “Of Love and Ether.” My artist’s limited release of Fools and Orphans is available exclusively through Ephemera. Fools and Orphans has received incredible reviews and is in constant rotation at various radio stations world wide. Also getting a lot of press are my two lo-fi neo-classical releases The Amber Sessions and The Last Drive In which are also available exclusively through Ephemera.

I released my retrospective album Hunting Down The Ceremony in February 2010 through my label Ephemera. The album was mastered in the Barn with Tom Blain. This double album is a collection of various songs that have been scattered to the winds. Volume One ~ The Hidden Voice and Volume Two ~ The Mirror Image. These are songs that have either appeared on compilations, in film, or never saw the light of day, having not made it onto feature albums or are now out of print from the my days with FaithStrange. I’ve pulled all these works together into one project highlighting my very strong singer/songwriter roots.

I re-issued The Unreachable Sky as a full instrumental album through Ephemera, in May 2010. I recently edited and released a music video of the live performance of Mothlight with Matt Turner on Cello, recorded at Butch Vig’s historic Smart Studio.

Recently, I worked with Mark Sheppard on an EP called ‘Etherea’ which Mark has produced, remixed, and mastered to recreate a few of my songs as ethereal magic. The EP also includes a cover of Todd Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me.” Together, Mark and I call our project The Magus and the Maiden Crone. I’ve also completed writing a very special full length album, with plans to record over the next year. Advice From A Caterpillar is about my journey through the looking glass, finding myself and promises to be a very unique album.

Blessings Joey


© the Offering / Fierce Kitten Records 2014