25 years on and Lo’Jo remain one of France’s most non-uniform and exceptional groups. Like a Tom Waits or their friend Robert Wyatt (who guests on the new album), the 6-piece Lo’Jo inhabit their own world, with their own sound, their ‘acoustic souk’.
Their sound is full of melancholy, nostalgia, and empathy with the displaced, marginalised and lonely. The pride and strength of culture of some of these soulmates – the Touareg, Creole and Berber to name three – add further layers to Lo’Jo’s musical palette and instrumental line-up.
Poet-in-chief Denis Péan takes us on journeys, across the ocean, to inhospitable new places, sits with us on a café terrace, regards the displaced, engages with all those who speculate on what it means to be a human being in the 21st century, the limitations of choice and quest for liberty.
Denis Pean, Lo’Jo’s visionary founder, is a poet philosopher of the finest French tradition. He formed Lo’Jo, a troop of musicians, artists and actors, twenty five years ago, and they have developed into one of France’s great musical families.
Now based in a chateaux in the beautiful countryside outside Angers, Lo’Jo have become a tight band whose communal living is reflected in the intense musical connection that exists between its members.
They were instrumental in establishing the first Festival in the Desert in Mali in 2001, and it was Lo’Jo and Justin Adams (Robert Plant) who first brought the hugely successful Tinariwen to European attention.
Lo’Jo have continued to work with international artists from painters to poets to acrobats, and this is expressed in their live performances. Indeed, Their stage act has taken considerable influence from circus choreography and can include a stunning projection show.
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