Jo & Co Returns to the Cape Music Scene
By: Jason Savio, July 25, 2012
PHOTO COURTESY PAUL BLACKMORE - Jo & Co members (back, from left) Patrick Golarz on drums, Tim White on bass, Aaron Mayo on guitar, (front, from left) lead singer-songwriter and rhythm guitarist Joanna Meager and her sister, Danielle Ryder on saxophone, piano and backup vocals.
You can’t keep a good band down, and this summer Jo & Co is primed and ready to hit the stage after a long hiatus.
Led by Joanna Meager on vocals, the local band is somewhat of a family affair; band members include Meager’s sister, Danielle Ryder, on back-up vocals, saxophone and piano, and her father, Tim White, playing bass. Other band members include Aaron Mayo on guitar and Patrick Golarz on drums.
But at the height of their popularity, Meager received bad news regarding her health that forced the band to take time off.
“I found out the hard way that I have acid reflux disease. It was burning holes in my vocal cords,” said Meager, a Harwich native. “After about six months of intense medication and nursing myself back to health—which required me not to sing—I managed to recover in record-breaking time.”
Catch 'em in the act!
JO & CO
Saturday, July 28, at 9 PM
302 Main Street, Hyannis
However, by the time Jo & Co made its initial return, Meager received more news about her health—this time positive—that required the group to go back on stand-by.
“It was awesome, except by then I was pregnant,” she says of their first return to the stage. “I haven’t had a show yet since I’ve had the baby.”
But on June 30 of this year, Jo & Co made a triumphant return at The Island Merchant in Hyannis, the band's first show since Meager’s daughter, Mayla, was born.
“It’s a lot of fun. I love playing with my dad,” says Meager. She and her sister have been playing music “since we’ve been little kids. For me it’s really awesome because I’m raising my children around music and my whole family is into music.”
An original cover band
A Jo & Co show encapsulates the group’s diverse taste in music. From the pop/rock standards that everyone has come to expect from local bands to more enriched songs that exemplify the artistry and time the group puts into its sets, there is bound to be something for everyone in attendance.
“We’re known as a multi-genre band,” says Meager. “We play everything: Lady Gaga, Melissa Etheridge, Michael Franti, Aerosmith, country songs, Elvis. You name it, we do it.”
But Jo & Co doesn’t just rely on covering their favorite songs. They also have a reliable ace up their sleeve for careful listeners.
“We like to mix our originals in so that at the end of a show somebody comes up to you and says, ‘Oh, man, I really liked [that] song. Who [is] it?’ It’s nice to say ‘us!’ ” says Meager. “The original music is a part of who I am as a musician and it’s really nice that we do have fans who appreciate the original music.”
Although the multi-genre cover band may have taken some time off, its members’ expectations have not wavered. They have been busy putting the finishing touches on a debut album, Good Times. The 15-track album was recorded at MBI Studios in Plymouth and showcases Meager’s songwriting skills and the band’s broad musical palette, which includes blues, rock, and reggae.
The album would have never happened, Meager says, if it weren’t for Jo & Co’s loyal fans.
“Half of this album was paid for by our fans,” explains Meager. “We had fundraisers [to] raise money so we could get this album out because our fans wanted it and we didn’t have the money to do it. This summer I’m hoping to finish the project and get it to everybody.”
With a clean bill of health and a new album waiting in the wings, Jo & Co is fully charged and quickly picking up where they left off.
Keep an eye out for the band this summer at The Island Merchant and the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod’s Summer Concert Music Series.