9th February 2013

Joe Topping is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the Wirral, whose musical journey so far has been as colourful as it has varied. Joe who can play anything from traditional British folk music to Delta blues slide guitar also “has a gift to write songs that will last and that others will want to sing” John Wright. And “one of the most beautiful voices I have heard” Chris While. At gigs you are just as likely to hear him playing the mandolin, bouzouki, harmonica, dobro or banjo as you are the guitar.

After cutting his musical teeth playing with The Tom Topping Band, Joe was asked to join John Wright after the late John Wright heard and covered one of Joe’s songs “The Flame Danced Flamenco”. Joe toured with the band for 18 months playing at venues in all over the UK and Europe, gaining a wealth of experience and inspiration until leaving to embark on, ‘a journey of a lifetime!’ Joe is adventurous, whether living and travelling around America and Canada in a pick-up truck or walking across the Namib Desert in aid of a landmine charity. He is ever looking to be challenged and in the summer of 2006 saw him undertake his biggest adventure yet: a 1,400 mile solo walk across America!

With an old Gibson guitar strapped to his back, Joe walked from Chicago and the shores Lake Michigan in the north, south to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. A journey rich in musical flavour and history: Chicago, St Louis, Nashville, Memphis, the Mississippi Delta, Baton Rouge; sleeping along the way in motels, cornfields, cotton fields, graveyards, backyards and sugar plantations, meeting musicians and characters along the road which have added to and inspired Joe’s own music, before finally - and three pairs of shoes later – being marched into New Orleans by The New Wave Brass Band. Joe’s obvious talents have also been seized upon by folk/rock legend Ashley Hutchings who in December 2007 asked him to join his band, “The Rainbow Chasers” alongside Ruth Angell and Jo Hamilton. Since Joe joined the Chasers have been playing in arts centres and theatres across the UK and Italy.

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