New Music

Tapes Off The Track: Joe Topping

Tapes Off The Track: Joe Topping

Urbanista’s Tapes Off The Track is a series of live recordings of local music talent, filmed in some of Merseyside’s most idyllic settings, with the aim of capturing the magic of our chosen artists in their purest, most stripped back form. Here is a session from troubadour Joe Topping.

Joe first realised the power of music when he had his trousers stolen in Canada. They were the only pair he was traveling with and as Joe had cleverly hidden his wallet in the pocket of said trousers, he found himself in a foreign country with no friends, no money and nothing to cover his union Jack boxer shorts.

The one thing of use Joe did still have was his guitar, which, after borrowing a pair of jeans (from a very kind stranger) he took down to the harbour and started busking. His guitar not only earnt him enough money to get by, but like John Steinbeck’s dog in “Travels with Charlie”, it introduced him to new friends and adventures. It continues to do so to this day.

Joe is a singer-songwriter who has been described as a “cross between Ry Cooder, Woody Guthrie and Paul Brady”. From the traditional music heard in the folk clubs he grew up around to the Americana and blues influences from his adventures in the USA which have included living in a pickup truck and driving around America for the best part of a year and later walking 1400 miles with a guitar on his back from Chicago to New Orleans! 

Joe has developed his own unique bottleneck guitar style which he employs in many of his original songs and has a voice that can move from velvet soft to steely and powerful. He has played on stage and in the studio with many legends of the British folk scene including members of Fairport Convention, While and Matthews, Andy Irvine and toured as stand in lead vocalist in the BBC2 award winning “Best live Act” Home Service. 

Joe was also a member of the legendary Ashley Hutching’s Rainbow Chasers and is currently a member of British Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, Charlie Landsborough’s touring band and festival favourites, Elbow Jane.

Any artists who are interested in playing one of our Tapes Off The Track sessions email us a short bio and a couple of your tunes to martin@urbanistamagazine.uk

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Martin Moseley

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