Stemming from a nomadic family with roots in both Kenya and Jamaica, Jo Hamilton was brought up in a house two miles from the nearest neighbour in the wilds of northern Scotland. Her parents moved constantly in her youth, which saw her spending periods in Turkey, UAE, Kuwait, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
In her late teens Jo studied classical viola in Edinburgh and at Birmingham Conservatoire. During this period the first hints of a solo talent began to emerge; she quietly recorded an early 3-track EP with the help of guitarist/drummer/producer Tom Livemore (the Ripps/Carina Round/Glen Ballard), and then went on to create a self-produced album of early songs (Palace Place) with the help of other musicians.
It was during the recording of Palace Place that she first met producer Jon Cotton (subsequently producer of Scott Matthews' Ivor Novello winning Elusive), with whom she remained in touch over the next four years.
In the meantime, Jo began performing more widely, supporting Damien Rice and Michelle Shocked, and touring with Colin Vearncombe (Black) in the UK. She contributed viola and vocals to Kirsty McGee's first album, and was invited by Fairport Convention founder (and disc...