• Joe Solo // Fighting The Good Fight

    Joe Solo has in his time been a busker, a barman, a kerb counter, a warehouse hand, a copywriter and an engineer. His musical odyssey began in 1987 fronting a bash-em-out band at school, and has seen him play in seven countries either as the lynchpin of pop-punk upstarts Lithium Joe or hammering out his unique brand of folk, punk and blues in his own right.

    On top of releasing ten albums in the last eight years, Solo has written a book, and had one written about him; runs a research project on the Hull Pals Battalions in the First World War which he updates daily online; worked with underprivileged children to help them write their lives in song; recorded two audio books; and still found time to open for the likes of Chris Wood, Otis Gibbs, Robb Johnson, Edgar Broughton, TV Smith, Justin Sullivan, Emily Portman and The Blockheads; whilst his songs have featured on Mike Harding’s Folk and Roots Show on BBC Radio Two.

    Live, Solo has a growing reputation as both a performer and raconteur, being thought-provoking, comical and punch-the-air political often in the same breath. He is not an artist you forget in a hurry.

    Joe Solo lives in Scarborough with his wife and two children.

  • Hull Pals // MEMORIAL POSTS

    In 2011 Joe set off on a six year mission to tell the story of each and every man who died fighting for the Hull Pals Battalions in the First World War.
    The stories, compiled from Census and Military records together with a number of historical texts, are always poignant and often haunting.

    Day 278. Hull Pals Memorial Post. PRIVATE FREDERICK HILL 30288.

    Born 1897, the fourth of five children to James and Sarah Hill of 55 Grange Street, Fountain Road, Hull. Frederick was a Stoker by trade but enlisted in York in January 1916 and became 23668 in the West Yorkshire Regiment before being sent to the Pals to help fill gaps in the line.
    Perhaps the saddest part is that he lied. He gave his age as 19 years and 2 months in order to join up. He was 17. A boy.
    Frederick Hill was killed in action on 12th April 1918 somewhere near the French village of Bethune, fighting a rearguard action against the advancing German Army. His body was never recovered and his name is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial. He was 19 years old.

    here is a link to the Facebook group for the HULL PALS MEMORIAL POSTS. Please join up and join in.'

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    "Midnight one Friday in January 1937 found me and four more Yorkshire comrades boarding a train at Sheffield bound for London on the first leg of our journey to Spain...."

    So begins 'Pounded Earth', Tommy James's account of his time as a volunteer in the International Brigades fighting the fascists in the Spanish Civil War.

    And so begins this album.

    Besides Tommy, one of the men was Jack Atkinson from Hull, a lorry driver who had told his mother he was going to help drive ambulances. Of the other men, one was "Arnold, a comrade from Leeds" and the other two remain unnamed. I called them Harry Jones and Bill Palmer, and, together with detail from Tommy's book and some of Jack's surviving family, wrote this record about five men and their experiences of life in Spain.

    This is an album about friendship, about war, about political conviction, and about how our deeds live on long after we are dust.

    Album Reviews

    "Joe Solo is an songwriter (and indeed story teller) I have long admired but only recently managed to see perform (at the Shuttle Shuffle Festival in Bradford back in August). I was struck by the passion of his delivery combined with his sense of fun - a true entertainer in the very best sense of the word.

    Even before tearing open the jiffy bag containing Joe's new CD I knew I was about to be subject to an incredibly moving experience. I had already heard a couple of tracks online and they had made me stop what I was doing and simply listen.

    Yet further encouragement for playing the disc is provided by the visually stimulating booklet and backplate of the CD on which James Poppleton has illustrate the Spanish Civil War context of the songs with evocative images whilst Joe has provided explanatory text.

    I am not ashamed to say that that first listen through the CD made me cry. So perfectly did the expression in Joe's voice match the subject of his lyrics that the feeling was one of immersion in the events of that time and their echoes which resound through to the present day with the disturbing re-emergence of far right groups across Europe.

    The songs, which primarily tell the story of the war through the experiences of those who volunteered to fight, deserve to be considered as a whole and I trust I have managed to convey the overall impact. Notwithstanding this I feel I really should highlight the standout moments.

    The opening title track has a tune and a chorus to die for as well as Rebekah Findlay's sublime fiddle and the second song 'Our Open Eyes' is the one that made me cry as a response to the volunteer, Tommy James, explaining his motives to his friends. The central song 'Madrid', on which Joe's harmonica and the overall production creates an incredibly emotional effect, leads into 'Backgammon' a beautiful reverie (with Rebekah's sensitive accompaniment) on how we share music, games and laughter and yet are so vulnerable to those who seek to destroy this harmony.

    A magnificent creation.

    No Pasaran! Not ever." Joe Grint- FATEA Showcases

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  • Albums

  • Lithium Joe

  • Joe Solo Music

  • Banter!

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  • Potters Field // the love and loss

    The Potter's Field Project is a series of songs and stories attempting to tell a People's History of the 20th Century by concentrating on the love and loss, the dedication and sacrifice of ordinary people, from the trenches of the First World War to the present day. Started in 2009, the intention is to create a five volume set of books and cds. The links below take you to Volumes I and II, with a third planned for 2014.


    Companion-piece to "Stories From Potter's Field" also available on bandcamp, this album is 13 character songs set in and around the First World War. Originally released in 2009, the cd itself is available from bandcamp priced £5.

    "an exceptional album...Solo uses the horror and pathos of that period in history as his clay and moulds from it an inspired set of compositions". *****(on "Music From Potter's Field") R2

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    Stories From Potter's Field Vol I.

    Spoken word version of the book "Stories From Potter's Field Vol I" by Andy Wilson & Joe Solo. Book itself available from bandcamp

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    Vol II of Joe Solo's acclaimed 'Potter's Field' collection, following the lives of First World War soldiers as they journey back home and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they left behind.

    "Something as stark and ghastly as WW1 shouldn't have been capable of producing songs as fragile and beautiful" ****(on "Music From Potter's Field") Maverick. Available from Bandcamp

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    Stories From Potter's Field Vol 2.

    Stories From Potter's Field Vol II' will be available in paperback from Summer 2012. The book contains the stories and song lyrics plus letters and poems not included in the audio file.

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  • Music

  • Merch

  • Swell



    Together with Scunthorpe-based artist Kevin Pearson, Joe has produced 'SWELL' a book for small children with BIG imaginations. 'SWELL' is available on the link below priced £5 including postage and packing, with all profits going to The Blue Door, a centre for victims of domestic violence and abuse in Scunthorpe. 'SWELL' ponders why it might be that achaeologists didn't find the biggest dinosaur fossils first.....

    Buy the book

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  • 1


    An album about friendship, about war, about political conviction, and about how our deeds live on long after we are dust.

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  • 2


    A collection of songs about empowerment in one way or another, about not rolling over and giving up...

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  • 3


    This is a five and a half year mission to commemorate every single soldier who lost their life fighting for the Hull Pals ...

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  • 4


    Find out where I am playing next and all up coming gigs

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  • 5

    Stories from potters Field

    by Andy Wilson and Joe Solo

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  • 6

    Lithium Joe

    Between 1991 and 2001 Joe fronted pop-punk upstarts Lithium Joe....

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  • 7

    Wilfred Owen

    I have recorded these poems with the sole intention of trying to raise funds for the War Memorials Trust...

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  • 8


    With this record I wanted to imagine the kind of things Woody Guthrie would see if he woke up tomorrow.

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