Jo Carley and the Old Dry Skulls

“Them Old Bones” is the debut album from Jo Carley and the Old Dry Skulls, a band who have been thrilling audiences up and down the Country with their very original brand of old time Roots music. The band features the dreadlocked husband and wife duo of “Tim and Jo” who are joined by a variety of different musicians who they meet on the road. On stage, Tim plays a kick drum and an acoustic guitar while Jo switches between mandolin, fiddle and washboard. The album was recorded at Space Eko East Studio in East London and was produced by the very experienced Alex McGowan who helped push the band into developing their sound, providing many interesting twists and turns along the way.

The twelve track album really delves deep into the darkness covering things such as revenge, witchcraft, road trips, bad omens, the occult, ancient spells, hardship and protest. That said the tunes themselves are uplifting, infectious and very danceable. There are so many influences here which include a large slice of Punk coupled with Ska, mixed with old time Roots, Folk, Bluegrass and Country (with a splash of gothic darkness). The album kicks off with the slow burning “Black Flies” which introduces Jo’s delightful vocals, coupled with some lovely Blues harmonica. It is like a train chugging steadily along a track, suddenly it comes to an unexpected decline getting faster and faster until it reaches the bottom.

Jo Carley and the Old Dry Skulls

There are so many highlights throughout the whole album with each song providing many twists and turns along the way. “Devil in a Black Dress” brings in some welcome Dub along the lines of The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton”. “Contemplate Your Moves” has more of the same with some fantastic danceable rhythm and yet another outstanding vocal performance from Jo who speeds up and slows down at the drop of a hat. “Dance ’til You’re Dead” is possibly one of the most infectious tunes I have heard in a long while, a fast moving piece that just makes you want to move and after the first listen you will find it gets right into your cranium and you will be singing it too.

“Out of Control” adopts a more old school Country style with some fiddle and yet more contagious percussion that sends you into foot-tapping overdrive. “Into the Fire” is a pure assault of your senses; things get really heavy with vocal distortion, heavy bass and ‘Paul-Ronney Angel’s’ exquisite harmonica. “B.O.T.H.E.R” starts up like an opening scene from an old spaghetti western, before flinging open the saloon doors for a right old hoedown. The last tune features some neatly played banjo and Jo singing beautifully with a decidedly sinister tone. This album is indisputably original and here the band pull together some great resources to bring a fantastic debut that will be welcomed by a whole host of new fans.

Track Listing
Black Flies
Brother You Better Be Praying
Devil in A Black Dress
Contemplate Your Moves
Dance ’til You’re Dead
Nails and Needles
Them Old Bones
Out Of Control
Into The Fire
B.O.T.H.E.R Bother!
Wolves, They Will Follow


Line Up
Jo Carley – Lead Vocals, Mandolin, Washboard and Fiddle.
Tim Carley – Guitar, Vocals, Kick Drum, Hi-hat, Stomp, Percussion, Piano, Vibraslap, and Banjo.

Hawkeye Houlihan – Double Bass
James Le Huray – Upright Bass, Electric Bass & Fender VI Bass

Featuring guest appearances from Paul-Ronney Angel of “The Urban Voodoo Machine” on Harmonica and Captain Future of “The Future Shape and Sound” on Percussion, Jaws Harp and Slide Guitar.



Words By Dave Chinery (Chinners).

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