HOROJO Trio - Hard As I Can (Stony Plain): Not many acts win awards before putting out an album, but that has been the case with this Ottawa-based soulful blues-rock threesome. Since forming spontaneously at a jam session, HOROJO Trio won Best Band at the 2020 International Blues Challenge and was recently nominated for Music Group of the Year’ at the 2022 Ottawa Awards. A keenly-anticipated debut release, Set The Record, comes out on the prestigious Stony Plain label on April 1, preceded by this new single and video.
The band comprises drummer Jamie Holmes, singer/keyboardist Jeff Rogers, and guitarist JW-Jones, the latter a prominent solo artist who has reached Top 10 on the Billboard Blues charts and received multiple Juno and Maple Blues Award nominations.
Hard As I Can has a retro sound, headed by soulful vocals and backup harmonies and fluent guitar work from Jones. Halfway through, he lets loose with a high-energy guitar solo that injects extra life. This is the kind of tune you'd have heard on '70s FM radio, but sadly may be thought too old-school for commercial radio play now.
In case you're wondering, the trio's name is derived from the surnames of the members: HO (Holmes), RO (Rogers), and JO (Jones). Look for HOROJO Trio to make a splash on the blues/roots scene in 2022, especially if they're able to play the festivals. The group has an album release show at Ottawa's Rainbow Bistro on April 1.
Publicity: Eric Alper