Jo List

Jo List

BandPopAdult Contemporary

I write lyrics with and without melodies in just about any genre, and many times with so many genres entwined that it's hard to tack any of my stuff under one heading. I can sing in just about any genre, too, but lean toward a blues-based pop sound.

Biography

Jo List
I think of myself as a musician, not a “singer”. I hear music in my head and all around me, and my voice allows me to express what I feel and hear. I taught myself how to play the piano and guitar, with help from folks who knew something about the instruments. And I was given a great boost in my technical understanding, and familiarity with my instrument, from chorus directors in school. I thank the parents of all my friends who paid their kids’ tuitions in music school - these guys have helped me learn a lot about reading charts and understanding the language of music. But mostly I learned by the seat of my pants on stage or in the studio.

When I was in nursery school (it’s called Pre-K now), the teacher organized a little milk and cookies thing with our moms on the day before everyone went on Christmas vacation. She asked if anyone would like to sing a song after we all got settled in around the piano. Apparently, what she was asking was if we’d ALL like to sing some of the songs we had learned. But, I guess I just jumped right up and did a swell Broadway rendition of Jingle Bells all by myself, complete with a big rave-up ending, a la Ethel Merman - although I had not ever seen or heard of her or any other singers, aside from the soloist at the Unitarian Church, up to that point in my four years of this present incarnation. So, when someone asks me when I decided to become a singer, I tell them I have never decided to be a singer. I just am.

Same thing with the writing - I never said to myself “I’d like to be a songwriter someday”. It just seemed, from the very earliest times in my life, that writing about how I was feeling or what I was thinking, whether it was good, bad or anywhere in between, was what I had to do. And because of the musical nature of my universe... well, you get the idea.

I’ve been in many bands, starting in 1965 to the present, although I did a few girl-with-guitar coffeehouse appearances and odds and ends before that. With very few exceptions, my bandmates have been absolutely stellar. My favorite bands through the years have been the Crazy Anna Zoo, one of my first - folk rock with a good smattering of originals; Zonkaraz - folk/rock/blues and completely original stuff with the exception of an Elmore James tune and our rendition of “Over the Rainbow”; the Trailers - a sort of country/jazz/blues thing with a good array of originals; and the Joeys - a fantastic eight-piece R&B band where we covered the really classic R&B and blues masters like Anne Peebles, Syl Johnson and the like. Since moving to Florida, I’ve begun exploring the world of jazz, and I’m currently working with some fantastic jazz cats every week at a great place in Naples.

I’ve done a lot of session work, and that is a whole other ball of wax. This is where my instrument becomes more important than my feelings. It’s an incredible way to discipline myself, especially when the style and treatment of the music is totally someone else’s call. You learn humility real fast when you put yourself in that situation over and over again.

I’ve had many offers to go the “pop star” route, beginning with a very famous starmaker, whose name I will not drop here, when I was about 19 years old. I turned it, and several subsequent offers, down over the years, much to the consternation of my closest and most trusted family and friends. There have been moments when I wondered if I had chosen the right path for myself, especially if I’ve been in a particularly unsatisfying gig situation. But, I know myself very well and, I think for the most part, the journey I am on is showing me things I need to see, and teaching me things I need to learn.

Lately, I’ve can’t get enough of Guster - my newest passion. Although I realize they are not new to the scene, they’re new to me and my best buddies. We’re diggin’ them big time. The Guster on Ice DVD was the clincher. I really love so many different types of music... I don’t want to start listing them all out because I’ll forget someone and have to constantly edit this one section for the rest of my life, so... Just wanted to mention what I was lately grooving to.

I have been married for more than half of this life to an alien who goes by the name of Markle Sparkle when he’s doing alien things. We have two daughters who are sort of half-Earthling and half-alien. I have a great family comprised of DNA-linked and purely fabricated relatives, and we mainly just go through our little things and our big things and sometimes the lessons are evident right away and sometimes we just do the same stupid stuff over and over until the light goes on. Pretty normal in its quirkiness, eh?

When I’m not singing, or doing music related things, I like to read. Haven Kimmell and Barbara Kingsolver are two of my favorites, although of course there are GAZILLIONS of writers whom I’ve read and love to pieces. I occasionally write articles for a little independent newspaper called the Is

Lyrics

Natural Girl

Written By: Jo List and Noble Hochmeister

NATURAL GIRL

Look over here, boy
And tell me what you think.
Ain’t got no silicone
Hidin’ under my skin

Cause I’m a straight up, down home natural girl.

I’m built for comfort -
Hey I’m a woman size.
Won’t see no plastic colors
When you look into my eyes

Cause I’m a straight up, down home natural girl.

No abs of steel but baby I’m strong.
Take you in my arms and rock you all night long.

Don’t look like the cover
Of no fashion magazine.
But I’m the realest woman
That you have ever seen.

Cause I’m a straight up, down home natural girl.

Comin' Around

Written By: Jo List

After all those years sittin’ on the fence
And doin’ things that don’t make sense
I’m comin’ around.

After livin’ life so carefully
I’m thinkin’ a little more dangerously
I’m comin’ around.

After towin’ the line, bein’ so good,
Never steppin’ on the cracks, knockin’ on wood
I’m comin’ around.

After hidin’ little pieces of myself away
And worryin’ what my friends might say
I’m comin’ around.

After raisin’ the kids with my heart and soul
And seein’ how the years have taken their toll
Watchin’ my looks start to fade
And cryin’ over all the little messes I made
I’m comin’ around

After breakin’ my heart over foolish things
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings
I’m comin’ around.

Oh-oh, I’m comin’ around.
Oh-oh, I’m comin’ around.

Ready, Willing and Able

Written By: Jo List and Brad Stone

If you’re thinkin’ ‘bout lovin’ a woman
Well I’ll be the one.
If you’re thinkin’ ‘bout lovin’ a woman
Said that I’ll be the one.
If you’re plannin’ on doin’ some things
That have never been done.
If you’re plannin’ on doin’ some things
That have never been done.

Oh-oh, I’m ready willin’ and able.
Oh-oh, to set you down at my table.

You’ve been talkin’ and tellin’ everybody
That you play a good game.
You’ve been talkin’ and tellin’ everybody
That you play a good game.
Deal me in one time and I guarantee
You won’t be the same.
Deal me in one time and I guarantee
You won’t be the same.

Oh-oh, I’m ready, willin’ and able.
Oh-oh, to set you down at my table.

Some people say your as hard as a rock
You break little hearts whenever you’re around
Well you may be rough, you may be tough
But I got somethin’ that will melt you down.

Oh-oh, I’m ready, willin’ and able.
Oh-oh, to set you down and my table.

Discography

"Boys and Girls" Longview Records (1978) LP
"Take Us In" Independent release (1986) Single
"Twisted Christmas" Critique (1987) LP
"Natural Girl" Independent release (2003) LP