I received my first guitar when I was about ten years old. I learned a few chords, and my sisters and I began to sing in church, talent shows, and at family gatherings.
Music has always been an important part of my life; however, I wasn't really passionate about it until I discovered an amazing singer named Eva Cassidy. The first time I heard her voice, I was blown away! I also loved her guitar style. Like so many others, I was completely captivated and awed by her talent, but it was much more than her incredible voice or guitar playing. Every single song she sang seemed to be coming from deep inside a sacred place within her heart and soul.
Eva's story and music gave me the courage to dig deep down inside myself to explore my creative spirit, and the courage to overcome my fear so that I could enjoy the wonderful gift that God had given me. I was playing only rhythm guitar until I discovered Eva in 2003. I loved her guitar work so much that I was determined to learn to play some finger style. Then I decided in order to write my own tunes, I would need to learn to play the melody. It has opened up a whole new world for me musically, and I enjoy playing the guitar so much more now.
I believe God uses people to inspire us. Eva was definitely my inspiration, and that's why this CD is my tribute to her. Eva Cassidy's life was cut short at thirty three years of age as a result of malignant melanoma. My track, "Remembrance", was written in loving tribute to Eva.
Although I have no formal training, I am in love with the soothing sound that guitar brings to myself and countless others.
A very special person heard my music and encouraged me to release it for others to enjoy. It truly is therapy for me, and I'm hoping it will bring some comfort to others who need a soothing presence in their lives.
I have composed seven original tunes for this compilation CD. Since I play by ear rather than read music, my composing consists of hearing a tune in my head, then playing and recording it. It gives me a sense of great accomplishment when a tune truly comes together for me.
My original songs are a reflection of the peacefulness I am experiencing while playing guitar.
When I'm playing music I have this all is "well with the world" feeling.
I am especially proud of 'Dreamin' of Latin Nights' and 'Center of My Soul'. Eva Cassidy's brother, Dan Cassidy, and her father, Hugh Cassidy, accompanied me on these two selections. Both men are gifted musicians. Hugh does a great job adding the eloquence of the cello on 'Center of My Soul'. Dan Cassidy's musical genius clearly shines through in the violin that he added on both songs. The way he doubled his playing to provide an orchestral effect is nothing short of incredible.
It has been a dream come true to have the Cassidys work with me on this project. I also appreciate the encouragement Hugh has given me over the past three years.
I hope my music will bring much peace to every soul who hears it.
I thank God for the gift He has given me, and also for all the people he has placed along my path as I travel this journey called life.
A special thank you to Hugh and Dan Cassidy for their contribution to this CD. What an exceptionally generous family the Cassidys truly are.
I also thank my family and friends for their love and support, and for listening to me go on and on about my music!
Thanks to David Snead for his contribution. He shot the photos for the front and back cover of the CD.
Thank you to Mark Bloot'hoofd for allowing me to use his beautiful image that is printed on the CD and inside the liner. To view more of Mark's work, visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hoogen_imagery/
Thank you to that 'special person', Kimberly Morrow, who encouraged me to release my music for others to hear. And thank you to Kim for editing my liner notes. I appreciate your contribution to my CD.
Thank you to Brad Moore for creating my website.
And a special thank you to my dear friend, Tammy Moore. Thank you for all the photos in the CD insert and on the website. Thanks for helping me compile my thoughts for the liner notes as well as printing. And thank you for your encouragement and friendship.
God bless each and every one of you.
Jo Ann White
Visit my web site for more information and pictures.
Downloads available at itunes
Also visit Eva Cassidy's website at:
Guitar recorded and mixed by : Jo Ann White
Cello and violin recorded and mixed by: Larry Melton
CD edited by: Snow Hill Music Studio
Print work and photos by: Tammy Moore