Topping session for String Band Club

TALENTED and big-hearted; not a bad combination for a person such as Joe Topping who is set to appear at the String Jam Club this weekend.

The musical journey of the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the Wirral, has been as colourful as it has varied.

After cutting his musical teeth playing with the Tom Topping Band, Joe was asked to join the late John Wright after Wright heard and covered one of Joe’s songs The Flame Danced Flamenco.

But he has also made a mark as fundraiser, walking across the Namib Desert in aid of a landmine charity. He completed a 1,400 mile walk down America in 2006, trekking from Chicago to the Gulf of Mexico, for New Orleans musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

The locations he saw and people he met are said to have inspired Joe’s music, including his latest album, Ghosts in the Shadows, in 2010.

On his return from America, Joe accepted an earlier invitation to join local band, Elbow Jane. Since then, they have recorded the critically acclaimed album England Stone and played the main stages at many folk festivals.

He also joined the Rainbow Chasers alongside Ruth Angell and Jo Hamilton, and has worked with Chris Leslie and Gerry Conway (Fairport Convention), Martin Allcock (Fairport, Jethro Tull, Beth Nielson Chapman) and Chris While and Julie Matthews among others.