"JP Hoe offered a different pace with music that made the hairs stand on the back of the neck. He displayed consummate artistry with fluid melodies, spine-tingling tunes and delicious acoustic soul and Americana. Canada has produced a glut of folk musicians, all wishing to follow in the footsteps of such trailblazing legends as Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot. Few can reach that benchmark, but JP Hoe's Saturday set came closer than most."
- Shropshire Star (Aug 2014)
JP Hoe's sophomore album, Mannequin, may be named for a plastic ideal but it beats with a human pulse. The acclaimed Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter has crafted the kind of album that, to borrow a Wilco lyric, tries to break your heart. A soaring collection of cinematic epics that still burn with an intimate intensity. The six time Western Canadian Music Award nominated artist has a tremendous gift for writing songs would sound as good stripped down around a campfire as they would in a soft-seat theatre with a full orchestra.
Hoe's big, bold, blue-sky voice the product of hundreds of days on the road has a lot to do with that. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool troubadour type who knows he’s only as good as his last show. He's played gigs all over the world, connecting with audiences via his soul-on-sleeve lyrics, but also his down-to-earth unpretentious charm. There's a reason his annual hometown concert, The JP Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show, is a perennially sold out December tradition; the guy knows a thing or two about showmanship.
He also knows his way around a love song. Its a deft songwriting touch that has evolved over two albums, including 2006's Live Beta Project and 2008's ambitious 17-song opus The Dear John Letters. Unlike that sprawling studio debut, Mannequin sees Hoe at his tightest and most focused; the writing is sharper. More world-weary, perhaps, but better for it. Mannequin is melancholy, but it never wallows. It's an intimate album about getting a little older and a little wiser.
Justin Lacroix Band
West End Cultural Centre
586 Ellice Avenue
$15/advance - $20/door