Local Singer Opens for R&B Legend

Jo Gore. Source: Jo Gore & The Alternative
Jo Gore. Source: Jo Gore & The Alternative

By Frank and Kay Whatley

When Al Green took the stage September 19th at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), local singer Josephine Gore had just finished amazing the audience with her voice as one half of the Jo Gore Duo.

Jo’s interest in early gospel rock-and-rollers and soul singers like Aretha Franklin and Al Green, and hard work along the way, led her to this point of opening for one of her idols.

From her childhood singing at Spring Hill Baptist (Columbus County), to teaming with local band The Alternative, through formation of the Jo Gore Duo with Bo Lankenau, Jo has performed hundreds of times and developed a voice and style fitting to her DPAC performance.

With her Herstory album recently released, this local talent is working her way into the big time! Her roots still hold strongly to NC. One of her requested song’s lyrics are all about her girlhood home, including:

Going to Columbus County
I said, let’s have a good time at the church’s fish fry
Have a glass of sweet iced tea.

Says Ms. Gore, “It’s no secret that I have tried to pattern myself after Sarah Vaughan. She had such an amazing vocal range and such beautiful vibrato. I worship this woman.”

The other half of the Jo Gore Duo, Bo Lankenau, is a self-taught musician from NY inspired by some of the same classic blues and soul that inspired Jo.

“I met Jo through a mutual friend and was immediately drawn to her eclectic jazz/soul/gospel stylings and deep understanding of the jazz tradition,” Lankenau said.

In addition to performing at DPAC, Jo has performed in Wendell at the Men Who Cook With Jazz Festival this past summer, and at Norris Creek during the Spring Grow And Share Music Festival. To hear Ms. Gore and learn more about her upcoming local performances, visit www.jogore.com. Listen to the song Columbus County and enjoy this hometown girl’s talent!

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About Frank Whatley 19 Articles
Founder of The Grey Area News and staff photographer, Frank Whatley set the direction for the newspaper and news site.