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Joanne Hogg biography
Joanne was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland shortly after her parents returned from India where they had worked as missionaries for 13 years. She has 5 siblings, all health care professionals and all with musical tendencies, nurtured in a home environment that was rarely without the sound of music being played or sung. Joanne started piano lessons at the age of 10 and continued for four years until it became difficult to find piano teachers in the rural area where they lived. Her early childhood was lived in the County Antrim town of Randalstown, and for the remainder of her school and university years up until she married in 1985, the town of Magherafelt, County Derry, was her home.

Joanne began attending Queen's University Belfast to study medicine in 1981. After her third year at Queen's, she received information through the post about a summer music and arts event in DeBron, Holland called Christian Artists which she thought would be an interesting experience, little did she know it was going to change her life! When Joanne arrived in Holland, she discovered that unknown to her, someone had entered her into the talent evaluation session.

At Christian Artists, she came into contact with well known contemporary Christian musician Adrian SNELL who encouraged her and asked her to send him a demo tape which she later did. Joanne was also heard singing at the talent evaluation by a staff worker for Youth For Christ (YFC), Denmark who immediately invited her to work with them for a year doing schools ministry work. Once back in Ireland she persuaded the Dean of the faculty to allow her to take an unconventional year out and work with (YFC) in Denmark. During the school term months of September to June, she traveled throughout the country visiting schools and colleges giving solo concerts and talking to students about music, faith, and the cultural aspects of life as a student in the politically charged environment of Northern Ireland. Too much talking and singing resulted in Joanne developing nodules on her vocal chords and the prospect of singing as a career looked highly unlikely.

After returning to Northern Ireland in the summer of 1985, Joanne married Stephen and returned to university to complete her medical degree. In early 1986 Adrian SNELL, hugely impressed by the demo Jo had given him months earlier, invited her to record a solo vocal track on his landmark 'ALPHA AND OMEGA' project. As a result of her involvement with this, Jo...
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JOANNE HOGG discography

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JOANNE HOGG top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Looking Into Light
3.00 | 1 ratings
4.04 | 4 ratings
Raphael's Journey
4.12 | 24 ratings
Uncountable Stars

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Uncountable Stars by HOGG, JOANNE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.12 | 24 ratings

Uncountable Stars
Joanne Hogg Crossover Prog

Review by lucas
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Joanne Hogg is the vocalist for celtic/progressive rock band IONA for 25 years, yet also leads in parallel a solo career for nearly 15 years now. 'Uncountable stars' is her last solo album to date, and just like with her previous projects, the magic happens again. Joanne Hogg's particularity is to own a voice that blends cleverly sorrow and enthusiasm, and which magnetism is so strong that it would make cry even people with hardened heart. In the video that the talented vocalist posted on her website, she explains that the new album is different from anything she did previously. Well, actually, after listening to the whole record, one will notice that the difference lays more in the instruments used (assorted percussions, glockenspiel, cello, cornet) than in the atmospheres (still oscillating between cheerfulness and melancholy).

All along the thirteen tracks of the album, utterly beautiful keyboard layers and heartbreaking strings share the sound space with other instruments played in a heartfelt way and the ever- moving voice of Joanna. The musical canvas is rather eclectic. In fact, at times, we are delighted with "pitching" tracks like the very sentimental "Out here", or the pastoral "Kingfisher" with its bewitching cornet. However, at other times, the music is in rather cheerful pop mood with catchy chorus (the sublime "Some things", the upbeat "Above the storm"). This contrasts with some other tracks, more nuanced in their moods, melancholic and cheerful in turn (the mesmerizing "River of tears", the haunted "Mountain of debris", the languid "Rest"). The search for diversity is further witnessed in a martial bolero ("Horse and rider"), where a sinister piano contrasts with the enthusiastic vocalizations of Joanne. The theme here comes as a wink to the last album she recorded with IONA, where a knight seated on a horse raises his sword in a desert land. Most of the songs are actually in an intimist neo-romantic mood that emphasizes not only Joanne's divine voice, but also the subtlety of her keyboard play (the lulling "In a moment", the delicate "Come away", the aquatic "My true love", the blooming "Lay down" where the cornet is once again honoured, the pleading "In that moment" that closes the album with the same theme that opened it). Moreover, with recordings of various elements of Nature - at the very start and at the very end of tracks in general (croaks, rain, wind, cicadas on a midsummer night), and an album cover depicting a kingfisher in all its splendour levitating above water with its catch of the day in beak and stars all around, Joanne certainly aimed at paying a vibrant tribute to Nature and the beauties it holds.

Drawing on her experience with IONA and as a solo artist, Joanne delivers on 'Uncountable stars' majestic contrasting ambiances where melodies are always put forward. Perform a new album of such quality with the risk of repeating herself after a string of albums, was not an easy task, the kindhearted vocalist took up the challenge and succeeded briliantly.

 Raphael's Journey by HOGG, JOANNE album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.04 | 4 ratings

Raphael's Journey
Joanne Hogg Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars As a founder member of Iona, Joanne needs not introduction as over the years her voice has been at the forefront of everything that they have achieved. But back in 2006 she was a new mother, and came to the conclusion (from persona experience) that adults were more in need of gentle music to go to sleep with than children ever were! So, she started working with producer and musician Frank Van Essen on a project to create and record music that would convey a sense of peace, beauty and comfort and enable listeners to rest, relax and wind down, and the drift away into a contented sleep. This was initially released as download only, with a different cover, and was credited solely to Joanne. However, in 2010 it was finally released as a physical product, at which time new artwork was provided and the crediting was changed to reflect the importance of Frank's contribution.

Needless to say, Joanne's bandmates weren't going to let her do this on her own and they all take part, as does Clannad vocalist Moya Brenna. The result is an album that is beautiful from start to finish. Deliberately designed to be played in the evening, this is something that suits the dark, with the vocals and instruments combining in an ethereal manner that for some reason makes me think of the mists around the Western Isles. It is not unusual for Iona and Joanne to be compared to Enya, but this is stripped down in comparison to that heavily structured style, and it isn't unusual for Joanne to be singing with just delicate piano for accompaniment along with some wonderful string arrangements.

This is a wonderful album, and really does deserve to be heard by a much wider audience. It can be purchased from Iona gigs or their website at Everyone involved also decided that this should be a charity record, and profits from this recording are donated to several organisations that seek to alleviate the suffering of children in extreme poverty.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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