Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls play a unique hybrid of early 20th Century music infused with dark imagery.  Intense and compelling, they combine 1930’s voodoo sounds with a steamy broth of vaudeville, blues, skiffle, early ska, old-timey country and folk.

Singer Jo Carley is smack in the middle of the mix, with a snarl and a twinkle as she uses her sweet melodies to tell of terrible things.   This is made even more bewitching as she switches from fiddle to mandolin to washboard.  The driving force is Tim Carley’s one-man-band set-up with guitar, kick-drum and foot tambourine (the rattlin’ shoe)!  They are joined by multi-instrumentalist James Le Huray on double bass and banjo.

Dedicated to the subversive, the world of Jo Carley and the Old Dry Skulls is dark, animated and unusual.  A band that lives to perform, Jo Carley & The Old Dry Skulls seek to amuse and draw the audience into an underworld filled with wonder, the macabre and the imagination.   They have been touring extensively up and down the UK and have taken their show across Europe to some of the best clubs and festivals on the circuit.

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Making deals with the devil never bodes well and sometimes voodoo antics backfire. A woman’s innocent trip to the jungle ends with a witchdoctor tricking her into marrying him. In the dead of the night she steals his zombie poison and uses it to set herself free. She now possesses all of his magic and celebrates the end of their tumultuous relationship, but he doesn't go away easy.  Now a relentless zombie comes to bother her every night, creeping around giving her fright. Is she still under his spell? 

'Voodoo Bones & Vaudeville Blues' was recorded between April and September 2020 during the lockdown. With over 70 shows cancelled across Europe and the UK, the band decided to use the time and channel their creative spirits into something positive. Jo and Tim's tiny house on the east coast of England was converted into a recording studio and the album was recorded using old school techniques and just a few good microphones, with everything being engineered by the band themselves. This more primitive way of recording totally captures the bands unique sound. Jo's theatrical and powerful vocals are right upfront and the dynamics and energy of their live shows is captured on tape. The final recordings were mixed and mastered in just three days by Ed Deegan at Gizzard Recordings in London. Gizzard Recordings was chosen as it is one of the only vintage analogue studios in the country. The twelve tracks were mixed down to 1/4 mono tape using a collection of 1950's and 1960's reverbs and tape delays and vintage recording gear. The result is the bands most retro and authentic sounding record to date, it has all the vibe, sounds and character of the old Blues, Country, Skiffle, Calypso and Rock n Roll records that inspired them to make this album.


'Voodoo Bones & Vaudeville Blues' out December 2002 on Old Higue Records / New Retro Sounds. 



2020 - 'Voodoo Bones & Vaudeville Blues' (ALBUM)

2020 - 'The Zombie / The Jungle' (LOCKDOWN DIGITAL SINGLE)

2019 - 'Shake Them Rattlin' Bones' (ALBUM)

2017 - 'Them Old Bones' (ALBUM)

2014 - 'Rags and Bones' (EP)


“… On ‘Voodoo Bones & Vaudeville Blues’, Jo Carley and the Old Dry Skulls do what they do very well. They continue to brew their unique concoction of voodoo and vaudeville and skilfully season it with some blues, rock and other fine spices that taste for more after dark…“

“9/10 …invigorating macabre blues to keep you warm this winter”  Viola Noir (Russia)

"Jo Carley & The Old Dry Skulls were a joy to behold.  Rooted firmly in a bygone era when Voodoo and Black Magic were rife, the audience were all spellbound by the performance and its originality" - Adrian Blacklee - Blues Matters Magazine (UK)

"... a wonderfully enchanting show where magical songs were scattered." - (Netherlands)

"... a creepy-mischievous touch.  Sarcasm is no stranger to her.  It seems as if she predicts hell in such a way that you have to laugh about it" - (Belgium)

“...a steaming broth of cabaret, blues, ska, Vaudeville, voodoo and skiffle. Horror stories are the main course, with a side orders of sex, trouble, and all-night parties” - Hans Werksman - Here Comes The Flood (Netherlands)

“Folk instruments deployed with maximum attitude” 9/10 – Vive Le Rock Magazine (UK)  

“...riffs and rhythms, stomp and tap, crazy woman on vocals you find yourself waiting for her to cast a spell on you” - Alan Pearce - Blues Matters Magazine (UK)

"A spooky slab of backwoods punk, mixed with medicine show huckster and old timey roots music. JCODS make deliciously devilish sounds. Something wicked coming this way. Highly recommended" - Folkcast  (UK)

"That nailed it, good stuff. Left of field stomper. A wonderful fusion of trad, old timey, New Orleans Voodoo Queen and morris dancing, I think???" - Mike Harding / Mike Harding Folk Show (UK)


“They have that gumbo like conglomeration of blues, folk, rockabilly, and voodoo.” – (Germany)

“There are dark warnings, powerful accusations, gritty observations and singular attitude... this is a musical heist that robs you of ordinary and replaces it with exceptional" - Folkwords (UK)


“Let's be honest. In this dark age, Jo Carley gives us positive energy with The Old Dry Skulls. Vintage music poured with a modern sauce. Perfect for a good feeling and a must in every club, any festival” – Keys and Chords Magazine (Belgium)

“Being scared has never been so much fun. Eyes closed, lights out, music on. Then tremble and shake and then laugh.”  - Cultuurpakt (Belgium)

“… Een heerlijk album …. maar als je wel van een horrorverhaal houdt zou ik zeker naar het oude vaudeville theater gaan om dit verhaal te beluisteren.” – Bluestown Music (Netherlands)

“…a magic potion made up from early 20th century blues and old-time, post-war skiffle and rock’n’roll, Don’t be scared, notwithstanding these weird times it’s only entertainment and we like it!” – Tom Keller / Folkworld (Germany)

“…a macabre fairytale, …Naughty creepy, full of sarcasm, this album predicts a wonderful performance when the band also visits Belgium during their tour in 2021, “So let’s shake those bones together”!” Luminous Dash (Belgium)

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