“Brown Rice”

I have been totally swamped these days because I have taken on a couple of new projects.  You know I am always trying to expand my mind and educate myself on new experiences.  Well one of the big endeavors I have undertaken is becoming the lead singer of a band.




Yep, they are all Chinese and I am the one little piece of “Brown Rice” in the mix.  Actually, that is our band’s name “Brown Rice”.   How did all of this come into play.  Well, I am one of the owners of a bar here in China.  It is a small bar that has bands, comedy shows, themed parties and other interesting entertainment that we can find.   Most of the time, it is just a laid back place where we can chill.

It caters mostly to foreigners but we do have several Chinese locals that come in out of curiosity or because they like being around foreigners.  So, we were having trouble getting a good foreign band.  Some weren’t very good and some were too good and too expensive to hire.   One of the co-owners suggested we make our own band… and we were all giggling.  She said “Jo you can sing…” and other people started shouting out what instruments they can play…. it all turned into a laugh fest.   The next morning I woke up with a message on my phone that said ” Jo send your playlist…..we have you a band”…..I was like seriously?????

And Here we are!!!

We mostly play Pop and Rock music…but through in some reggae, Jazz and R&B once in a while to mix it up.  I have found singing in a live band is much harder than it looks.  I have sung on stage solo with accompaniment….and I have sung with piano, and even one guitar; but to sing with a guitarist, bass player and a drummer….. is much more complicated.

The band is made up of myself, lead singer; Lee, Bass; Stix on drums; and Grayson on lead guitar.  The sound pretty amazing, however, they have been playing together for years.   I have been singing for years but as a solo act… so therein lies the problem.   I have to blend with them and they have to get use to me….. we are scheduled to start playing at the bar next weekend and every weekend following.  There is a lot of pressure on me… since I am a major recognizable face at the bar.  People are so excited and cant wait to hear us…….(lord help me)…..


The guys are great… they speak little English… and I speak enough Chinese that we can understand each other…. we even had dinner together to get to know each other better.   I know with the right practice and music… we will be amazing.

In all my day, I never thought I would be the lead singer of a band…. but… I never thought I would be living in China either… ..Just proves you never know where life will take you.


until next time…….


8 thoughts on ““Brown Rice”

  1. Hi. I’ve been following your blog for a couple years now, but never posted. I’ve sung with live bands at church (back in the US), but not as the lead. I only had to follow and embellish. You will be mastering a much more complex skill set. Bravo!
    Is your bar in HZ? I hope to come out sometime when you are playing.

  2. Aurolyn Lee

    Jo, I do enjoy reading your newsletter. GO FOR IT! Sing your heart out. I think it fantastic that a black women has stepped out of her comfort zone for a new adventure. BRAVO! I know you will do a great job singing. God Bless.

  3. deb

    That is so cool. Stix and Grayson so American. You are really blazing a spectator trail for yourself and other bw. Good going. I wish I could be there for your opening night. Will you video tape your session? One day you and the band will be on some American talk show.

  4. pearls

    Girlfriend…once you listen to the live music and start feeling it; you’ll be amazed of the depth your vocals will transcend to. I look forward to a short clip of your band with you singing soon.

  5. Maria Edwards

    Hi I know I do not leave you much comments but you are always in my prayers. I have been do proud of you in all you have been through and changes you have made now. As for the band you will get use to it, not of my life I sang w just piano. And once I got in a country band it is to different you’re listen to the score of the guitars the drums the bass. But it will come together very quickly if you practice with them every day as we all did.
    I pray you have everyone standing in ovation clapping for you and your bands debut. Please let me know how it goes for you and your new band, God bless you in this new band. It will all work out for you and them always keep God in the plan always.
    Queen Maria E.👑 USA

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