Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Christmas Songs, me and Mari Wilson, Metronomy and more

This is such a wonderful time of year. The old year draws to a close, the nights get longer and longer as we head towards the winter solstice, and certainly my thoughts turn towards the new year and all the wonderful things looming.

This year though there's such a lovely run of shows with Mari Wilson and I, and the utterly fabulous Alastair Gavin on piano. Singing with one of your best mates is one thing, but when those best mates are some of the best singers in the western world, it just makes it all a total joy. We opened at Crazy Coqs on Sunday and had such a terrific show. The audience went bonkers with joy, singing along to the Christmas songs and laughing at all the shenanigans. There's more this week and next before I get my break-ette for the holidays. Here they are at the bottom of this blog - Brighton this friday 12th December, The Vortex Jazz Bar this coming saturday the 13th, Altrincham on the 17th, Greenham on the 19th and Maidstone on the 21st.

And in my time there've been 2 Christmas songs. One I wrote with The Three Courgettes and I still love it and remember it with great fondness. It was originally recorded for the Zee Christmas album, when we were on Island records. Which feels like a very long time ago.

Then a couple of years ago, we took my version of Joni Mitchell's classic Christmas song, River from Stockport to Memphis and added the Northampton Royal and Derngate Gospel Choir at Simon Wallace's Underhill Studios with choral director Gareth Fuller's help. That's here -

There've been some fabulous films around. Mr Turner is worth the length and the James Brown film made me ring Jessica Lauren in the middle of the night to talk funk.

So the Christmas wreath is on the door and a little tree is my this week's purchase, and I'm clearing shelves and preparing for the dance between the years where New York City beckons -


Here's to joy and peace for all. Namaste.

And here's a metronomy video I love…..

Our Christmas show dates 

Monday, 1 December 2014

100 Years of British Song and Christmas show coming…..

Such a joy to be part of Ian Shaw's wonderful night of 100 years of British song at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last week. Not least of all because my mates were there. Claire Martin and Mari Wilson and I managed to get a good catch up backstage, as we all had to be there all afternoon for sound checks and run throughs. And a total delight to meet Elaine Delmar. 

Mari Wilson, Elaine Delmar and I in the Green Room
Now I saw Elaine Delmar sing in what feels like 100 years ago, at a jazz festival night or something in Holland Park. And it was wonderful and a lovely summer's evening and when everything was finished and we went down to get in the car afterwards there was - parked beside my tatty old semi solid Toyota, a roller. A super dooper silver roller. Beautiful motor. And it wouldn't start. And my shabby piece of you know what Toyota started first time. So out came this man to ask for a jump start. And he didn't even have his own jump leads! So. Yes. I gave Michael Winner a jump start.

Back at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the dressing rooms were a riot. Hairspray and coat hangers, gossip and heels. Shared with Claire, Elaine, Melanie Pappenheim and Georgia Mancio. I had been in the other dressing room but it was gloomy and I can't do gloomy rooms. They are bad for the spirit. This room was also gloomy to begin with but Elaine had demanded a dressing room table with lights which had been miraculously provided so I slipped in there instead.

Judith Owen, Jumoke Fashola, Elaine Delmar, me and Sumudu
The concert itself was lovely. It's always fabulous to get to hang out with a bunch of singers who's work you admire and appreciate, and its rare. You're not usually on a bill with a bunch of other singers. Comedians get to hang together, as do musicians, but its a much less common experience for us. And the Green Room was full of happy snappers once we'd gotten our stage kits and eyelashes on. The girls had IT that night. And the band were so lovely. They played for everyone and for hours and gave it such joy and finesse. Salut to Barry green on piano, Mick Hutton on bass and Dave Ohm on drums. And the lovely pianist Jamie Safirrudin (who played with me on the Isle of Wight last weekend in Ventnor Arts Club) played for Ben Cox and Jumoke Fashola introduced the night for the London Jazz Festival. Ian Shaw was magnificent, held the whole thing together with vision and generosity, and sang like a demon himself into the bargain. And right slap bang in the middle of the night Julian Clary came on and did a stirring version of Bowie's hot becoming Major Tom right there win front of our eyes…….

Just like the old days - Julian and I under the clock!
We'd even managed, Julian and I, to get a bit of shopping in before the show and after the sound check and I got a rather splendid necklace - which was a good job as I discovered when we got back to get ready that I'd left the one I was going to wear at home……

Natalie Williams, me, Mari Wilson, Judith Owen and Georgia Mancio in our frocks (and the necklace).
And now we're heading towards the Christmas show, Woman to Woman dust down their jingle jangle hats and prepare for a nice run of dates including London, Altrincham, Newbury and Brighton. Here's a video of the first time we took it all out at the Pheasantry.

And here are all the dates coming up - hope to see you there.
So, as the year winds towards the solstice and the longest night, sayonara and namaste - enjoy this coming season however it moves you, and goodwill and peace to all. And if you're looking forward, here's the link for Valentine's day at The Purcell Room


and for 54 Below in New York on 2nd, 3rd and 4th of January. Barb x


Monday, 17 November 2014

New York Spalding, the London Jazz Festival and some videos…….

The second week of the 59E59 theatre run of Hard Rain was simply wonderful. So many lovely people stopped by and saw us, including Penny Arcade, Karen Akers, David Finkle, Thelma and Kristine Reyes and friends, Laila Robins and Kaya, Jim Gavin and Tammy Faye, Gail Boyd and husband with Laurence Hobgood, Gaby Massey, Andy Goldberg and family, all the Connecticut crew - John McDaniel, Eric Kornfeld, Matt Baker, Madison DeCoske and Aaron Spivey, David King, David Noh: old friends, new friends, it was wonderful to see everyone and always a surprise to find whoever was there.

Here's Thelma, Kristine, Laila and Kaya after the last show, at Thai Restaurant Room Service on 9th Avenue where the basil rice is just about mind blowing.

David Noh and I
It was a blast. The reviews were wonderful -  thank you Stephen Holden for the New York Times, Tonya Pinkins for Bistro Awards, Will Friedwald at The Wall Street Journal and David Finkle at Fitch Report  which gave us full houses all week.

The New York Times


The Connecticut Team a go go with Emma, Mike, Tracy, Aaron, Matt, Eric, John McD and Madison.

Fitch Report


Mike Lunoe, Tracy Stark and I having too much Pluck The Mango fun in the dressing room.

The Wall Street Journal.


Bistro Awards and Stage Buddy.


The final shows came and went in a blur and before I knew it I was at Joe's Pub for the launch of Jim Gavin's fabulous new study of Peggy Lee, "Its That All There Is?" At last I met the New Standards, Chan, Stevie and John, who rehearsed the song 'Some Cats' with me. Hooked up with Baby Jane Dexter and Holt McCallany at the sound check.

Steve Roehm, Lenny Kaye, John Munson, Baby Jane Dexter, Craig Holiday Haynes, Chan Poling, rehearsal, Joe's Pub, Nov. 10, 2014.
With Holt at the sound check.
Hung out before the show with Hostess with the Mostess, my friend and sometimes landlady - the bestest Jane Buchanan and her gorgeous son, Luka, before heading down to Joe's Pub.

Tammy Faye, Barb Jungr, Carol Fredette, Helen Merrill, , Joe's Pub, Nov. 10, 2014
So many lovely friends, performers and singers down there - Justin Vivian Bond and kenny Mellman, Baby Jane Dexter, Andy Bey, Tammy Faye, Jane Monheit….more about it all and the whole lineup here -


Stevie playing the vibes there like a demon!
Tammy Faye, Lenny Kaye, Joe's Pub, Nov. 10, 2014
The whole night was a riot, Jim was in heaven and righty so, loved up as he was there by everyone, and before I knew it I was back on a plane home.

Justin Vivian Bond, Jim Gavin and Kenny Mellman, Joe's Pub, Nov. 10, 2014.
Had a great rehearsal with Simon Wallace and Davide Mantovani for the Nina collection for the London Jazz Festival, and then headed off up the A1 across the fens to the South Holland Centre in Spalding. Hard Rain there went down a storm, and when we came out it was as though we had slipped back hundreds of years as fog seeped over the marshes and flat fields and across the cobble stones. Drove back much more slowly, accordingly!

Then to the St James Theatre for the London Jazz Festival night. Packed house and Davide on the bass and Simon in heaven with the new Steinway piano there. So, a packed 2 weeks, and this week the Queen Elizabeth Hall as Ian Shaw's guest, Shoreham for Hard Rain and the Isle of Wight with Jamie Safirrudin on piano. Couldn't be happier.

With the New Standards at Joe's Pub for Jim Gavin's book launch.
And now for 2 videos that show the variety of this great world of ours…..

and this

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Hard Rain at 59E59 Theaters 4 shows in - 12 to go!

At first night with Vice President of the Drama Desk Leslie (Hoban) Blake
Well, we're 4 shows into the 16 show run, so thats a quarter done, and its a total roller coaster. Audiences are amazing - cheering and stamping and standing, and loving these tricksy, crazed songs.  Tracy Stark is playing like a demon and Mike Lunoe is stirring the percussion into a frenzy.

Here are some highlights.

Photos from the first night here -

With Peter Tear, Producer and Artistic director of 59E59 Theaters.

With Cabaret Queen the wonderful Karen Akers and Woman About Town's Alix Cohen

And all the above are by and on Barry Gordin's Theater Life website piece, here -


with a 5 star review of the show by Paulanne Simmons, here


Here's the review -

Barb Jungr *****

                                    Dylan, Cohen... and Jungr
                                      By: Paulanne Simmons

British chanteuse Barb Jungr turned 60 this year. And she's "had enough of love songs." Instead, her new show, Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, is filled with the two singer/songwriters' political and philosophical work. And so, Jungr advised her audience at 59E59 Theaters they would be listening to songs with the most words in one evening.

A set list with the likes of Dylan's "It's All Right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," "Chimes of Freedom" and "Masters of War," or Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan," "Everybody Knows" and "1000 Kisses Deep" would in itself be worthy of note, but Jungr gives each song a lyricism and subtlety that turns every expectation on its head.
Jungr slows down rock and gives folk a jazzy twist. Every once in a while she delivers a line with a wry smile or a knowing nod. There are mysterious truths to these songs, and she's letting us in on the secret.
There's also a lot of humor. Although Jungr is meticulous about every note and every line in a lyric, she does not always take herself very seriously. At one point in the show she notes that her near obsession with Bob Dylan might be the result of nothing else to do.
With Tracy Stark at the piano and Mike Lunoe on percussion, the three performers achieve a synthesis of melody, rhythm and mood one does not often hear. It's almost as if Jungr, Stark and Lunoe are in their own dimension and allowing the audience to join them for a while.
Although many of Dylan and Cohen's songs are 40 or 50 years old, Jungr believes "their music was so prescient; all of these songscould have been written this morning."
But in Jungr's hands, it is not only Cohen and Dylan's visionary quality that makes their work so relevant. It is also her thoughtful reworking and emotional investment that breathes new life into smoldering embers.

Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen
, at 59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59 Street, through Nov. 9. For tickets, call (212) 279-4200 or visit www.59e59.org.

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And it was wonderful to see David Kenney again for his wonderful Everything Old is New Again radio show.

David Kenney and Barb in Harlem at the temporary home of Everything Old Is New Again

There were a burst of first reviews - this in Deadline Hollywood - "And another real thing: 59E59 Theaters is presenting the remarkable chanteuse Barb Jungr in Hard Rain, a thrilling cabaret evening of mostly early songs by Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Ranging from Dylan’s “Chimes Of Freedom” to Cohen’s “Who By Fire,” the pairing is inspired and the performance, in addition to showing off a prodigious memory for lyrics, is flat-out awesome. Jungr is no ice queen; she suffuses each song with engaging physicality along with a gorgeous mezzo, and the show gets better and better as the 70 minutes fly by. “First We Take Manhattan” (Cohen) and “Masters Of War” (Dylan) are among the many knockouts.  Also a must-see."
Jeremy Gerard October 31 2014
And this in On Stage - 

Covering All Things Theatre Locally & Beyond

Thursday, October 30, 2014
OnStage New York City ~ Review: “Barb Jungr – Hard Rain": The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen at 59E59 Theater B

by David Roberts, OnStage New York City Critic, Theatre Reviews Limited

“Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17b-18

In her challenging and remarkable performance piece “Hard Rain,” currently running at 59E59 Theater B, Barb Jungr alludes to the often cryptic nature of Bob Dylan’s lyrics. There is yet another bit of cryptic poetry from a source often mined by both Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen; namely, the Bible. It is best not to argue that point. The imagery of both writers is informed by the rich imagery of the sacred books of the Judean-Christian communities. This does not mean that either poet has a faith construct consistent with either faith; it simply means they – like other modern and contemporary authors – allude to this material for its rich imagery and metaphorical treasure trove.

Dylan and Cohen – the troubadours of truth – like the “first and the last" before them – figuratively (and often literally) have entered all those spaces (metaphorically “Death and Hades”) that have always threatened to undo humankind and the planet upon which it treads boards and often finds itself treading water. And they in truly redemptive fashion have shared not only what they saw about the “hard rains that are going to fall” but also the urgency of a meaningful response from humankind. Barb Jungr – like the messenger on Patmos who shared the news that the early Christians could survive the torment and torture of the Roman Empire – assures her audience that though all is not right in “The Land of Plenty,” “The Chimes of Freedom” counterpoint catastrophe. We are able to affirm that we are alive; yet, we need to be aware that the often surreal revelations of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen continue to threaten our existence. 

Barb Jungr is more than a performer-singer. She is the consummate performance artist, spoken word artist, poet, prophet, Sherpa, interpreter, and spirit-guide. She completely trusts the material she performs – as she completely trusts Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. All thirteen songs are remarkable arrangements of both songwriters and Ms. Jungr reimagines each of them with unique styling and phrasing and with a voice laden with raspy gentleness that counterpoints the “three angels above the street” (those who have eyes will see).

Particularly challenging are Bob Dylan’s “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding);” “Hard Rain;” “Blind Willie McTell;” “Chimes of Freedom;” and Ms. Jungr’s encore “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Equally challenging are Leonard Cohen’s “First We Take Manhattan;” Everybody Knows;” and “The Land of Plenty” which perhaps epitomizes the hope of the performance: “And I don’t really know who sent me, /To raise my voice and say:/May the lights in The Land of Plenty/Shine on the truth some day.”

There is no sugar-coating of the mess humanity has repeatedly and successfully made throughout history and the rehearsal of those mistakes and their consequences (most often affecting the 99 percent rather than the privileged one percent) makes for a somewhat “bumpy ride.” But sharing a night with Barb Jungr is a redemptive blessing. Redemption is often “not pretty or fun.” It is, however, all we have to hope for and all we can strive for. In the words of Bob Dylan, “And what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?/And what'll you do now my darling young one?/I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin.'


“Barb Jungr: Hard Rain” runs for a limited engagement through Sunday, November 9. The performance schedule is Tuesday - Thursday at 7:15 PM; Friday at 8:15 PM; Saturday at 5:15 PM & 8:15 PM; and Sunday at 3:15 PM & 7:15 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Single tickets are $35 ($24.50 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to www.59e59.org. Production photos by Carol Rosegg. Through Sunday November 9. Running time is 90 minutes without an intermission.

and here's the link to Alix Cohen's Woman About Town review with photos by the wonderful Carol Rosegg.

Apart from that I've been resting up and getting yoga in frequently and conversing with the UK on 2015, and enjoying the company of Jane and Luka, here in the East Village; the best hosts.

I've seen the wonderful Sarah Louise Young, and a bunch of friends from the O'Neill. My team at the theatre includes Jonathan Mercado and Emma Wilk and occasionally JP Perreux.

It feels good to have gotten opening night over, and be running now. Its a marathon, this one, weather than a sprint. I'm practically a nun during the rest of the time I'm here because of the show schedule. But what a great place and opportunity and time to be here, with Halloween and the weather changing and winter blowing in.

More on the run after the weekend's 4 shows. Till then med amis,

namaste and peace to you all,

from NY City,

apple of my heart.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

New York City where the people are pretty…….

Aloha y'all - I am here in New York City. Flew courtesy of British Airways, and watched the entire series of True Detective on the journey, which both made it fly past no pun intended, and also put me in the mood for the US of A.


Arrived at my friend Jane's flat, and we immediately had our trademark Barb-arrival supper, Sushi from the Send Out people. I want the send out people in Pimlico. Why can't they be in Pimlico? I also love the corner store here which is dangerously close and has all the Ben and Jerry diet busting flavours, so I can't go in that store, obviously, except at my peril. I also cannot go in Whole Foods. What is it about Whole Foods? You go in for one tiny thing and end up buying candles made of soya and smelling of French fields and cakes made from old wool that are sugar free but certainly not free from anything else. And you get the bill and have to be stretchered back, from the shock.

Had my first rehearsal with the fabulous Tracy Stark. We open here on tuesday -


and there was a wonderful piece by Adam Feldman in Time Out New York, for which, thank you Adam. He had skyped me when I was at my mum's recently and I'd been watching TV and drinking red wine, and we had such a fine chat. You can read it if you've got magnifying eyes, here…..

Adam Feldman's piece in Time Out New York

Here it is online the entire article -

Barb Jungr interview: ‘The joy of these songs is that I have no idea what they mean until I speak them’

The great English channeler tunes into the dark wavelengths of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen

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Barb Jungr
Barb JungrPhotograph: Steve Ullathorne

Barb Jungr is the high priestess of cabaret. Like Nina Simone, to whose work she devoted a 2008 album, the superb English singer approaches her music with devotional intensity and delivers it with deep respect for its mystery and power. But whereas Simone's affect tended toward severity, Jungr is a mostly joyful oracle; even when singing the darkest songs, she often wears a beatific smile or at least a knowing one. In Hard Rain, Jungr's new show at 59E59 Theaters, which begins on Oct 28 and runs through November 9, she takes on what may be her bleakest material yet: wary, hard-nosed, political songs by Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, two of popular music's deepest, twistiest bards.

Neither man's work is easy to communicate. But Jungr, who turned 60 this year, is one of the world's leading interpreters of the more recent chapters of the Great American Songbook. She has a particular affinity for densely poetic work, which she infuses with an irrepressible streak of common sense grounded in her Northern English upbringing. Between songs, she is disarmingly garrulous, funny and candid; when she sings, in a warm, breathy voice acutely attentive to rhythm, she is serious but free of pretense. We reached her via Skype recently at a flat in London, where she was enjoying a glass of red wine.

So what is this latest show?

Well, it's the Hard Rain album but live, which hopefully is more exciting. And I think it's particularly interesting at this point in time, tragically. Since I started singing these songs live, every single time we do a gig, every single night, I can see the audience going, "Oh, shit! This is now. Oh, shit!" [Laughs] A lot of those songs are 30 and 40 years old, and they're present.

What modern themes do you think these songs tap into?

Every so often, you come to a line like, for example, in "Everybody Knows," when Cohen says, "Everybody knows that the plague is coming." Well, hello! Hello! Look what's happening. He just pinpoints the fear elements in humanity that recur. ["A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"] is the most extraordinary writing, and I haven't even begun to touch that song yet. It took me at least seven years to scrape the surface of "Like a Rolling Stone"; I didn't even start to get near that till about three years ago, and even now when I sing it, I go, Oh, yeah, another onion layer. With "Hard Rain," I'm still holding the parcel. I get to, for example, "Guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children," and on a daily basis, that means something different to me. It might mean Freetown or a gang war in Brixton or something else, but daily, there's something that line means. To me, it's Shakespearean.

What do you mean by that?

I mean it's universal; it's at the core of humanity. They are both able to just strip it away, so you go, Okay, I'm going to take off my gloves, I'm going to do bare-knuckle fighting, and this is what it is like inside our souls: It's dark, and it's weary, and sometimes it's gorgeous, and sometimes it winks at you, and sometimes it'll spend a night with you, but basically it's dark in there. And I think that's fabulous.

Will you be doing the album straight through?

I won't be doing one of the Dylans, but I've added another Dylan, and I've added a Cohen: "The Future." Simon [Wallace] and I did a really nice arrangement of it.

Will Simon be playing piano for you here?No, Tracy Stark. And Mike Lunoe will be playing percussion. The album is full of percussion, and Mike is so good, and he just jumped at it; he has ideas. And it takes the pressure off Tracy to hold all the rhythm in the left hand, which is a nightmare for my piano players, because everything is so tightly rhythmic. So it's very nice for her; it will free her. 

What do Dylan and Cohen have in common, for you? And where do they differ?

They drink from the same water; they're rooted in that kind of Judeo-Christian biblical morality, which, whether you agree with it or don't agree with it, whatever way you cut the biscuit on that stuff, it's in you, and you're dealing with it. So you get that same kind of imagery in both of them all the time and that same kind of distanced view. I think it's the process that's different. Dylan writes very quickly and makes some corrections, but essentially that's it, whereas Cohen crafts and crafts and crafts. It makes the tumbling quality of Dylan, and the measured quality to Cohen's work. And there's a tenderness to Cohen that I don't find in the same way in Dylan, usually. But the beginning points and the end points are the same. Between them, they've gone on completely different journeys, but they've arrived at those same points.

Many of the lyrics in Dylan and Cohen are densely packed—sometimes elliptical or evocative, rarely straightforward. How do you navigate that as an interpreter? How much do you try to find a meaning to act out, and how much is sort of incantatory?
You hit it right at the end: It's incantatory. That's exactly what it is. If you load meaning onto something, you do it at your peril. Because for it to have life, we've got to by we—I mean me and whoever's in the room if I'm singing it—we've got to discover that meaning at the same time. If I already know what it means there's nothing to discover, there's no space for anybody else to find anything. I'm telling you what to think, and that's rubbish. For me, the joy of these songs particularly is that I have no idea what they mean until I speak them in the moment, and when I speak them, night to night, they mean different things. People who go, "I'm going to show you what this is"—you know what? I'll go read a book. It's the wrong kind of preaching. But if you're speaking in tongues…you don't know what you're saying, and that's exciting. I want people to discover it in the moment with us.

That is the magic for me of cabaret, in a smaller room. It's always different. But nightclub singing is considered by many to be a bit old hat—a retro pursuit, not mass technology.

I think that's changing. I recently sang at a party in a very hot area of London called Hoxton, and it was absolutely packed with bright young things or people who want to be a bright young thing if they're not. And I got up, and I sang three Leonard Cohen songs. And afterward, there was this lineof people—all these young men with hair like samurai in a Kurosawa movie, and they've got little backpacks on queuing up to say, "Listen, I just wanted to say, that was amazing." And I said to Simon afterward: They don't hear people sing! Singing—I don't mean X Factor singing; I mean singing where you're in a room with somebody who is actually singing—is a thing that's quite shocking now. It's sort of like being an antique. You're valuable because you've lived, actually. And I think there's something in that.

I'm going to throw out a few song titles from the show, and I'd like you to say what comes to mind. Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"?

It's a wooden galleon with sails, and everybody's died from lack of fresh water, and it's being tossed on shitty, horrible waves, and the two people left are trying to get the wheel to spin round one way or another. That's "Hard Rain"!

"First We Take Manhattan"?
Every time I sing it, I think of old Europe and the conflict that is incomprehensible unless you're in old Europe. Walking around the Czech republic, you still can feel in rural areas the weight of the Nazis and the Russian dominance, and for me, that song wormholes through that in a really interesting way.

Dylan's "Masters of War"?

To me, it feels like a woman at a graveside, like those women in Chile who just came out and stood in the street [during the fascist years]: the naked acts of courage that people make when they're beyond pain. That song feels for me like it's beyond pain.

Cohen's "The Land of Plenty"?

I spent some time in Africa in the '90s doing my work over there with the British Council; I wet to Malawi about five times, I went to Cameroon twice, I went to Sudan and Tanzania. And I gave workshops, because I would only sing there if local people could come and have a stage as well. And if you've spent any time there, you just go, "We don't know we're born!" I think that song really gets at that. May the lights of the Land of Plenty shine inside our heads, and may we just stop moaning and whinging and get on with the fact that there are better ways to be in this world. How, I don't know, because apparently we're all on the edge.

Dylan's "Chimes of Freedom"?

There's the moon, and it's come out from a behind a cloud, and you suddenly realize that we're small and insignificant, and then it goes back behind a cloud, and you have a cup of tea, and you go and pet your cat. But that tiny little moment—that's the moment where you understand the universe. And we're given those tiny little gifts of moments, and if we're awake, we find them. And that whole song is about those tiny little gifts in that storm.

See the show!

Barb Jungr

Barb Jungr: Hard Rain

    One of the world's great cabaret singers, England's Jungr is a a joyful oracle, with a particular affinity for densely poetic work. Between songs, she is disarmingly garrulous, funny and candid; when she sings, in a warm, breathy voice acutely attentive to rhythm, she is serious but free of pretense. Her new set at 59E59 is devoted to wary, hard-nosed, political songs by Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.
    1. 59E59 Theaters 59 E 59th St, between Madison and Park Aves, 10022
    2. Tue Oct 28 - Sun Nov 9

    So this morning I had brunch at the Polish restaurant in the East Village with Robert and Jorge, which was delicious and friendly and tasty, and its windy and a bit chillier, and in a minute I'm off to another rehearsal.

    On the radio right now Frank is singing "Come Rain or Come Shine".

    And tonight I am going to join the fabulous David Kenney for his radio show where I'll be interviewed and also be a guest DJ.


    Check that out, its a great great show. We should have that kind of show on the BBC, I could present it. There we are, another thing sorted. Thats my pension in place.

    More after we open on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, post the eclipse - with all the astrological news via the great Tom Lescher - if you haven't found him yes, he's here -

    And connect with all of this and more on the FB pages


    Till then,

    Namaste, peace, one world one love and joy to all,

    Barb xxx

    Friday, 3 October 2014

    last 2 nights of our London season and remembering Pentangle

    So, tonight and tomorrow are the last 2 nights of the new This Wheel's On Fire collection with Simon Wallace on the piano, at Crazy Coqs - been just wonderful so far - great team down there, and a joy to sing the songs. As I'm doing that daily I'm full of copper, brass and gold, like the trees outside the window.

    New video here of Blowin' In The Wind made by Simon Wallace recorded by us at his studio - feel free to share it -


    Couple of nice reviews -


    and here -


    and the e-flier is out for the end of October November season in NYC!

    And there was a lovely review in the San Diego Reader of Hard Rain - here -


    So things are hotting up. It was a busy september, with a ton of rehearsals for the tour of The Little Angel Theatre Production of Bear Hunt - see details here - great cast and wonderful show I'm so proud to have been a small part of. If you have children its for 2 and upwards and its best seen with children because they get SO excited. Total joy.


    Here's a snippet -


    Meanwhile there are a few things now up on the youtube channel and look out there for more - right now Simon "Scorsese" Wallace is working on a video of Blowin' In The Wind we recorded in part at his studio.

    But right now I'm reading JJ Salkeld's Lakeland novels - great on the Lake District - because when I was up there recently I realised I'd forgotten just how stunningly beautiful the Lakes are, and then I found theses detective novels and they're perfect train and bus reading.


    And as the day is gorgeous, I'm off for a walk to Battersea Park to say Hi to the Peace Pagoda and think on this world. The Pagoda was given to us by a Japanese Buddhist sect who's whole ethos is Peace.

    Battersea Peace Pagoda

    Well, I was just about to go out and got sidetracked into listening to old Pentangle material - and as is always the way, I start with Youtube and find this great Jool's clip of the band reformed -


    and then before you know it, I'm trailing Jacqui McShee's career - she's seventy now - still performing - there's youtube of her singing a year ago somewhere. Voice still good. And then of course my mind went hurtling back - to all that time, because i'd have been, what, 15? 15 when Light Flight came out, and Take Three Girls - breakthrough drama for the time. And what was I doing when I was 15? Hanging out in Stockport town centre by the bus stops with the other wisfuls, wishing I was older and could have a decent kaftan. I bought my kaftan from a catalogue. You can't make this stuff up. I better go for a walk. But here's some more Pentangle if you are in the mood for recreating the 1960's English folk scene.


    And so with that - Namaste! Come see a show.


    Come to the mailing list -


    And have a wonderful autumn.

    And I nearly forgot to say - Bare Again with the late and sadly missed Russell Churney on piano is now available on iTunes and Amazon for pre-order for the first time you can download this - my first solo album recorded 1998 and with three added tracks in 2007 -


    Wednesday, 27 August 2014

    End of August - here comes autumn…...

    Starting on a great end-of-August week, here's Janet Halsey's film of Everything Must Change from the Pizza Express Gig date in July. Or maybe June.


    I love this song so much. We're including it in This Wheels On Fire which hilariously in some listings will be called The Wheel's on Fire due to a cockup in communication someplace recently. I see spellcheck isn't that keen on "cockup" either. Obviously spellcheck hasn't been to see Book Of Mormon. I took my nephew yesterday, hilarious. Recommended to anyone who isn't a Mormon, isn't sensitive about religion, isn't sensitive, and has a sense of satire and humour. Quite camp, too, which always works for me.

    All the Corby musicians and choir are on a high from saturdays sold out concert at Corby football ground. It rained cats and dogs, but nothing dampened our spirits. We were pretty much upwards of  110 people on stage - The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Antony Weeden, The Head of Snakes musicians (Mark Brennan, Nick Finn, George Reilly, Ian Cameron and Paul Balmer) augmented by Rebecca Bell, Judy Caine and Paula Boulton, the Deep Roots Tall Trees Choir conducted by Gareth Fuller, Nene valley Choir and myself combined. It was some buzz. There'd been several rather long days of rehearsing and months and indeed years of writing and arranging, but the end result - A Song Cycle for Corby, in the Made In Corby's first outing of their Big Nights Out, was something else. My family - indeed nearly everyone's families, came, and Ros Stoddart and David Roxburgh looked after me and my lot so wonderfully. Mirek walked alpacas on Sunday morning, a first for him. In the immediate aftermath we had Sunday lunch in Polegate at Justin's pub and we all headed to our bed rest after an exhausting but exhilarating culmination of all that work and energy. Terry Driver has taken a ton of superb shots - here are just a couple -
    The Stage and everyone on it at Corby Football Ground

    We're in full swing here.

    There is some video footage I'll post when I'm able to handle the technology - there's a film that'll be on Inside Out in the coming month and there was a piece on East Anglia news but I have to get it onto youtube and post it then.

    Now I'm stewing some plums - thats not a euphemism - and preparing the material for This Wheels On Fire with Simon Wallace - we open on 30th September for a week at Crazy Coqs. You can book that here - 

    And I'm one night with the newly married and my top mate Mari Wilson, on September 7th - 

    to remind you of Mari and I in action - 

    Meanwhile for friends in the USA - at the end of October I do a 2 week run at 59E59 Theater B with Tracy Stark on piano and Mike Lunoe on percussion. I'm so looking forward to this.

    There's something on it already in Broadway World, here - 

    So - autumn. Bring it on. I shall spend 4 days in Prague before getting cracking, as we say from up north. See you a show I hope - you can catch up with all the other latest news on the newsletter courtesy of Lena, here - 

    See you soon! Happy autumnal equinox! And namaste,

    Barb xxx