Stockport to Memphis Teaser Edition!
Welcome to the third edition of the Official Barb Jungr Fan Club bi-monthly newsletter!
Stockport to Memphis Press Release
Stockport To Memphis is the superb new album from Barb Jungr, one of the world’s foremost interpreters of song. Variously described by critics as magniﬁcent, mesmerising and magical, Barb Jungr has built a formidable reputation as an international live performer and recording artiste. She has perfected the art of interpretation to such a level that listeners are often astonished to discover that well-known songs that they thought they knew have been wonderfully transformed and very often elevated when Barb weaves her magic spell.
Her repertoire includes songs by Jacques Brel, Nina Simone, Jimmy Webb, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen amongst many others and she has attracted particular acclaim for her work on the songs of Bob Dylan, which produced two critically-acclaimed albums and a series of sell-out, award-winning transatlantic shows. For four consecutive years (2008 through to 2011) Barb has ranked at the top of Time Out, New York’s best cabaret awards for her shows and in 2008, she also received the Nightlife Award for Outstanding Cabaret Vocalist.
“Except for Dylan himself on a good night, this is the best way to hear his songs.”4-stars (The Independent, 5.8.11)
Stockport To Memphis marks a signiﬁcant new direction for Barb as she has included ﬁve of her own songs in the collection, which also features her new arrangements of songs by Sam Cooke, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Rod Argent, Mike Scott, Hank Williams, Tom Waits and, of course, Bob Dylan.
Barb Jungr has never been to Memphis. But as a teenage girl in 1960s Stockport, she nurtured a longing for what it represented; the sweet soul music she danced to in clubs at night, and its sense of a bigger, more beautiful world than the northern industrial town she couldn’t wait to leave (as embodied by the title-track and stunning album opener). The album charts a metaphorical journey, not just Barb’s own route through life and self-discovery but that of others, including her own parents’ escape to the UK from war-torn Europe and her father-in-law, the painter Frank Bowling, who came to the UK from Guyana as a young man.
Barb’s ﬂight from Stockport eventually took her to punk London in 1976, where she began to nurture her career as a singer, going on to form The Three Courgettes in the 1980s, signing to Island Records, touring with Kid Creole and performing alongside Julian Clary, who regularly turns up to Barb’s live shows to this day. Jungr and Parker, her musical partnership with Michael Parker followed. They recorded six albums, including one for Utility Records, the label spearheaded by Billy Bragg and toured extensively, supporting Alexei Sayle along the way. In 1991, at the behest of the British Council, they travelled to Sudan to give a series of workshops – it was a “mind-blowing” trip, which saw them ﬂeeing from a country on the cusp of civil war and on to Cameroon, Tanzania, The Yemen, Sri Lanka and Malawi.
When Jungr and Parker eventually split, Barb embarked on her solo career in earnest.
More recently, Barb has been riding high on the success generated by a series of landmark album releases, including 2010’s acclaimed The Men I Love: The New American Songbook, which included her take on the work of a broad range of American songwriters, from Todd Rundgren to David Byrne and Jimmy Webb to Bruce Springsteen, challenging the notion that a songbook ﬁt for vocal interpretation closed at Cole Porter. All of Barb’s albums have a strong theme, whether she’s presenting what she refers to as “the New American Songbook” on The Men I Love or offering up her take on Simone or Dylan with the albums, Just Like A Woman: Hymn To Nina and Man In The Long Black Coat: Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan, respectively. She has been enjoying a series of sell-out runs at home and in the U.S.A., where critics and audiences alike have welcomed the songstress from the north of England into their hearts, relishing her stunning live performances, which hold audiences spellbound. Slick and entertaining to the last she balances her dramatic style of delivery with an innate sense of humour and comic timing. To turn down an invitation to see Barb Jungr perform live is to miss out on a revelatory and uplifting experience.
“Empathy is her game and few singers in any genre extend themselves more
deeply into the lives of others.” (The NY Times)
Bob Dylan, jazz, northern soul, Nina Simone and continental Europe’s cabaret music perform a subtle dance in Jungr’s consciousness” (The Guardian)
Barb has a busy schedule of live dates lined up right through to next year, including four special concerts to launch Stockport To Memphis at London’s Hippodrome on 24th, 26th, 28th and 29th September. News regarding the release of a single from the album will be announced shortly.
Stockport To Memphis Tracklisting
1. Stockport To Memphis – Barb Jungr + Simon Wallace
2. A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
3. River – Joni Mitchell
4. Old Man – Neil Young
5. New Life – Barb Jungr + Simon Wallace
6. Urban Fox – Barb Jungr + Simon Wallace
7. (S) He’s No There – Rod Argent
8. Fisherman’s Blues – Mike Scott
9. Lay Lady Lay – Bob Dylan
10.Sunset To Break Your Heart – Barb Jungr + Simon Wallace
11.Till My Broken Heart Begins To Mend – Barb Jungr + Michael Parker
12.Lost On The River – Hank Williams
13.Way Down In The Hole – Tom Waits
Stockport to Memphis Interview
Barb has given an interview on her new album to Inside Cabaret to talk about making of Stockport to Memphis, her affinity for rivers, and the people she’d like to get stuck in the lift with.
Click here to read the article:
Stockport To Memphis is released on Naim Jazz (naimcd179) on 22nd October.
Stockport to Memphis London launch at the Hippodrome
Barb will be launching her new collection, Stockport To Memphis, which documents her musical journey from the northwest, through her love of soul music, in original songs and arrangements of her highly acclaimed styling of the New American Songbook (which she has pioneered). The cult singer is accompanied by a full band including long time collaborators Simon Wallace and Jenny Carr.
Stockport to Memphis London Launch
Date: Sept 24,26, 28, 29
Venue: The Hippodrome Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, WC2H 7JH
Tel: 020 7769 8866
For live dates for the rest of September and beyond, click here.
The News from Pimlico is where we celebrate Barb’s music, read all about her latest news as well as stories and reports from her fans around the globe.
By subscribing to this newsletter, you’ve become Barb’s Official Fan Club member. Welcome!
The newsletter will give you access to exclusive content, special Fan Club member benefits, including discounted merchandise, advance ticket sales and advance download of new albums.
We hope this will become a place where Barb and her many fans, old and new, can feel a real sense of community – after all, we share love and passion for great music!
The fan base through this newsletter is growing steadily and in this issue, we have lots of news on Barb’s brilliant brand new album, Stockport to Memphis.
The members get the first look at the press release and an interview.
* There will be a special Stockport and Memphis edition of the newsletter in early October with CD pre-order info and member special benefits. Stay tuned!
Many thanks as always to the guest contributors Janet Hasley, Angela Travis, Mac Castro, and Bernard for sharing your stories with us!
We would like to make the News from Pimlico better – we welcome any ideas and suggestions for the future issues.
We also would love to hear from the fellow Barb fans – if you’d like to:
Share stories about how you discovered Barb’s music
Talk about your favourite song/album/performance by Barb or write reviews
Ask questions you’d like to ask Barb for the Q & A segment
Send in photos/YouTube clips from Barb’s live shows you’ve been to
Give feedback on the articles – which ones did you enjoy the most/would like to see more/less of
Please email them all to email@example.com – thank you!
See you all next time.
In this issue, we feature:
Stockport to Memphis press release and interview
Stockport to Memphis London launch at the Hippodrome
Photos from Barb’s Edinburgh Fringe and 606 Club shows
Gig report by Janet Halsey
Chanson Encore DVD review by Mac Castro
Ask Barb! – Q&A section
Fan’s corner – Bernard from Basildon and Angela Travis
Hello from the editor
Message From Barb
It has been an extraordinary summer one way and another and I don’t mean just because of the weather.
The main focus for the whole of May through to mid July was the finishing and mastering of the new album, and my growing interactions with my new management company, Nick Stewart and Associates. Nick heads a big music business company and has an extraordinary track record in the main music business, so he is a huge step for me with my little cottage industry Miss Marple approach to life!
And the other wonderful things have been my continuing work in Corby with the musicians there, which is just a blessing. The talent and commitment, the kindness and support I find in Mark, Nick, Paul, Spike and Ian blows me away. Plus – following my record of two of my actors in the Little Angel production of The Fabulous Flutterbys falling in love, one of my musicians in Corby is now going out with one of the singers who came and sat in – I may have a growing career blossoming as a marriage broker – think Barbra Streisand in that film with Walter Matthau… Speaking of Barbra Streisand, I misspelled my own name on my ticket booking to Washington DC – giving myself the Barbra spelling, which I have always sniffed at – mine being correct!
I’ve also started working on the next piece we’ll do for The Little Angel, with director Pete Glanville. We’ll be open and running in May of next year, through the whole year it seems. The piece is for tiny children and is a puppetry adaptation musical (that’s my bit) of We’re Going On A Bear Hunt – the wonderful illustrated book with the author Michael Rosen’s blessing. So we’re cock-a-hoop about that!
The album photos have been done in part – Emily Dennison took the lovely ones in the Plaza Hotel cafe in Stockport. There are some gorgeous new live shots too by Habie Schwartz.
Now its’ all writing and preparation, as touring begins in the autumn and then will develop into a major tour in spring 2013. Exciting times. More on the new album next time we speak. Till then, I hope to see you in September if you are around London, at The Hippodrome, where I’ll appear with the full band on the Stockport to Memphis launch. The preview show with Jenny and Simon at New Greenham Arts will be in early September.
And I must just mention the Edinburgh Festival, because the gig there this year was just wonderful – there was magic in the air.
Love and namaste,
Hello from the editor
First of all, thank you for subscribing to the Official Barb Jungr Fan Club newsletter.
I thought it’s about time I introduced myself and share my story with the readers.
I’m based in Adelaide, Australia and a big fan of live music – cabaret and musical theatre in particular.
I saw Barb live for the first time in 2006 when she came to Australia to perform at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. She brought her two acclaimed shows, Every Grain of Sand and Waterloo Sunset.
Seeing Barb live blew me away. I was utterly transfixed. Various emotions washed over me, as she sang about love, pain, sorrow, joy and every feeling in between. Her extraordinary ability to tell stories through songs and transform them was stunning. Her voice touched me so deeply. The way she freely and generously shared her own emotions with her audience was both powerful and tender.
In between the songs, she had me in stitches with her hilarious patter that she is renowned for, and her reinterpreting skills left me in awe. “Sara,” “I Want You,” and “Every Grain of Sand”…every song took on a whole new dimension. Her vocals spoke to my heart. It was a breathtaking moment, and there’s been many more since.
In an email I wrote to a friend about Barb’s performance after seeing her for the first time, I simply said, “WOW….just wow.”
I’ve been fortunate enough to see her again when she returned to Australia the following year when her CD No Regrets was released from ABC and in 2009, when she toured The Men I Love: The New American Songbook show.
Each time, my love for her music and craft grew, and I’ve been desperately waiting for her to return to Australia – there are quite a few of us here that are suffering from severe Barb Jungr withdrawal symptoms here in the land of Downunder!
People say never meet your heroes because it often ends in disappointment. Thankfully, such was NOT the case with Barb, and I’ve come to respect and appreciate her warmth, kindness, intellect, insight, passion for life, keen sense for social justice, delightful sense of humour, positive energy, hard work and sheer talent.
There have been some tough times in my life, but Barb’s music and words have always lifted me up and got me through.
Being able to produce this newsletter is a huge honour. It’s also a great pleasure working with Barb and other fans on it.
I look forward to bringing exciting news about Barb for months to come.
Fan’s Corner – Bernard from Basildon
By Bernard, Basildon, UK
I first met Ms Jungr in the early 80’s – we were both very young! I ran a dive cellar jazz night and Ms Jungr was a regular special guest.
Barb is always special – day or night – rich or poor. She enjoys the audience banter as much as we do and she has some wonderful stories to tell – about the audience in the early days, with one man and a dog – a true story.
I had the pleasure of working with her over many years and she has grown and improved with age – like a good red wine – I know she likes a drop!
To see her fill the festival hall and sing with a full orchestra was a highlight, as well as the Vortex for intimacy and the Pizza Express for posh nosh and groovy sounds.
Finally, she IS spellbinding, always gives 100 per cent and sings with all her heart and soul. As an audience, we see it and thank her for it.
Barb do you remember me? Bernard from Basildon – £40 a spot and free food and drink!
Keep it joyous,
x Bernard x
Ask Barb! Q & A
In each newsletter, Barb will answer a few questions from the fans.
She answers a few more this month.
Q: What current affairs topics are you interested in right now?
A: The environment. I am becoming increasingly involved with the anti-tracking debate – I am against tracking for all the apparent reasons. I’m also interested to see a resurgence of the Occupy movement, which I hope will be better focussed and draw attention to our need as a society to change from positions of acquisition and greed to those of sharing and caring. I’m considering joining a political party, to be able to make a greater contribution to the debate.
Q: Do you believe in extraterrestrial life?
I don’t believe in it. But I imagine there is more to the universe than we know. I expect life to be out there – but the form it takes may be very different to anything we can imagine.
As a young woman I was an avid sci-fi reader, and remain a great fan of both Alfred Bester and Philip K Dick.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll forward them on to Barb 🙂
Gig Report: The Pump House Aldeburgh Festival
June 9, 2012
By Janet Hasley
My husband and I were spending a week in Norfolk at the beginning of June.
This coincided with Barb appearing at the Pump house in Suffolk as part of the Aldeburgh Festival.
The pump house was built in the 1860s and was donated by Simon Steer after he had renovated the building in 1993. It was a former building for the Aldeburgh Festival and was reopened in 2011 by ‘Aldeburgh Music’ as part of a renovation project, preserving the Victorian brick structure.
The Pump house is a small intimate venue, which seats about 80 people. It looks across reed beds and the North Sea.
We decided to have a leisurely meal before the performance at the Brudenell Hotel situated by the beach. There was great hilarity when Barb walked in shortly after Jenny. Unaware that we were going to be at the performance, she did not see us sitting by the window in spite of Jenny pointing to us!
Barb gave two performances: – Songs of Bob Dylan and Summer Songs. Unfortunately we were only able to stay to the Bob Dylan programme, as we had to find our way back to Norfolk along dark windy roads.
Barb’s passion for Dylan was evident from the start, in her opening song “Tangled Up in Blue” and throughout the entire repertoire.
Although, we have heard Barb sing these songs, they are so very different each time, never the same. There were her usual themes of lost love, and the pain of experience with humour, distain and thoughts for philosophical discussion. Barb dissected the difference between male and female psyche through the song “Things have Changed” stating that Dylan does not have a conversation with his female side asking “How can any woman relate to the notion of ‘Feel like falling in love with the first woman I meet. Putting her into a wheelbarrow and wheeling her down the street?”
Barb’s sublime rendition of “Sara” reached everyone’s emotions. There was silence throughout (surely Bob Dylan’s greatest love song).
Barb also brought a sense of humour in between her songs, interpreting the messages in the lyrics of each song.
Attending this performance was the highlight of the week for us. Although we were unable to stay for Barb’s Summer Songs progrmme, we were able to see her perform it at the Vortex in London.
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Chanson Encore DVD Review
Barb Jungr – ‘Chanson Encore’…and more
By Mac Castro
Well, I’m a relatively new Barb Jungr fan. In fact, the first time I saw her live was earlier this year at Pizza Express in Soho. From the moment she launched into ‘Once in a Lifetime’, I was hooked. I honestly felt as if I didn’t breathe throughout her entire performance – it was magical, moving, funny. Breathtaking.
Immediately after the show I started collecting every piece of recorded material I could get my hands on. And tried not to think about all those magical evenings I’ve missed over the years. Those live moments you can’t recapture, but live on in your memory and your heart. So, imagine how thrilled I was to discover the ‘Chanson Encore’ DVD thanks to the fan club.
It’s a must have purchase for anyone that adores Barb and a perfect introduction for those out there not yet lucky to have encountered her. It captures a wonderfully intimate performance at the Greenham Arts Centre. The team behind the camera have done a fantastic job in capturing that intimacy which really makes you feel as if you’re there; surrounded by candles, wine and good music. And she also looks incredibly stunning.
What a treat to watch her performance again and again. The joy, the sadness, the pain…a rollercoaster of emotions. There are too many highlights to mention, but here are a few which I loved.
It opens with “Beautiful Life” from the Walking in the Sun album. I fell in love with this song the moment I first heard it – it’s positive vibe, how we should appreciate all that wonderful life around us, and tap into those beautiful feelings within us. It always makes me think and makes me smile.
“Dancer in the Dawn” from Bare which brings the show to a close. Again, another song I adore and another example of what a genius lyricist Barb is. It’s bright, joy, light in the darkness song again. Loved it on the album, but live it really comes alive and bursts forth with a vibrant, triumphant thump. We will be dancers to the dawn.
“Au Depart” – a tribute to Russell Churney (who left us far too soon). I’m not ashamed to say that I burst into tears watching this. It didn’t feel like a performance – it was sad, beautiful, raw, honest, wistful and painful. An acting and singing masterclass and worth the price of the DVD alone for this performance. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but it’s so beautifully staged and filmed – as the camera pulls away and you really understand the ‘dialogue for empty chairs’.
The DVD hasn’t left my DVD player in months…and it’s been a joy showing it to friends. Don’t just buy it for yourself…buy it for anyone who appreciates good music and wonderful singing. Quite simply, it’s brilliant.
Thank you Cheek2Cheek and Barb, for this sumptuous gift.
For more information on Chanson Encore!, click here.
To order Chanson Encore!, click here.
Fan’s Corner – Angela Travis
By Angela Travis
How lovely to have this chance to share our Diva Delights and network this way!
I was trawling through my cuttings and souvenirs of gigs and various shows, and realised the impact of Barb and her hard work had on my friends. It has been far greater than I had at first imagined. Like a pebble dropped in the lake the ripples have spread, and from our first encounter at Cafe Prague at Brighton Komedia, our horizons have widened and taken in many more fabulous artists and venues.
Being hard pressed for time at the point of writing, I hope to put together a few “cameos” and memories for the next issue, and suggested a column, something like “Where are they now?”
All the people who have memories with Barb over the years, both lesser known and famous (Julian and his plastic cherub will certainly be mentioned!), I would love to hear from anyone with an offering: email@example.com.
I recently attended a wedding at Stanmer House in Brighton, and the lovely Magdalena Reising played the harp for the entry of the bridal procession and accompanied us afterwards. We first met at Komedia, where she was a frequent accompanist and later with Mandy and the Magdalenas. A group of us went to the launch of her Blue Cafe CD, which was delightful.
So, from small beginnings, Barb and the fans expanded to venues various – a great favourite being the South Bank venues and Barb performing in her own right. Chichester, Crawley, Wimborne, Soho, Greenham Arts, the film, fundraiser at the Royal Institute followed by the making of Chanson Encore! (three of us had the privilege of performing walk OFF parts!).
And not to forget my Dorset friend falling in love with Sarah Moule’s performance at Cafe Prague, and following her whenever they can.
A string of names comes to mind, all of whom were very significant in making our nights out in Brighton so memorable, and it would be good to hear news of them.
Richard and Jeanette at the old box office spring to mind as they came to my charity birthday event, which Barb put her name to and provided CD raffle prizes.
Stuart Flynn and his amazing high heels and hat shop, super front of house Ben Blake, who did an amazing impromptu with Adrian York one Christmas, when Barb was sadly unable to be there (also sang Breil with spot-on French accent). The Fabulous Howard Samuels and his “short men” renderings, the Rottingdean Queen who rocked the house with fantastic bits of body percussion, the wheel-chair bound young man, who told me through a carer that he taught dance), Jane Bombane with her astonishing musical hats, and so many more.
Strange and sad to think, that it’s hard to find something like Cafe Prague showcasing cabaret anywhere nowadays.
We still miss it, but I am really glad I found that little advert in a fit of peak moment and rounded up the troops. I did a rough count the other day (sad old lade!) and am proud to brag that I personally have introduced approximately 140 people to Barb and others on her circuits!
Hope to hear from anyone with snippets for the next issue.
Angie, Brighton x