Reviews from Barbs Australian Tour, June 2016

Australian Stage

Hard Rain: The songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen | Barb Jungr
Written by Gillian Wills
Monday, 06 June 2016 14:29

“Jungr overflows with intensity, she’s a fireball, a force to be reckoned with and with good reason, since she’s unafraid to sing with such heart-jangling and white-hot emotion she appears at times to be hanging by a thread on the brink of madness.

Ageists beware, for Jungr, maybe a self-deprecating clown spewing ad-libbed, funny jokes, but, it takes masses of courage, experience, verve and yes a great deal of hide to cover landmark anthems by two of the greatest living male American singer-songwriters.

Her voice is expressive with a big range, and she injects masses of colour, pathos, power and moments of surprise to the items in her song list – which includes ‘Everybody Knows,’ ‘Land of Berlin,’ and a ‘1000 Kisses Deep’ – along the way.
Smart too in her choice of pianist because John Thorn provided chunky, solid and easeful grooves and he provided admirable support with his funky, smoking piano and telling harmonic notes in slower numbers glowed.


Friday, June 10, 2016
BARB JUNGR - HARD RAIN - The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen

Reviewed by Bill Stephens.

“You don’t have to be a devotee of either Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen to appreciate the respect and admiration for their work that Barb Jungr brings to her remarkable exploration of their songs. Jungr’s is certainly not a sycophantic fan’s view, but an insightful, forensic examination into what was in the composer’s minds as they wrote the songs.
…as entertaining as she is as a raconteur, it is Jungr’s extraordinary voice and delivery which holds her audience spellbound as she moves through the intricate rap-like lyrics of Bob Dylan’s It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) , with which she commenced the program, to her remarkable re-working of his Blowin in the Wind which was her finale.”
Her Leonard Cohen selections were no less compelling and commenced with a mesmerising account of his Who By Fire which she introduced as being a song about death. First We Take Manhattan, Everybody Knows, The Future were included as well as a really lovely version of A Thousand Kisses Deep.

Stage Whispers

Barb Jungr – Hard Rain
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. 12 & 13 June, 2016.

“Barb Jungr does not disappoint. Her stated aim is to present ‘P’ songs: philosophical and political – but she does so with an impish persona that is delightful.

It’s All Right, Ma’ one heck of an opener, a reminder of why Bob Dylan is regarded as a poet of popular song; Jungr’s movements here are unselfconscious and joyful, her enthusiasm contagious. Much of the program is not as upbeat as this, though most of it is gripping and rewarding, even galvanizing at times.

Jungr’s self-deprecating sense of humour in between songs is quite lovely, and certainly refreshing in context. Musical highlights included a rather remarkable Who by Fire that flows in a plaintive manner almost wholly unlike the original, and the chillingly sepulchral Masters of War.

Her grainy voice and its jazzy phrasing, not to mention an exceptional accompanying pianist in Mark Fitzgibbon, provided a fine afternoon of music.
Anthony Vawser

5 stars - Perfection

Cabaret Festival Review: Hard Rain: The songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen

“it’s as if Edith Piaf and Nick Cave had a love-child, who was adopted by Carmen McRae.” This show is a master-class in cabaret, in singing and in the art of reaching an audience. Judging by the queue of adoring fans in the foyer afterwards, Adelaide will call Jungr back for more. I, for one, will be there.

In Daily

Hard Rain: Barb Jungr
Greg Elliott

Barb Jungr’s dynamic and powerful performance highlights the poetry, philosophy and perplexity of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Her unique interpretations and arrangements breathe new life into some modern classics.

Jungr has the knack of being able to tell amusing anecdotes and jokes just before performing a powerful song intensely. There are times when she energetically uses the stage and others where she maintains perfect stillness to good effect.
Never have I witnessed the words of Dylan’s “Masters of War” sung and enacted with such fire and commitment, and the imagery of the warmongers’ deaths and burials made manifest so simply and effectively.

…all politicians could see Jungr’s version of Cohen’s “The Land of Plenty”: it was a stunning moment of dramatic, soulful singing. If only the world could respond to his words.

Hard Rain is what you would expect: the poetry, philosophy and perplexity of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen presented in a dynamic, heartfelt manner that had the audience enthralled and desperate for more.

The Advertiser

June 13, 2016

“She fearlessly tackles tunes that are pretty amazing in the first place and invests them, if it’s possible, with even more drama. Add to that Leonard Cohen at his most moody and mystical, given a similar treatment, and you have a complete package.
Jungr invests the songs with an intensity that demands, and receives, attention.
It’s intense, to be sure, and not for the purist, but unforgettable in its own way.”

The Clothesline

Barb Jungr performs Hard Rain: The Songs Of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen at Space Theatre – Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2016 Review

“I didn’t think I ever needed to hear another version of Blowin’ In The Wind, but Barb’s encore breathes new life into this song and confirms her place as a foremost interpreter of the Bob Dylan songbook. She can now add the work of Leonard Cohen to that accolade.”



Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Monday 13th June 2016

Jungr doesn't merely sing the songs, presenting cover versions of other people's work. These songs are given new arrangements and breathtaking interpretations. ….anybody in the Space Theatre seeing her for the first time would have been immediately aware that this was going to be something exceptional. Jungr sings with her entire body, from facial expression, vast amounts of body language, and right down to her finger tips. It is clear to see that these are the external signs of intense internal emotion and intellect at work.

Barb Jungr came to our Cabaret Festival a decade ago, and on every visit she has reintroduced us to songs that we thought that we knew well, showing how much more there is to them. I think it is safe to say that Adelaide will be calling for her to come back time and again to thrill us with her insight and vast talent.


The Weill File
Cabaret icon Robyn Archer led an homage to composer and cross-genre performer Kurt Weill featuring artists including Barb Jungr, Ali McGregor and Hew Parham.

She (Archer) and Barb Jungr were perfect role models for younger performers in cabaret singing; they both know how to look cheekily at an audience, how to find nuance and irony within lyrics, how to convey anything bawdy or lewd, when to employ the art of song-speak and how to hit someone between the eyes with song.
Jungr was once again in fine form with a superb performance of “Surabaya Johnny” from Happy End. Her variation of interpretation and ability to convey layers of meaning within one song was something special to experience. Later in the evening, she performed the “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)”, walking among and working the audience as she sang.


Cabaret Festival Review: The Weill File


Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 13 June 2016

The stand-out performer in this tribute would have to be Barb Jungr. Her rendition of Surabaya Johnny was hilarious, not just because of the lyrics, but for her melodramatic, half-manic delivery.

Reviewed by James Rudd


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