CD REVIEWS: Hard Rain: The songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen

Barb Jungr wins Broadway World’s Cabaret Award for Hard Rain

Read about the win here -

The Independent - Hard Rain live review *****

The Times - Hard Rain live review *****

The Daily Mirror - Hard Rain album review *****

The Independent - Hard Rain album review *****

I Paper - Hard Rain album review *****

Jazzwise - Hard Rain album review *****

R2 - album review *****

London Evening Standard - album review *****

Blogcritics - album review

Sound Stage Experience - album review *****

O's Jazz Place Magazine *****

8/10 Uncut - Hard Rain album review

9/10 Peterborough Today

The Daily Mirror ****
"Jungr proved one of the greatest interpreters of Bob Dylan songs with two previous cover albums from his awesome songbook. This time, two towering masters of Jewish American song provide the raw material for Barb's rich voice and finely details jazzy arrangements. A notable achievement."

All About Jazz march 14 2014
"The readings of these Dylan songs reaffirm Jungr's standing as a Dylan interpreter; her loose, easy version of Chimes of Freedom — made famous as a hit by The Byrds — emphasises that Jungr rivals the group as one of the best. In no way does it detract from her abilities as a Dylan interpreter to say that the revelation of Hard Rain is that her versions of the Cohen songs all but steal the album. As an album, it is the equal of Jungr's two all-Dylan ones but, more importantly, it opens up a rich new seam for her to mine. More!!"

The Independent ****
"It's a masterclass in the value of interpretive liberty, with songs transform in almost revelatory manner. As with the album generally, its a subtle balance of hot and cold, a work of fiery cool."

Jazzwise ****
"Investing everything she sings with telling insight, Jungr's complete affinity with the material lends the collection a galvanising power. There are lyrical jewels a plenty."

R2 ****
"Barb Jungr affirms her reputation as a consummate Dylan interpreter with a collection of Bob's political and spiritual narratives augmented here by similar matieral from the pen of his contemporary, Leonard Cohen...nourish jazz bues arrangemtns compound her ethereal impressionism. Its quite some achievement to throw new light on these old tableaux."

Uncut 8/10
"The commanding and rhapsodic singing brings connection and insight while superlative arrangements - majoring in opulent blues jazz noir settings, refresh songs as daunting as "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" and "First We Take Manhattan". To give such standards precious new life is quite an achievement."

Sunday Times
"Once again, the British singer finds new paths through what, at first glance, might seem familiar material. 1000 Kisses Deep is simply heart-stopping. Jungr's attention to timbre and nuance brings new depth to every syllable."

MOJO ***
"As an interpreter, Jungr's ace in the hole is an ability to personalise even age-old familiars like "Blowin' In The Wind" without resorting to deconstruct mode." First We Take Manhattan" is beautifully reworked, with Jungr draping a delicate vocal line over Simon Wallace's piano back-drop of a kind that Gil Evans might have visualised for Miles. Fascinating Fare…it's more than alright, Ma." (Fred Dellar)

"Jungr has the ability to take a well known song and make it her own. This is a knockout album."

Something Else
Barb Jungr has a powerful tool in the box - and that is her voice. Combine this with the powerful songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and a group of good musicians, and you have something which has the potential to blow your mind. So, Barb sets high expectations and this album does not disappoint. Hard Rain is a great album, one in which to immerse yourself until you are soaked through.

UNCUT April 2014
BARB JUNGR Hard Rain,The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen


Peerless interpreter's takes on Bob and Len's protest sides
On her two previous albums of Dylan material Jungr gave a masterclass in understanding and inhabiting a songwriter's work. These versions of politically and spiritually engaged standards by the maestros shows both her authority and sensitivity have deepened. The commanding and rhapsodic singing brings connection and insight while superlative arrangements - majoring in opulent blues jazz noir settinp - refresh songs as daunting as "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" and "First We Take Manhattan". To give such standards precious new life is quite some achievement. Gavin Martin

BLUES MATTERS Mar 28th, 2014 issue
BARB JUNGR Hard Rain,The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen

It is always a brave project to do a covers album of any kind without sounding like karaoke versions, tribute bands and the likes, so when this arrived and saw it was Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen standards, reviewing this was always going to be a challenge, but like any forms of music it is always good to hear differing interpretations of classic tunes. This however is one release that different can be very good which this release is. Barb Jungr is known for being one of the best female performers of Bob Dylan material and certainly is a wonderful singer with great tone and smooth jazzy voice which especially goes well with First We Take Manhattan. The songs are very strongly interspersed with political stances especially noted in the six titles by Bob Dylan with Masters Of War being a particular haunting melody and very gritty interpretation and sneering vocals but set to a slow seductive style, an ongoing feel to this release. It is also interesting she has arranged every song herself and obviously self-confident to do justice to such songs as, Blowin’ In The Wind and Hard Rain. Ably assisted by Simon Wallace on piano, Hammond organ and synthesiser, who also produced this collaboration and with a consummate backing band, this all adds to a hypnotic lilt and a wholly unforgettable release, brilliant.
BARB JUNGR Hard Rain,The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen

BARB JUNGR/Hard Rain: One of the leading, contemporary interpreters of Dylan widens the lens here with a set that covers Dylan and Leonard Cohen, two of the greatest kvetches of a generation. What happens when you turn a cabaret artist that can be known for the tortured artist effect loose on these two all star schmageggees? Amazingly, she never let’s you get to the point of wanting to gargle with razor blades. The jazzy backing behind her gives these songs a buoyancy they’ve never shown in previous incarnations, and while she does bring a world weary edge to her vocals, Jungr seems to find hope in the shards of despair. Might just be that we’re so far away from the source of these songs that they are now everybody’s songs and not just Dylan’s and Cohen’s. If you have a soft spot for these two icons, Jungr does an amazing job of making these songs her own and not letting you down. This is a set of covers you’d be a fool to ignore if your into it at all. Check it out. (CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher)

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The Independent i - 21.3.14

The Independent Radar - 22.3.14

The Independent - 26.2.14

Jazzwise - April 2014

The Sunday Times Culture - 16.3.14

Uncut - April 2014