When people walk out at the end of the gig and say “it was a privilege to be here”, you know you had wonderful gig. It was Barb. How else?
Barb Jungr sang, told stories, played harmonica. Jenny Carr played piano and sang. Dudley Phillips played bass, and sadly didn’t sing.
The music was a superb reworking of the CD Barb made 18 years ago of Bob Dylan songs, and a few new ones. Barb’s discussions of the songs, their background and her connections were a wonderful bonus on top of the music. We learned some of the dark side of Dylan as well. Her rapport with the audience is singularly powerful.
We know and remember from recordings and live performances how good her voice is, but it is a shock when she hits you with her first number, “Things have changed”. The beautiful a cappella opening to “Every grain of sand” was memorable. “Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” had people crying.
Barb’s harmonica playing is strong and evocative. The arrangement and performance of “What Good Am I” was just beautiful. My favourite was “Chimes of Freedom”. The poetry is important and powerful, and Barb gave every word the strength and position it required.
Jenny Carr had some excellent solos. “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” was one. I would rather concentrate on her accompaniment. On “I Want You”, her accompaniment was both delicate and intense. How to do you do that? The presence of Dudley’s bass gave Jenny free range for her left hand. She is a super backing singer, with perfect harmonies, and a voice and vibrato to match Barb’s.
Dudley’s solo on “Don’t Think Twice, Its All Right” was special. His perfect timing and intonation made the foundation for the songs perfect. He brought a CD to sell, himself playing bass and singing, and I am sorry we didn’t get to hear him sing on Friday.
To kick off our new season, we have the Chris Allard Band: Chris on guitar, Ross Stanley piano, Oli Hayhurst bass and Nick Smalley drums. “Allard’s master class in electric jazz guitar was worth the price of admission in it’s own right!” – Harrogate Festival. Don’t miss it.