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on 23 October 2012
Man in the Long Black Coat

Barb Jungr has never been one to sit back on her laurels when it comes to making music. From the songbooks of Bob Dylan Man in the Long Black Coat for which she is most famously associated and through the works of Jacque Brel,Chanson The Space In Between Nina Simone Just Like a Woman (Hymn to Nina) and Elvis Presley Love Me Tender [Sacd/CD Hybrid] she has always been an artist who has pushed the boundaries and has remolded songs, stripped away the layers and given us the listeners something completely new and unique.

With Stockport To Memphis, possibly Barb Jungr's best work to date, she takes us on a musical journey from the clubs of Stockport and Manchester where she grew to love soul and through several gateposts of her life including the immigration of her parents from war torn Europe, her love of soul music and a musical journey to Memphis one of the American cities from where good soul originates.

On this record Barb not only re-imagines songs from the likes of Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Sam Cooke, Neil Young, Hank Williams, Rod Argent and Bob Dylan but half of the album is made up of songs Barb wrote along with Simon Wallace.
Standout tracks for me include:

Stockport To Memphis - a soul drenched number with all the elements of a Northern Soul classic that I can imagine being played in The Twisted Wheel and Wigan Casino.

New Life - where Barb chronicles the journey of her parents journey from Europe and her own musical journey on the road, tinged with jazz and an optimistic outlook.

Old Man - a reflective song which Barb has turned around and found a new meaning in altogether.

River - I think Barb outshines Joni Mitchell here where she makes the song not only reflective and a bit melancholy but she gospels it up and fills it full of longing and hope.

Fisherman's Blues - Barb allows her vocal to take centre stage on this one and is another track full of longing and wishes.

Way Down In The Hole - a Tom Waits song where the full extent of Barb's vocal techniques shine through and she turns it into a mysterious jazzy bluesy number.

Till My Broken Heart Begins To Mend - which is an old Jungr and Parker song which she has updated with percussion and harmonica and again allows her voice to shine.

Change Is Gonna Come - a song originally by Ray Charles which is rich with soul and meaning and very relevant today as much as it was when it was written.

All in all this album is a gem and deserves many repeated listens and to be a massive success in what is promising to be a milestone of a year for Barb Jungr.
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on 23 October 2012
I am a great fan of Barb Jungr, who is a skilful virtuoso, interpreter of song, and a leading light on the UK cabaret circuit. She is well known for her interpretation of the works of Dylan, Jacques Brelle and Joni Mitchell to name but three. In this work, you will be astounded by her extraordinary vocal dexterity, and her insightful presentations of "Way Down In The Hole" and her joyous, bitter sweet yet jazzy interpretation of Joni Mitchell's, "River."

In this, her new Album, "From Stockport to Memphis," she has included songs of her own, displaying her considerable talent as a songwriter. The title song, like Barb, is lionhearted and jubilant, during which she traces her own, and her musical heritage. And when you listen to her, do so attentively as her use of language is poetic and precise. In, "New Life" she recounts her parents journey from Europe and her own musical journey. It is tempered with jazzy sensitivity as well as optimism and great buoyancy.

Barb is a unique and passionate performer, with a voice that can cause you to break your heart then moments later make you celebrate life. This is a 5* album from a gilded performer. Buy it!
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on 25 October 2012
Barb Jungr's new CD contains the usual number of songs - thirteen - and the invariable variety of song subjects and styles. It has been said that it is impossible to appreciate modern popular music properly without understanding and coming to terms with Elvis Presley and Hank Williams. Jungr has already turned her attention on Elvis on her Love Me Tender album and this time round there is a Hank Williams song: Lost On The River. Here we have a woman from the industrial north of England singing a song written by a hillbilly, but the hillbilly was as simple and straightforward as an enigma and the woman is as knowing and skilful an interpreter as he could ever have hoped for to sing his words. Play the song quietly without paying attention to those words and it sounds like a gentle hymn; pay closer heed and you realise it's about a destructive love affair, despair and hopelessness, and it's chillingly beautiful.

Five of the songs here are written by Jungr herself, four with Simon Wallace and one from some years back with Michael Parker. The album's title song describes a musical or spiritual journey from Stockport, where she grew up, to Memphis, where certainly part of her head and heart belong. The theme of journeys is also touched on in New Life in which she refers to her father's journey to England to escape from first Nazi and then Communist persecution in Czechoslovakia, as well as in Joni Mitchell's River and The Waterboys' Fisherman's Blues.

However, there's no need to seek for themes in this album. It's there to be enjoyed and includes songs by Sam Cooke, Neil Young, Rod Argent, Bob Dylan (of course) and Tom Waits. The last of these songs, Way Down In The Hole made me think of Blind Willie Johnson. His rough, aggressive delivery of religious songs has always made me feel that you wouldn't have wanted to get into a doctrinal dispute with him. Jungr's version of Waits' song has the kind of controlled power that makes you feel the Devil himself wouldn't care to get into an argument with her.

Simon Wallace plays a major part in this album, sharing writing credits on four songs as well as playing piano and organ and producing. Song arrangements are by Jungr, Wallace and Jenny Carr, and if you happen to see Barb Jungr perform live in the near future you will see either, or sometimes both of the latter two on stage with her.

At the start of this I mentioned invariable variety, but some things remain the same in all of Barb Jungr's recordings: her voice and her ability to use it to lead us through songs like a guide who knows everything we ought to know and who wants to share it all with us.
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on 22 November 2012
Barb Jungr is an "unknown" talent.....I had not hear of her until one Sunday afternoon in the Summer when she was aguest of Terry Wogan on Radio 2...... when I heard her sing I just wanted to know "who" it was.... I caught the name, I visited HMV to see what they had...Nothing,nothing on their Database....so I found her on line. her Delivery is wonderful, the voice so mellow and warm.
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on 4 February 2013
Well another fantastic album from Barb a great mix of songs the best so far, even better to see her live
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on 23 June 2013
Just buy it but be warned its addictive! I can't stop playing it and you'll be singing (or humming) all day! Some you'll know some you won't but all will be loved
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on 2 April 2013
excellent voice and original interpretations, good soulful voice without being overstated. this is my first cd by barb jungr but im sre it wont be my last.
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on 3 January 2013
Barb Jungr is one of the most versatile of British singers, capable of brilliantly re-interpreting the songs of a broad range of artists in a host of styles. But this not one of her best albums. I much prefer her other recent offering, The Men I Love, which was a real 5-star collection.
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on 3 January 2013
Arrived on time as described, excellent. a a a a a a a a a a a a a a
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on 6 March 2013
An OK CD but not particularly value for money. There are much better discs on offer at a lesser price. I bought it because of the Stockport connection but the singing leaves me underwhelmed.
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