Barb regarded best performer of Bob’s songs worldwide
ENGLISH singer, songwriter and composer Barb Jungr is regarded as one of the world’s best performers of Bob Dylan’s music.
Although she’s been performing his music for well over a decade, Barb admits she wasn’t always a fan.
“I’m like one of those people that’s given up smoking and then talks about clean air,” she said, speaking from the UK ahead of her show in Byron Bay next month.
“I came to Dylan a bit late.
“And having come to Dylan quite late, I became, possibly, at the very front of his most ardent lovers.”
Over the past few years the British chanteuse has been wowing critics and audiences alike at home and abroad with her insightful, intelligent interpretations of well-loved songs combined with her powerful and often witty performance style.
Often referred to as ‘the politicised chansonnier’ and cited as one of the world’s best performers of Dylan’s material, Barb turns to six of his most politically hard-hitting songs long with five of Leonard Cohen’s most impassioned songs of conscience with her album Hard Rain.
“What’s fascinating about these songs that were written 30, 40, 50 and it’s although they were written this morning,” she said.
“Maybe it’s the human condition that we don’t realise our feet are wet until we’re standing in the water.”
“The really obviously one (lyric) is ‘the answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind.”
“But I love Hard Rain, I think the Dylan song is just a piece of great genius.
“I really think he’s the American Shakespeare.”
“Singing his work is like a joy and a privilege.”
Jungr said the inspiration for covering Dylan songs came to her out of the blue one day, like a little tap on the shoulder.
“One day - this sounds a bit weird but it’s true - I’d come back from a show and it was really late, and I heard this little voice say to me ‘you must sing the songs of Bob Dylan’,” she said.
“So I phoned up a friend in America… and I said ‘what do you think of this, I should sing songs of Bob Dylan,’ and he said that’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever said.
“And that was it, I was in for the long haul.”
At the Byron Bay Theatre Saturday June 4 from 8pm.
Tickets are $53. www.byroncentre.com.au