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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kristalyn Records artist: Barb Jungr - Hard Rain (The Songs Of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen) - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (March 24, 2014), Hard Rain, from Barb Jungr. Though not bluesy in the traditional sense, Jungr puts her own spin on some of the most loved music by singer / songwriters Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Joined by musicians Gary Hammond, Neville Malcolm, Steve Watts, Clive Bell and Richard Olatunde Baker, Junger puts together a very serious vocal effort in the style of say Judy Collins (for Americans not familiar with her work). Up first is Blowin In The Wind which is very solemn with only flute like sounds under her vocals. Everybody Knows gets a jazzy swing feel with light percussion and piano. Who By Fire is a quiet ballad with piano. Hard Rain is juiced up but with jazz ballad roots. I can compare it to Leon Russell's take on the same track but that wouldn't be fair to either artist. But it is more similar than to Dylan's original. Actually very theatrical. First We Take Manhattan has a Joni Mitchell jazz kind of feel. I'm not comparing Jungr's voice to Mitchell but her style to that of Mitchell in her jazz period. Light vocals over similarly light piano. Masters Of War is by far my favorite track on the release with minimal piano and flute accompaniment. It just hits it square on. Very nice! It's Alright Ma kicks up the amperage with organ, piano and percussion. 1000 Kisses Deep is again particularly effective. Simply piano and vocal, Jungr is a very expressive singer. Gotta Serve Somebody is probably the farthest from the original with it's cool delivery and mostly percussive background. Land Of Plenty maintains a very solemn ballad style with keys, percussion and flute. The release is closed with Chimes of Freedom, a very solid rendition of the classic song.

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