Barb Jungr

Barb Jungr 2

Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan: Shelley Theatre, Boscombe. 31st March 2017.

Anyone who questioned the wisdom of awarding Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize for Literature (and astonishingly there were one or two) would have left this concert feeling just a little ashamed of themselves.

For Dylan’s writing, his genius as a poet and lyricist is what cabaret singer Barb Jungr celebrates so brilliantly in her searching interpretations of his songs.

At the Shelley Theatre last night she gave a performance that explored the complexity, power and beauty of 16 Dylan numbers from across the first three decades of his career. Accompanied by pianist Jenny Carr, she deconstructed, re-assembled and exposed the very essence of songs of love and loss, anger and woe, anguish and despair. Her arrangements of songs like Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, Blind Willie McTell, Chimes of Freedom and a stunning version of A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall were mesmerising.

Digging deep into the soul of Dylan’s masterpieces her delivery seeks out nuance and emphasis. She transforms songs you have known for years but always leaves the author’s spirit intact.

The current tour is essentially a live re-working of Jungr’s Every Grain of Sand album which has remained a constant seller since it was first released 16 years ago. It seems that it has  proved so popular that her record company have dubbed it “a cult classic” and “re-released" it by way of celebration. As Barb herself pointed out this is actually quite odd when you consider it’s never been unavailable.

However anything that gets this remarkable singer out on the road has got to be a good thing. For Barb singing Bob is a revelation.

Jeremy Miles

© Jeremy Miles 2017