'Barb Jungr confirms her reputation as a peerless interpreter of the classic modern song with this, her third album for Linn.' Jazz at Ronnie Scott's
‘Jungr navigates the soft-flowing tide of Ray Davies' title tune with wistful contentment.' Jazz Times
‘Her version of Waterloo Sunset shines out.' Daily Telegraph
Critics uniformly adored Barb Jungr's reflective rendition of Ray Davies' title track which sets the tone for this engagingly eclectic collection, startling both for its emotional intensity and rich musicality. Described by the Daily Telegraph as a ‘world-class female vocalist' Barb is also an accomplished songwriter and contributes three original songs: Do You Play Guitar, the album's elegiac opening track, Written Down In The Dark Again, a disturbing exploration of sex, and Lipstick Lips Lament, a wonderful evocation of classic American song-writing.
On this album I wanted to dig into the feelings masked by other emotions. Deceit, masks and outsiders are at the centres of these songs. And it all began with clowns; then jester and fools. The feelings experienced by clowns, jesters and fools. And was sparked off when Christmas shopping where I found the best present. A clown, suspended from a ceiling alongside thousands of other papier-mâché clowns, legs akimbo, floating above us and moving lightly in the centrally heated pre-Christmas air. Suddenly, I couldn't get them out of my head. Songs with clowns just poured through my brain...So began a trawl through endless lists and cassettes of clown songs and books about clowns and websites and... well, clowns! Tarot cards. Fools on hills, circus stars, they found me. Adrian York took the ideas and songs and arranged them with care and devotion. Geoff, Nick, Matt, Adrian and Stuart played like demons and Calum recorded it all superbly. We mixed it in North Berwick, Scotland. The sea was crashing against the islands. And the sun was shining. And when John took the pictures for the cover a heron landed on the bank on the Thames below the embankment, and stayed with us ‘til we packed in at sunset.
© Barb Jungr, 2003
Do You Play Guitar?
We used to go to Anglesey to my folks' caravan, me and my girlfriends when we were teenagers - wild girls. The wind blew. The sun rarely shone. Rain tap danced on the caravan roofs. In Llugwy. I fell in love in Treaddur Bay, with the tide going out, leaving the starfish in the rock pools. He didn't play guitar. But we did play pool.
High Water (For Charlie Patton)
Taken from the Bob Dylan album Love and Theft. Having recorded ‘Blind Willie McTell' some years ago, I felt like throwing myself into this extraordinary journey. And I wanted to sing another Dylan song. How could I ever stop wanting to sing another Dylan song?
The Everly Brothers' classic song about betrayal. I loved their singing, the brothers. Their sweet faces and bouffant quiffs and the way that the double vocal made the tune and you could never quite separate the two voices. ‘To The Ferris Wheel', ‘Wake Up Little Susie'. Lovely songs. Innocent. But ‘Cathy's Clown' isn't innocent at all. Or at least, Cathy isn't.
The Great Valerio
A view of a relationship from the inside. Why do we hang on in there when we know it's over and done? And we all do.
Richard Thompson is a wonderful writer. From the Bright Lights Tonight album, this was first sung by Linda Thompson. The brilliant June Tabor sang it too, keeping that same vibe. I wanted to take it into the big top.
When Do The Bells Ring For Me?
Working on Girl Talk with Claire Martin and Mari Wilson was great, and at the end of the show we had a little ‘wedding bells' section in which we all sang unhappy/tragic wedding songs. This lovely Charles DeForest song was mine.
Written In The Dark Again
If every lover you ever had left their mark on your body - and it showed up in certain lighting...Maybe they do?
Like A Rolling Stone
Jugglers and clowns...Bob Dylan...
Lipstick Lips Lament
I sat up in bed with the line ‘archaeologists of human hearts beware' in my head, got up to write it down and the song poured out.
Laugh Clown Laugh
The Great American Songbook isn't my usual repertoire, but this is such an intense, perfect song. It came to me through the wonderful Songbirds list, for which, thank you.
Ray Davies is just a brilliant song writer. I have loved this song for such a long time, and sung it for years. Living near
the river, it's a sunset I know.
Deceit comes in so many forms and shapes; sometimes it's wrapped in very pretty paper. But it's still deceit. And who would turn down the chance to sing a lyric with the word pompitus in it?
Barb Jungr vocals
Geoff Gascoyne bass
Nic France drums
Matt Backer guitars
Adrian York piano
Stuart Hall violin (Track 5)
Mixed & engineered by Calum Malcolm
Arranged & produced by Adrian York
Post-production by Ben at Finesplice
Original photography by John Haxby
Design by gmtoucari.com