Barb Jungr - Live from Cafe Carlyle - Wolf Entertainment Guide


16 March 2009
Wolf Entertainment Guide
William Wolf

The Café Carlyle has taken a wise and forward looking step in booking the rising star Barb Jungr for a substantial run (March 11-28, 2009). Increasingly known internationally, she has already made her mark at other venues in New York. What she adds to the Carlyle is a cutting edge talent and personality that should appeal to a whole new audience. In this fabled night spot she brings a burst of freshness with her powerful singing and impassioned dedication to the songs that move her.

Jungr also has an up front candor that brands her as thoroughly genuine. She shares stories with the audience and has a gift for spinning a tale with comic flair and timing. She hails from the northwest of England and loves to talk about the environment in which she matured. Her current home base is London, and she records for Linn Records of Glasgow, which has released her six CDs, including a celebration of Nina Simone via "Just Like a Woman-A Hymn to Nina."

Her current show at the Carlyle is dubbed "The Men I Love" and Jungr, abetted by her pianist, musical director and fellow Brit Simon Wallace, rocks the room. She begins powerfully with Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis" and moves on to Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Going Nowhere," which she describes as the only happy song Dylan ever wrote." Jungr likes to intersperse such comments, as when she introduces her vigorous rendition of "Night Comes On," by Lenonrd Cohen. "He's 72, you know and still sexy," she says of Cohen. And when you're sexy at 72 there's hope for us all."

Jungr, with a well-trained voice that can be intimate or soar, has obviously worked very hard to hone this new repertoire. She's fanatic about choosing songs that appeal to her for one reason or another. She brings sadness to her interpretation of "Love Hurts," by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, but projects the passion of faith with Neil Diamond's "I'm a Believer."

Arguably, the most impressive coup is her robust performing of Diamond's "Red Red Wine." But then who could complain about her wonderful delivery of Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" or Jeff Barry's "Walking in the Sun?" Other excitingly interpreted selections that give you an idea of her take on her theme include "I Saw the Light" by Todd Rundgren, "Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache" by Edwin Starr, and "The River" by Bruce Springsteen.

The plaudits have been mounting for this remarkable performer, and she's around long enough in this gig to earn a new following of those who yet to experience the originality and overwhelming talent of this exuberant bundle from Britain.


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